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Underdogs Lower Merion show the Conestoga Pioneers that this Dog’s Bite is a lot bigger then it’s Bark

Tagged under: District 1, Gameday Hub

| September 3, 2022


On Friday Night September 2, in a heartbreaking 15 -14 loss, the Lower Merion Bulldogs showed the Conestoga Pioneers that these Bulldogs bite is a lot bigger than their bark.

In a packed Conestoga stadium, the Pioneers opened with a long, grinding drive down field, that took up most of the first quarter, which resulted in their first touchdown of the night.  Lower Merion, looking a little nervous and overwhelmed during the first quarter, stayed with Conestoga.  At first, it seemed that this game was going to go the same way as it has in the past when these teams have met, last year LM loss to Stoga 40-14.  Lower Merion, which is usually a very run dominate team, knew that with the Pioneers nose guard #50, the run game wasn’t going to be much of an option.  Coach Augustine described the Pioneers nose guard Drew Merschel, as “A cannonball, firing out low, hard and fast. A huge disruption to the run game.”

Midway through the second quarter, with Conestoga up 12-0, Lower Merion’s players started to settle down and their game plan started to come together. Lower Merion has a special quarterback in junior Mekhai Smith, and it was now time to let him shine. This meant that the Lower Merion’s O-Line had to hold back Conestoga long enough to allow Smith to reach his receivers mid-range. Lower Merion, little by little as the first half was coming to a close, started to get into a groove.

In the third quarter, Lower Merion came out ready to capitalize on the momentum they picked up in the latter half of the second quarter.  Even though LM had put together some long drives, the third quarter for both teams belonged to defense.  Neither team was able to put together a score in the third quarter.

As the forth quarter approached, I am sure Conestoga’s fans thought this was going to be another shutout, but LM had other plans. Picking up the urgency, LM started pressing the ball down the field a little more. On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Smith threw a 35 yard pass to receiver Sam Zheng, who brought it down inside the one yard line, allowing LM their first score of the game on the next play. The next Conestoga series, LM Senior Brennen Else blocked a punt allowing the Bulldogs to score again on their next possession.  Now up 14-12, with three minutes and 38 seconds to go, the Lower Merion fans are on their feet and holding their breath as their defense does everything they can to hold the Pioneers. Conestoga pulled all the tricks out of the bag to get down in field goal position with 3 seconds left. Pioneers kicker # 34 hit a 20 yard field goal, allowing the Pioneers to win 15-14.

There was a bigger victory won on this football field Friday night that most people aren’t taking notice of. Lower Merion was a football program that was counted out, struggling just to have enough players to field a team in the tough and competitive central league. At times it seemed like the days of Fritz Brennan and a thriving program were gone. Three years ago Head Coach Joe Augustine and his dedicated staff had a vision and started to rebuild. They have put in the hard work to teach the players and revive a culture where winning is not only possible, it is going to happen. I hope this game tonight shows the other teams in the league that “IT’S NOT THE SIZE OF THE DOG IN THE FIGHT, BUT THE SIZE OF THE FIGHT IN THE DOG.” – Mark Twain. This Lower Merion team has a lot of fight in it.

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