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Oct. 1, 2005

Football blown out at Sherwood

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
Sept. 30, SHERWOOD-

The last two weeks of Blair football prove that there are two types of losses to be had. Last Friday, head coach Jeffrey Seals had his team applaud itself for staying tough until the end in an 11-point loss. This week, he had the team march quietly out of Sherwood Field and on to the buses, where he told them to keep the windows up.

And while the Sherwood Warriors are ranked as the second best team in Montgomery County, that didn't seem to provide much solace for a Blair squad that lost 48-7. They trailed 41-0 at halftime.

Seals was unavailable for comment following the game, but assistant coach Bryan Nance was candid on what went wrong for Blair (1-3) tonight.

"We made a lot of mistakes early," he said. "When that happens against such a good team, the game gets away quick. And it got away from us tonight."

The Warriors (4-0) flexed their offensive muscle quickly tonight, scoring on their first five possessions. Blair didn't help themselves when they struggled on special teams. Tyrel Flowers-Jackson's first punt was almost blocked and went 24 yards, making the job easy for the Sherwood offense. They needed just three plays to score a touchdown, the drive capped by a 12-yard rush from Brian Gunderman.

Blair was forced to punt on their next possession, but Seals called a fake. Flowers-Jackson took the snap and ran to the right, looking to pass. He dropped the football, and the Warriors recovered at the Blazers' 32-yard line. The Blair defense held, but all-county kicker Josh Firestone nailed a 42-yard field goal to give Sherwood a 10-0 lead.

"We were terrible on special teams," Nance said bluntly. "And they had a great kicker."

The woes on special teams didn't even stop there. When Blair's next drive stalled, Flowers-Jackson attempted a punt but instead dropped the ball and hit it off the sole of his cleat. The football rolled forward and went just two yards. Gunderman quickly had an 18-yard run, and then stuffed the ball in from the one-yard line for his second score of the first quarter.

Just nine minutes into the game, Blair was down 17-0. The ball was never in Sherwood territory until Brian Arias' punt with 1:01 left in the first landed on the Warriors' 38-yard line.

As a result, while Sherwood's offense appeared more than capable against Blair, the Blazers' mistakes and struggles with the ball accentuated the problems tonight.

Blair's starting quarterback, Ross Williams, started zero for six, until he hit Flowers-Jackson on a slant pass over the middle of the field for a four-yard gain in the second quarter. On the next play, he threw a perfect pass to Greg Ruffin for a 30-yard pickup to the Warriors' 27-yard line.

But that was as far as the Blazers would get on the drive, because Williams' next pass was thrown short of his receiver and was intercepted by Andral Joly, which led to another Sherwood touchdown.

The Warriors were strong on offense and didn't turn the ball over once. Nance said that exacerbated the Blazers' woes and kept them from mounting any sort of rally. "When you play a team that makes no mistakes, the game winds up lopsided. We had a lot of mistakes on offense and defense, and they didn't."

Blair's rush defense showed glimmers of hope, sacking Sherwood quarterback Deontay Twyman three times. But the pass defense struggled, and Twyman was six-for-seven for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Ben Everett caught two TDs, one from eight yards and the other 27, and Joly caught a 31-yard bomb in the second half for a score. Firestone converted on all six extra-point attempts.

Once Sherwood extended their lead over 35 points with a touchdown in the final minute of the first half, the clock went into running time. For the entire second half, the clock ticked after penalties, incomplete passes, runs out of bounds, punts, touchdowns, or anything other than a timeout where the clock would normally stop.

The lone glimmer of hope came on the final drive of the game, when Blair's backup quarterback, Aaron Simon, led the team 60 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the contest. On a fourth down and 11, Simon improvised on a broken passing play and scrambled for 12 yards to keep the drive alive.

He scored Blair's lone touchdown on a one-yard quarterback on the final play of the game. Arias' PAT was good, ending the game at 48-7.

At the end of the game, Seals said very little to his team, but ordered them to file out of the field on to the buses, appearing uncharacteristically angry. "Keep the windows on the bus up. No talking," he ordered the team as they got onto the bus.

The Blair cheerleaders on the bus in front had already boarded, and tried to lift the spirits of the dejected players. Chants of "yeah Blair! Keep ya heads up, guys!" came from the girls, but it was little solace for the team.

Nance said that Blair was just sloppy against a better team. "It wasn't the way we practiced; we just made a lot of mental errors," he said.

Williams asked Seals on the walk if Blair could still make the playoffs this year, to which the coach said that the club would need to play way better to even think of that.

However, with this game, the Blazers end by far the hardest part of their schedule. Their next four games are winnable; against Watkins Mill, then at Wheaton and Kennedy, and then the Homecoming game against Einstein.

Nance said the upcoming schedule is great for the team. "We can move on from this week and get ready for next week and a game we should win."

The quicker Blair can forget this game the better.

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  • argh on October 2, 2005 at 12:22 AM
    The videos of Blair football on InfoFlow are really pathetic, btw.
  • yea man...ohhh eight on October 2, 2005 at 10:16 PM
    Wow....the Varsity football team needs to stop slackin and get there heads into the game...48-7...thats pretty pathetic....and Im not even gonna talk about the JV who lost to WAT.....NORTHWOOD!!!!! Thats an embarassment..:)
  • 07 on October 4, 2005 at 8:36 AM
    hey 08, if the football teams are so embarassing why don't you join the team and make them not suck. until then, shut up.
  • superstar7 on October 4, 2005 at 10:57 AM
    greg ruffin keep working hard
  • jason on October 4, 2005 at 5:17 PM
    Player must love to play the game and they must put thier mind in the game to be winner. If ya don't like winning then continue on doing what you are doing...losing. Fire the coach and get the KIDS in shape because this is emnarassment to Blair. Come to play or just don't show up.
  • ? on October 5, 2005 at 10:57 AM
    has any body ever sat down and took the time to think that blair is just not a good football school? I not saying that they don't make good football player because the class of 04 has almost 9 members of that team playing college ball at respectable schools(shouts out to them they know who they are) But hay maybe we need to take our mind off of blair football untill they can show us different. As a matter of fact the basketball team is worse then the football team...if you add up the total wins and loses from the past two seasons the basketball team record should be around like 10 wins and 33loses but hay every body cheer up THE REDSKINS ARE 3 AND 0
  • superstar7 on October 5, 2005 at 11:12 AM
    blair needs superstar7 05 all day
  • Brian on October 19, 2005 at 10:37 AM
    Hey anonymous you talk a lot of trash about the teams so why dont you play and see how much you contribute.
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