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Oct. 30, 2004

Blazer defense comes up large in Senior Night win

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor

The Blazers dominated the Einstein Titans tonight, allowing just three points on defense in a 22-9 victory. The defense made up for six turnovers, forcing four three-and-outs in the win.

Tyrell Jackson, called up from junior varsity, started at quarterback for Blair (3-6), but was benched for Ross Williams after two possessions. Jackson did hand the ball off to Michael Wright on the first play of the second Blazer drive of the game, who ran 80 yards for a touchdown, putting Blair up 7-0 after the PAT. Not a single Einstein (2-7) defender touched him on the play.

Blazer head coach Jeffrey Seals said that he was rotating the two at quarterback to give them both practice for next season.

The first interception the Blazers threw actually wound up helping them out in a way. Williams was picked off by an Einstein defender at the Titan two-yard line as time ran out in the first quarter. However, on the next play, Titan quarterback Christoper Carroll was sacked in the end zone by Blair linebacker Denis Sosnotsev and defensive back Michael Stewart for a safety that put Blair up 9-0.

However, Blair allowed Einstein back in the game with horrible turnovers. First, Michael Wright fumbled at the Blair 47 yard line, but the defense, which only allowed two passing yards all night, stuffed the Titans. But just two minutes later, Williams fumbled at the Blair 10 yard line. The Blazer defense held Einstein out of the end zone, forcing the Titans to settle for a Benjamin Crane-Flatt field goal that cut the Blair lead to 9-3.

Blazer coach Jeffrey Seals was happy with the win, but not with the turnovers. “Our guys just were sloppy out there,” he said. “Thankfully our defense saved us.”

That they did. Thanks to the Blair defense, the Titan offense gained under 100 total yards of offense for the entire game, and did not once gain more than ten yards on a single play. Carroll, the Einstein quarterback, was sacked four times, as the Titan offensive line was overmatched by the Blair pressure.

Williams fumbled again late in the second quarter, but the Titans were unable to do anything with that turnover. Einstein receiver Scott Klein, on a halfback option, was intercepted in the end zone at the end of the half. But Blair would let Einstein climb all the way back in the second half.

With just under four minutes to go in the third quarter, Blazer punter Tim Yorro has his kick in his own end zone blocked by Alex Tsamouras of Einstein, who picked up the ball for a touchdown that tied the game at 9-9.

But the small number of Blazer fans who showed up were sent home happy tonight, the final home game of the year, thanks to two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. After Williams threw a pair of nice passes, Wright stuffed the ball into the end zone for a three-yard TD run, his second of the game. The PAT put Blair back up seven, 16-9, and they wouldn’t look back.

D’ Andre Thomas iced the game for Blair with a 22-yard touchdown run late in the fourth, capping the scoring at 22-9. After they were honored at halftime, the senior-led defense and run game was what helped lead the Blazers to victory, their second win in a row.

Seals has run the gamut of emotions this year following games, from very happy to angry over this up-and-down season. Tonight, he was all smiles. “[The win] feels real good right now,” Seals said. “These kids had their families here, and to have them come out on top in their last game at home was great.”

Ross Williams was solid in the air at QB tonight, going 6-for-11 for 72 yards. He also had one carry for 11 yards. Michael Wright ran eight times for an outstanding 113 yards, the vast majority of which were gained on the early 80-yard TD run.

D’Andre Thomas was the workhorse running back tonight, carrying the ball 20 times for 67 yards. However, there were numerous passes that came his way that were dropped. Michael Stewart made his mark on both sides of the ball in his last home game, complementing his safety with four catches for 57 yards, including a beautiful catch down the sideline from Williams for 27 yards.

Delonte Gordon led the stagnant Einstein offense with 20 carries for 48 yards. Titan quarterback Christopher Carroll was 2 for 5, but gained a total of just two yards total.

The Blazers end the season on the road with a tough task ahead, to beat the 6-3 Richard Montgomery Rockets at their field in Rockville. The game is next Friday, November 5, at 6:30 pm. Seals conceded that RM was very good, noting that their three losses came to teams with a combined record of 21-3.

But for tonight, the Blazers could celebrate their victory, closing out the home part of the schedule on a high note. Seals noted that his first year as a head coach has had its “good moments, and its stupid, bad moments,” but that tonight, “I’m very, very happy.”

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  • BLAZER on October 30, 2004
    You spelled Denis's last name wrong
  • Timbo on October 31, 2004
    good article mike
  • yo on October 31, 2004
    Tyrel is a junior
  • Denis Sosnovtsev on November 1, 2004
    My name is spelled Sosnovtsev, I'm a linebacker, and the other man on the safety was Mike Stewart, not big country.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on November 1, 2004
    Sorry about that Denis, that was a big error on my part. It's been changed.
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