UTICA — East Knox Bulldogs’ (2-0) running back Caleb Gallwitz ran the ball 20 times against the Utica Redskins (0-2) on Friday night, scoring six touchdowns and finishing with a rushing total of 306 yards. That was more than enough to propel the Bulldogs to a 68-15 victory in the Redskins’ home opener.
“I really liked our kid’s effort across the board tonight,” said East Knox coach Cody Reese. “They did a great job upfront and blocking on the edge and downfield. Hats off to Utica. They have some nice athletes and they didn’t give up.”
Gallwitz topped his rushing performance from last week, when he rolled up 250 yards against Northridge. This week Gallwitz had 258 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in the first half alone. Those included TD sprints of 52 and 41 yards in the opening quarter. He also rumbled for a 37-yard scoring run to open the second quarter, putting the Bulldogs on top, 20-0.
“I would like to mention the guys up front: Treyton Slone, Luke Grosscup, Dawson David, Caiden Bates and Caiden Slone,” Gallwitz said. “Every single rushing yard that we gained on this field is theirs. All the credit goes to those guys. Not just that, but our wide receivers on the outside were giving great blocks, and that helped to spring all the long runs. We knew that this game was going to be a dogfight, no matter what the score, It was a battle out there. That score doesn’t really show what happened on the field.”
Despite being down, the Redskins fought back, getting positive yardage from running backs Brier Harris (13 rushes, 42 yards) and Ethan Adams (six rushes for 42 yards). Utica quarterback Collin McCullough (9-for-19, 146 yards, one INT and two TDs) found his favorite target, tight end Clayton Cummons, six times for 100 yards. Two of those catches went for touchdowns, including a 52-yarder with under 10 minutes to go in the first half, making the score 20-7 in favor of East Knox.
“The score is ugly, but I think our kids really battled,” said Utica coach Charlie Rowley. “We got better from last week. We did some things better offensively. There is a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but I don’t doubt that our guys will bounce back and be right at it again.”
The Bulldogs responded to Cummons’ touchdown and another one, later in the second quarter for 32 yards, with four touchdowns in the second quarter. One of those was an 11-yard pass from Bulldogs’ quarterback Kadden Lester to receiver Gage Steinmetz, after their team got good field position on a Redskins’ punt and penalty. Steinmetz would get another touchdown reception to open the second half. His 44-yard scoring catch from Lester raised the East Knox advantage to 48-15.
Gallwitz topped off his night with a 28-yard scoring run near the end of the third quarter. In the final quarter, Steinmetz moved to running back and scored from 28 yards, to finish the night with three touchdowns. Even backup quarterback Sam Printz got into the act, running in the final score for the Bulldogs and icing it with a late-game interception.
The Bulldogs will travel to River View next Friday, while Utica hosts Fredericktown.