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Sept. 18, 2004

Springbrook dampens Blazers with 14-0 shutout

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor

The game took two nights, one full of thunderstorms and rain, the other a picturesque late summer/early fall evening in the South. But for the Blair Blazers, neither looked pretty.

The Blazers fought hard on defense, but one solid Springbrook drive Friday night and a blocked punt Saturday gave the visiting Blue Devils a 14-0 win at Blazer Stadium.

The game, which was postponed Friday with 10:06 left in the second quarter due to severe thunder and lightning, never offered much contrast in evenings aside from the weather. Neither team’s offense was inspiring, and the defenses were solid.

For Blair (0-3), Junior Aaron Simon started the game at quarterback and was 2 for 3 for two- yes two yards passing and 13 yards rushing. Blair’s first-year coach Jeffrey Seals continued the quarterbacking platoon between Simon and sophomore Ross Williams, pulling Simon after just one play, and switching them back and forth.

Seals said that it was important to keep the pressure on both quarterbacks so they can both develop, and that the platoon will continue for the near future. “It’s important that we have two quarterbacks, if one goes down, we’ll need to rely on the other," Seals said, adding, regarding the platoon, “we’re gonna keep this going until one of them distinguishes himself onto a higher level."

Williams’ numbers were better tonight than Simon’s, going 4-9 for 45 yards, though it appeared that neither reached that higher level Seals mentioned after the game. Both players threw an interception in Saturday’s portion of the second quarter. Williams threw a lob that was intercepted by Springbrook defensive back Nick Oates. Williams nearly threw at least two more interceptions in the game, which were either dropped by Springbrook players, or that fell short.

Williams was also effective on the ground, gaining 25 yards on three carries, all gained in the fourth quarter when Seals began utilizing Williams in a shotgun formation.

The Springbrook Blue Devils got the scoring started on Friday, when Nana Ansah scored on a two-yard touchdown handoff from Harold Brantley. The second touchdown came Saturday with 2:49 left in the first half.

After Springbrook blocked new Blair punter Joel Popkin’s first punt as a Blazer and returned it to Blair’s 16 yard line, the Devils drove quickly to the three yard line, where Ansah pounded it in from there for the score. A Brian Wiess extra point made it 14-0, and that turned out to be the final score.

Popkin punted twice after Tim Yorro punted once Friday prior to the storm delay, and the two punts were total contrasts. One was the block; the other was a 60-yard beauty that seemed to roll forever that pinned Springbrook back in their own end of the field.

Michael Wright and D’Andre Thomas led the rushing attack for Blair. Thomas ran ten times for 30 yards, while Wright carried the rock nine times for 37. However, team rarely had a scoring opportunity the entire game, as they were shut down by the Springbrook defense.

Ansah led the Blue Devil offense with 19 carries for 86 yards and those two aforementioned touchdown runs. He also fumbled early in the fourth quarter, a turnover that was recovered by Blair senior D’Andre Thomas. Quarterback Harold Bentley was not as good as Ansah, going 2-7 for 27 yards. Louis Woodland started the game, but threw just one pass for 10 yards and was not seen on Saturday.

Seals seemed composed when talking to his team on the field after the final horn sounded. He tried to motivate the team by telling the group to “keep on pushing," but also telling them that “[they were] better than they played tonight."

The head coach also attributes Blair’s 0-3 start to a number of factors, including inexperience (eight new defensive starters), a new set of quarterbacks, and a tough starting schedule.

“We are such a young team. We need to take time and develop to reach the level I know we can," Seals stated. “The hardest part of our schedule is right out of the box, and that has also hurt us."

And it certainly does not get any easier for the team. On Thursday, Blair heads all the way out to Damascus to face the Hornets, who are 3-0 and ranked number 2 in the Washington Post Top 20 Area teams. It is the highest ranked team they have faced since September 2002, when the Blazers lost 14-13 at then-#1 ranked Seneca Valley.

NOTES: Six different players carried the ball for Blair, including both QBs who played, and an offensive lineman who recovered a Ross Williams fumble. Ian Proctor picked up the ball and ran for a three yard gain…There was also some trickery for Blair that almost blew up in their face; Michael Wright passed the ball on a halfback option, and the only player near the ball was Springbrook defender Francis Adeji, who almost came up with the interception…As mentioned, Blair plays Thursday night at Damascus, who is 3-0. The game, a 6:30 kickoff, is on Thursday due to Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Day that begins Friday at sundown.

Click here to stream the Blair Sports Network's highlights from this game.

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  • ? on September 19, 2004
    I thought Joel's kick was only like 40. The Springbrook punter had the 60 yarder that rolled forever i beleive.
  • weatherman on September 19, 2004
    "the other a picturesque early fall evening"

    Uh, actually, it's summer until 9/20.
  • Greg on September 19, 2004
    You spelled Joel's last name wrong too
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on September 19, 2004 was Joel. I think...I was 100% sure before, now just 99.9%. I'm gonna doubly verify this on Monday. I don't wanna not give the S'Brook punter credit where he earned it.
  • opinion on September 19, 2004
    wow SCO is going down the drain. its like each and every article i've read so far has been poorly written. whats going on Silver Chips? the quality of these articles are awful. i wouldnt be suprised if we lost the pacemaker award this year.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on September 19, 2004
    And yes, thanks Greg, for pointing out my mistake on Joel's name. It has been changed.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on September 19, 2004
    Opinion: Who are you? I would like to talk to you about why you feel this way. Send me an email or something.
  • Bean on September 20, 2004
    Why can't they win... its because they suck man!!
  • sam silsbee on September 20, 2004
    hey weatherman, way to nitpick. How about you find an acutal problem with the content of the article, instead of discrediting the author for not knowing the scientific first date of fall

    great article mike
  • sigh (View Email) on September 20, 2004
    While you're at it, you wanna double check who recovered that fumble? (You got it wrong, I would know, I had it in my hands at the end of the play)
  • Peter S. on September 21, 2004
    Great article Mike. Hope we win the next game.
  • Da Luter 2K5 on September 21, 2004
    No legitamite punter; no legitamite QB and too much deja vu from last season. That's all I have to say about this team. I just hope that we can finally beat some big name teams like Damascus and Springbrook (No, I don't care about their win-loss record).
  • Farley & Ross on September 23, 2004
    This one if for all of you that said we suck. If we suck so much join the team and come make us better.
  • confused on September 23, 2004
    how do you go from saying williams was almost picked three times to saying he was also effective on the ground. this article lacks flow, its all over the place all the time. whats with the complete lack of support for the team by the rest of the school?
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on September 23, 2004
    What I said was that Ross was solid statistically, but did get away with a few mistakes. The team is 0-3; I hope the best for the team and and am always hoping they do well, but I'm trying to be objective, and convey to the reader who wasn't at the game, what actually happened Fri/Saturday night.
  • John on September 24, 2004
    Hey, I would like to know how all the other sports have consitent writers but football doesnt
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on October 3, 2004
    I've been the writer for all of the football game reports, John.
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