ARK CITY - The Orioles simply were out of sorts all game long.
Ark City's defense held Augusta to a mere 151 yards of total offense and kept the Orioles scoreless for the first time this season in a 49-0 thumping Friday night in Ark City.
"We just didn't come out here ready to play," coach Roger Robben said. "...We were out of sync, and Ark City did a good job. They were ready, and they prepared and played well."
The Orioles committed a couple of silly penalties that they've more or less avoided this season. They had a couple of fumbles, one of which was on a lateral pitch that Ark City recovered at the Orioles' 15 yard line. Augusta couldn't get out of its funk for much of the game.
Part of it was because the Orioles had some new faces in different places. Injuries have made the Orioles thin, and different players led to some inconsistency.
That wasn't the case for Ark City. Defensively, the Bulldogs controlled the middle of the field all night. Augusta could not find much daylight up the middle, and the Bulldogs were able to keep the damage of Orioles' edge rushing attack to a minimum. The Orioles had 49 total carries for 101 yards. Brett Hamilton ran several dives up the middle, but Ark City was waiting for him. Connor Hurst and Tristan Finch got to the outside a few times, but couldn't get much.
"I think they did some things with their linebackers, just attacking and being aggressive," Robben said. "And up front, they played more physical than we did, and that's what made the difference as far as us not really being able to establish anything offensively."
Ark City wasn't all that sharp in the beginning, either. But the Bulldogs converted a short fourth down on their opening drive to get further inside Oriole territory. After a 30-yard run by quarterback Riley Dowler on the next play, Tyler Tracy punched in the first touchdown from seven yards out.
The Orioles' defense faced a heavy dose of Tracy. He finished with 119 yards on 18 carries as the Bulldogs were able to work an inside-out attack that led several chunk-yardage plays. Dowler had a game-high 126 yards, most of which came on a long touchdown run early in the third quarter.
Augusta had a couple drives that got into Ark City's territory. One stalled after the Orioles committed a personal foul - Ark City had already committed two personal fouls on that drive - and the Orioles turned over the ball on downs.
For now, the regular season moves on into Districts. The Orioles start with a road game at Rose Hill, then play Trinity Academy at home and Collegiate on the road.
"The way I look at it, we're wiping the slate clean. It's a new season. We've got three games ahead of us, and we've got to win two of those three to make the playoffs," Robben said.