By BRETT MARSHALL
SYRACUSE — There's a saying that every dog has his day.
And nobody knew that better than Stanton County head football coach Bret Kendrick.
Shortly after walking off the field Friday night, still smarting from a 32-18 loss to the host Bulldogs in a Hi-Plains League opening contest, Kendrick was philosophical about tasting defeat for the first time in nine years to their nearby county rival.
"It's never fun to lose, but we're young, and we're learning as we go," Kendrick said. "Give Chris (Pollart, Syracuse coach) and his kids credit. They overcame a lot and came back. They've got some terrific athletes and will be a good team."
For Syracuse, the victory was ever-so-sweet as it was a night when the school and community celebrated the 40th anniversary of its 1969 undefeated team.
"Yes, we wanted to win for ourselves tonight, but we knew there was a lot of tradition in the stands and we wanted to perform well for them, too," Syracuse senior quarterback Tate Housholder said.
Syracuse did try to do everything possible to put the visiting Trojans in the driver's seat of this game. After controlling the line of scrimmage for most of the opening drive, the 'Dogs had a punt blocked which was returned 38 yards for a touchdown by Marques Logan with 8:16 left in the opening quarter.
That early score by Stanton County held up until Housholder scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night. He rambled 32 yards with 5:59 to play before the half and a missed conversion left the score at 6-6.
From there, the rest of the half was nothing short of watching both teams struggle defensively. With 1:19 remaining before intermission, Braedon Simon hauled in a pass from Housholder to score from 34 yards out and another PAT run failed.
The second half, was all Syracuse as they dominated both sides of the ball.
The Trojans were held to negative-46 yards rushing for the game and had 62 yards passing for a net 16 yards of total offense.
Syracuse tied the game early in the third quarter when Housholder took a run around left end on an option keeper and bulled his way in from 19 yards out. Another point-after misfired and it was 18-18 with 10:10 in the period.
Syracuse finished with 197 yards rushing on 47 attempts and Housholder completed 5-of-11 passes for 93 yards and was picked off once.
Syracuse 32, Stanton County 18
Stanton County 6 12 0 0 -- 18
Syracuse 0 12 14 6 -- 32
SC — Marques Logan 38 blocked punt return (pass failed)
Syr — Tate Housholder 32 run (run failed)
Syr — Braedon Simon 34 pass from Housholder (run failed)
SC — Austin Nairn 78 kickoff return (kick failed)
SC — Richard Seger 29 pass from Quinn Kendrick (pass failed)
Syr — Housholder 19 run (run failed)
Syr — Housholder 10 run (Casey Devries pass from Housholder)
Syr — Housholder 1 run (run failed)
First Downs 4 14
Rush-Yds 24 -(-46) 47-197
Passing Yds 62 93
Passes 9-13-0 5-11-1
Fumb-Lost 5-1 2-1
Penalties 4-56 8-64
Punts 4-39.0 5-18.4
Rushing — SC — Seger 3-(-10), Kendrick 15-(-31), McCleary 2-6, Logan 4-11. Syracuse — Weilert 3-7, Parks 6-54, Stultz 5-16, Housholder 16-65, B. Simon 17-55.
Receiving — Nairn 2-11, Logan 4-28, Seger 3-29. Syracuse — Brown 4-59, Simon 1-34.