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Bulldogs fall to St. Mary's, 56-25, in title game

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog every day.

The Folsom Bulldogs’ attempt to win a fifth straight section title ended in defeat Saturday night at Sacramento State, as Folsom fell to St. Mary’s, 56-25.

Playing against a bigger, stronger, faster team led to Folsom’s loss to an overall better team, something they haven’t seen much in the last decade. St. Mary’s scored on its first five possessions, opening up a 35-6 lead midway through the second quarter; looking very Folsom-like in its efficiency.

Folsom scored 19 unanswered points to make a game of it early in the third quarter, trailing 35-25, but couldn’t get any closer. St. Mary’s was just too powerful, as the Rams dominated the line of scrimmage. Junior running back Dusty Frampton (5-11, 214 pounds) couldn’t be stopped, as he gained 294 yards on 31 carries and scored three touchdowns; oftentimes not being touched until he reached the secondary.

“They’re obviously a great team,” Folsom Coach Kris Richardson said. “Frampton is a beast and their offensive line is big and very skilled. They’re a senior-dominated team that’s been close before the last few years. I thought the challenge would be to stop their running game while not allowing the big play through the air and we couldn’t control their run game.”

Said senior defensive back Shawn Johnson, “They’re a physical team and were the better team tonight. We fought hard.”

The Bulldogs did fight. Down 35-6 with their only points coming on an 81-yard pass from Joe Curry to Joe Ngata on its opening drive, Folsom could have folded.

Instead, they put together a scoring drive capped off by a 29-yard pass from Curry to Drake Stallworth.

After stopping the Rams for the first time on their sixth drive, Folsom put another touchdown on the board with a 12-yard pass from Curry to Jack Sa to make the halftime score 35-19.

The Bulldogs opened the second half with what would be their final scoring drive, a nine-yard run by Curry to make it 35-25 with 9:06 to play in the quarter.

Folsom stopped St. Mary’s on its next drive at the Folsom seven-yard line, but the Bulldogs failed to gain a yard on three plays and then went for it on fourth-and-10 from the seven-yard line and came up two yards short, giving the Rams the ball back at the 15-yard line.

Two plays later, Frampton scored his first touchdown from three yards away.

Folsom’s next drive ended at their own 47-yard line on downs. On the next play, Frampton scored again to essentially put Folsom away, as the Rams led 49-25 late in the third quarter. Frampton tacked on one more score in the fourth quarter for good measure.

Curry had a good game in defeat, as he completed 32-of-52 passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns. Folsom couldn’t run the ball, which allowed the Rams to pressure Curry, who was sacked five times. Folsom’s receivers also dropped a handful of balls they normally catch and the offensive line was called for several holding penalties, which hurt the team.

“We drove the ball, but we weren’t able to finish drives,” Curry said. “Penalties killed us along the way. We basically stopped ourselves.”

The Bulldogs finished the season with a 12-2 record and despite the loss, it was a good season.

“We came a long way,” Curry said. “We hit a bump in the road with Sac High, but we got better from there. It’s a great team, and I loved playing with all the guys. We just got outplayed tonight.”

Added Johnson, “We accomplished a lot. We weren’t even supposed to get this far, but we still won our league and were the number-one seed. It was a good year. You have to look at the positives. We overcame a lot.”