By Matthew Harrell
Bell opened the 2018 regular season by traveling to Tallahassee Friday night to face the Maclay Marauders.
The Marauders limited the Bulldogs to just 157 yards of offense on their way to shutting out the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs opened the game with the ball and moved into Maclay territory, but the drive stalled and Bell was forced to punt.
The Marauders started their first possession at their own 18-yard line and drove the length of the field to take a 6-0 lead.
After Bell went three and out and punted, Maclay took over on their own 48-yard line and proceeded to move the ball deep into Bell territory. However, Bell was able to intercept a pass and took over possession at the 25.
But Bell would be forced to punt again, and Maclay would capitalize with a touchdown and two-point conversion to extend their lead to 14-0.
Bell went three and out again on its next possession, and Maclay would find the end zone again to extend their lead to 20-0. That would be the score at halftime.
The start of the second half was delayed due to lightning in the area. After a halftime that lasted nearly two hours, Bell forced a fumble on the opening possession and took over at the Maclay 37.
The Bulldogs drove the ball inside the Maclay 10-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.
But Bell would recover another fumble on the next Marauder possession and start the drive at the Maclay 16.
Bell picked up a first down after a pass interference call on fourth down, but turned the ball over by way of a fumble on first and goal, again failing to score inside the Marauder 10-yard line.
Maclay then drove the length of the field for a score to make it 27-0.
Bell returned the ensuing kickoff to the Maclay 28-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs without picking up a first down.
Bell forced a punt on the following possession, but would turn the ball over on downs again, this time in their own territory. Maclay took advantage of the good field position by scoring again to make it 33-0, and that score would hold for the final three minutes as Maclay handed Bell a season-opening loss.
The Bulldogs are 0-1 on the season. This week, they will host Atlantic out of Port Orange for their home opener.
This will be Atlantic’s season opener. The Sharks went 0-10 last season.
Bulldogs shut out by Maclay
By Matthew Harrell