The Cardinals were unable to overcome a sluggish first half in which their total offense was just minus-4 yards. Dutchtown defenders had their way on the front lines and never allowed Osborne to find much comfort.
Despite scoring on their opening drive, the Bulldogs had trouble offensively as well.
They didn’t get on the scoreboard until the final drive of the first half. Quarterback K’Lin Epps connected on 6-of-7 passes and finished it with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Montgomery.
Osborne’s offensive breakthrough had to wait until the third quarter, when Ayo Ashi found Adrian Alston-Thompson for a 37-yard touchdown to bring the Cardinals within a single score in the third quarter.
Dutchtown running back Malik Barkley, who had looked dangerous all night, put the game out of reach with his 60-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Alston-Thompson led the way for the Cardinals offensively with 65 yards receiving and a touchdown, providing a good threat for Ashi while the quarterback was under constant pressure of the Bulldog defense.
Both teams had the sloppiness of a season opener, with 23 penalties between the two schools accounting for more than 200 yards.
It was due to Dutchtown penalties that the Cardinals drove within the red zone with a chance to score and recover an onside kick on their minds. The opportunity would go unanswered, however, as Dutchtown intercepted a pass in the end zone and ran out the clock.
Standing in for Byron McCall, who missed the game for personal reasons, Osborne coach Mike Hewitt had some optimism in the way his offense rebounded in the second half.
“We improved our passing game,” Hewitt said. “But still we have a lot of work on both sides of the ball.”
Because of the lowered squad numbers for Osborne, Hewitt said that more depth will have to come before the Cardinals are able to truly compete.
“We were short depth,” Hewitt said, “and we need to build more depth going into the season.”