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Fulton defensive lineman Jordan Buck (66) recovers a fumble on Saranac's first series of the game at the Pirates' field Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (Photo by Skip Traynor)
PREP FOOTBALL: Fulton rolls over Saranac in CMAC action
Fulton tight end Brendan Hulbert (80) tries to hurdle Saranac defenders at the Pirates field Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (Photo by Skip Traynor)
Fulton running back Randy Johnston breaks away for a 61-yard touchdown on the first series of the game at the Pirates' field Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (Photo by Skip Traynor)
Fulton running back Tyler Spade breaks away from Saranac defenders at the Pirates field Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (Photo by Skip Traynor)
In week seven of the regular season the Fulton Pirates welcomed in Saranac for its last home game of the 2013 regular season.
Randy Johnston, junior running back for the Pirates, was the epitome of efficiency in this Central Michigan Athletic Conference contest as he rushed for three scores in leading the hosts to a 54-7 victory.
On his first touch of the night Johnston took it 61 yards for a touchdown that gave the Pirates a 6-0 point lead over Saranac less than a minute into the game.
Head coach John Winkler and his Pirates rode this wave of momentum through the entirety of the first half to claim a 47-0 lead and seal the deal by half.
“I think anytime you get a good start to game it helps your team’s confidence,” Winkler said following the victory.
Multiple Pirates made gains on the ground as the hosts stuck to the ground game all night.
Senior Tyler Spade would score on a 6-yard run, and Johnston would find the end zone again from four-yards out. A missed extra point made it 20-0 in favor of the Pirates before the end of the first quarter.
The Saranac offense could get nothing going as the front seven of Fulton forced a turnover via fumble early on which was recovered by Jordan Buck.
When Saranac opted to test the air on the next possession quarterback Drake Edwards was picked off on his first attempt by Josh Stephens.
To start the second stanza, sophomore quarterback Jacob Litwiller dropped back for only the second time of the night and delivered a 52-yard pass to junior wide out Talon Hyde in the back of the end zone to push the lead to 27-0.
Again Saranac stalled, and again the Pirates marched down the field. This time Stephens strolled across the goal line and added to the lead from one-yard out.
Another turnover would give the Pirates the ball at midfield and Litwiller split the defense on an option, scoring from 53 yards to make it a 41-0 lead.
The Pirate defense continued their stranglehold on Saranac’s offense, which was limited almost exclusively to three-and-outs.
Of the defensive efforts Winkler said, “We’re just getting better each week, last week we took a step forward and this week we took another step forward. We’re still not where we have to be but we are making progress.”
The Pirates would find pay dirt once more before half on the legs of the shifty Johnston, were caused several defenders to miss and gave the pirates a 47-0 lead at half.
Due in part to the running clock, the second half featured much less scoring. John Vusich scored for the Pirates to put them up 54-0.
The Pirates got the ball again in the fourth quarter and coughed up their first turnover of the night to give Saranac possession in Pirate territory.
From there Saranac executed its lone scoring drive of the night, much of which was done through the air. The scoring play was a 28-yard toss from quarterback Alex Cadwallader to Ben Littlejohn.
That marked the score at 54-7 after the extra point and would serve as the final score of the contest.
Improving their record to 3-4 on the season the Pirates face a daunting Dansville team next week.
Because of the grueling CMAC schedule, Winkler and company are confident that by winning their remaining two games, a 5-4 record would be serve to earn them a spot in the postseason.
“This week was week one of the playoffs for us, playing Class B and Class C schools we will make it in at 5-4. We know what we’ve got, for us it’s live or die every week,” noted Winkler.
Johnston finished with 109 yards rushing on seven carries while Spade had 68 on eight. Stephens had eight tackles while Hyde had 52 yards receiving.
Last Updated: 10/11/2013 11:23:07 PM EST