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Oct. 30, 2005

Blair's defense, rushing stands out in shutout

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
OCT. 29, BLAIR-

For the three weeks leading up to today's homecoming game, the Blair Blazers had been playing very good football. It's just that nobody from Blair knew about it. After being routed at Sherwood four weeks ago, the team ran off three solid wins; two of which were on the road, and the third on a wet Saturday morning during a storm that dropped seven inches of rain on the area.

The homecoming game was a chance for the Blazers to show that they can play well with actual Blair fans in attendance. And thanks to Ross Williams, who has turned into the dynamite rusher the team needed over these last four weeks, Blair dominated the Einstein Titans with a 25-0 rout.

And seemingly out of nowhere, the Blazers (5-3) are in the hunt for a playoff berth. If they beat 1-7 Blake (likely) and 8-0 Damascus (not as much), they will likely be in the postseason for the first time in decades.

These last four games, Ross Williams, who struggled as the quarterback, has emerged as a powerful big-play running back. He ran for 173 yards on 15 carries, and scored three touchdowns.

Williams had a 33-yard run for a TD in the first quarter, as well as a 35-yard dandy in the second. On that carry, he broke at least six tackles. Williams' other touchdown rushes were for 11 and seven yards, coming in the first and fourth quarters, respectively.

Jacob Wade had 18 rushes for 97 yards and a one-yard touchdown in the third quarter. That score capped off a long drive, where either Wade or Williams carried the ball on every snap.

When the Blazers didn't have the ball, their defense made sure Einstein (2-6) could do nothing with it. The Blair rush defense was solid, allowing a very scattered 115 yards on 28 carries. No Titan rush was for more than 12 yards, and they struggled to string successful plays together on any given drive.

Seven Titans had at least one carry, and their leading rusher was Delonte Gordon, who had just 38 yards on nine carries. All of his stats came late in the fourth quarter when the game was well out Einstein's reach.

The game was honestly quite monotonous, with Blair not appearing to be able to completely blow out the Titans, but also never being threatened by them. Blair's methodical rushing attack helped dominate the time-of-possession war, and keep Einstein from putting up a serious fight.

The tensest moment actually came in the final minute, as Einstein drove into Blazer territory looking to avoid being shut out.

The game was well out of reach, but the Titans called two timeouts on the final drive, reaching the two-yard line with time winding down. Einstein even spiked the ball to stop the clock with one second left, all of which caused some Blazer fans to boo and jeer the visiting sideline.

When quarterback Jerome Walter's pass fell incomplete in the End Zone to finish the game, cheers erupted from the stands in celebration of the shutout.

Walter's final pass was emblematic of what ailed the Titans this afternoon. He was 0-for-8 in the air, which crippled Einstein's offense. Blair's quarterback, Aaron Simon, was 2-for-3 for 53 yards. His second pass, a 36-yard completion to Wade on fourth down, helped set up the final score of the game. The next play after the catch, Williams ran 11 yards for his third touchdown of the contest.

Williams has averaged over 150 rushing yards the last four games, and he appears to have ceded the quarterback position over to Simon. But he did throw two longer passes today, both of which fell incomplete.

What makes Williams even more threatening is that he's capable of running and passing on any given play. Blair's head coach, Jeffrey Seals, called three direct snaps to Williams, after Simon was under center.

Williams also showed explosive speed on multiple runs, and an ability to spin and fake out defenders. He had seven rushes of 11 yards or more. Torrin Flowers-Jackson added 31 yards on eight carries tonight as well.

In addition to Gordon, Einstein's rushing attack was led by Walter, who had five rushes for 22 yards, and Shane Tooley, who also had five for 22.

Blair hosts Blake on Friday, and a win would set up a scenario where the Blazers would have to beat the defending state champions and #1 ranked Damascus Hornets, at Damascus, in order to make the postseason.









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  • :) on October 30, 2005 at 6:14 PM
    yay Blair!
    how are we ranked overall in the county?
  • chances of blair making the po on October 30, 2005 at 6:33 PM
    zero
  • wow on October 31, 2005 at 12:07 AM
    blair in tha playoffs?
    wowwwww
  • the boss on November 2, 2005 at 11:32 AM
    prediction,,,,,,,,, the blazers will win against the bengals,,, 35-0, for the senior game...
  • Kimani Jones (View Email) on November 3, 2005 at 3:11 PM
    Keep grinding fellas, LETS GO!!!!!!
    Kimani Jones Class of 1995
    8-2 Member
  • rex jarrett (View Email) on November 4, 2005 at 8:54 PM
    Not to be rude but why did y'all stop writing bout J.v. we got a winning record too and a shut out(s).we got just as many wins as Varsity.plus it may not be very important to any one else but J.v cares ,we cared alot.Props to Abe thanks for the earlier articles.
  • Football team(s) on November 4, 2005 at 8:55 PM
    stop HATIN.
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