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Nov. 6, 2005

Blazers cruise to fifth straight win, keep playoff hopes alive

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
NOV. 4, BLAIR-

Just one month ago, the Blair Blazers got on the team bus following a 48-7 drubbing at the hands of the Sherwood Warriors. They were 1-3, and appeared headed towards another patented 3-7 or 4-6 campaign. That was before Ross Williams became their running back.

Williams ran for 137 yards; his fifth straight game with triple figures in rushing, as Blair cruised to a 35-13 rout over the Blake Bengals. The Blazers are now 5-0 since that loss to Sherwood, and with a win next week, will make the postseason for the first time in decades.

Blair (6-3) head coach Jeffrey Seals was proud of his team, which pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 19-0 in the third and fourth quarters. "This feels really good," he said. "The kids are really learning how to work together, and that's made a big difference."

The Blazers found that it was much easier to work together after the current and former Blair quarterbacks blew the game open. With Blair up 16-13 in the third quarter, Aaron Simon, the current signal caller, threw a perfect spiral across the middle of the field to Tyrel Flowers-Jackson, who didn't stop running until he had a 28-yard touchdown reception.

"People don't talk about Aaron," Seals said, "but without him we wouldn't be here. He's 5-0 as our quarterback, and he's an example of how this is a whole team effort; everyone steps up."

Williams, the former quarterback, stepped up to seal the victory just 90 seconds later. On the first play following a Blake (1-8) punt, he took a Simon handoff 64 yards for a touchdown up the right sideline. He wasn't touched after the first three yards beyond the line of scrimmage. A Brian Arias extra point made the score 29-13 in favor of Blair.

"He's been our best asset by far the last five weeks," Seals said of Williams.

In the huddle following the game, the team was overcome with some bittersweet emotions. Report cards are coming out, and players in the huddle acknowledged that a couple Blazers will not have the grades to make the trip to Damascus (9-0) next week.

"We've gotta stay together as a team," said Corey Sanders in the huddle. "No matter what, we're a team," he yelled as the other Blazers pumped their fists and yelled in agreement.

Seals acknowledged that "we're losing some guys" before next week's absolute must-win at the top-ranked team in Maryland and the entire D.C. area. He wouldn't name names, but would refute the rumor that Williams would be ineligible.

"It's not Ross," he said bluntly. "Ross will play Friday."

Williams sure did play like there was no tomorrow. He had two touchdowns, and has now run for over 700 yards in the last five weeks. Terrin Flowers-Jackson, whom Williams replaced five weeks ago, had 34 yards on his first rush in three weeks, and ended up with 69 on the game.

After letting the Bengals hang around, and even lead, in the first half, the Blazers buried Blake with the two touchdowns in the third quarter and solid defense. Rodney DeRose ahad a sack, and the Blair defensive backs had three interceptions as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter, including one by Darius Smith.

Tyrel Flowers-Jackson had two rushing touchdowns, his first scores since the fourth week of the season.

Blair faces long odds in beating the Damascus Hornets next Friday. The game is at their place, a stadium where they're undefeated the last three seasons. Also, Damascus is defending state champs, and their offense largely pass-based. Pass coverage is the weakest Blazer link on defense.

Seals was aware of the uphill climb his club faces next week, but he says they're ready for it. "Damascus is a big challenge; we've got to stick together. We really need to practice hard all week, and avoid little mistakes. Ball control is crucial."

As for the theory that since the Hornets have a playoff berth sealed up, they'll rest players? "Damascus won't rest; we've got to keep the score as close as possible all game."

Smith echoed that sentiment, telling the team that "all week we've got to be serious. Work hard!" Ian Procter told the team "we've got to keep this winning season going!"

But before next week's practices for the school's biggest football game in a decade, Blair had one last night to enjoy all that they've accomplished this season. Assistant coach Bryan Nance was clear in telling the team how he felt.

"This is one hell of a way to play our last home game!" he said as the team erupted in cheers.



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  • =/ on November 7, 2005 at 9:46 AM
    What's wrong with the football team? It's the first time in a decade we've been qualified for playoffs and some of the members won't be able to go b/c of their grades? Come on! How can some of you guys let down the team like that? It's only a 2.0 for goodness sake!!
  • on the way to playoffs on November 7, 2005 at 1:46 PM
    come out and support blair at damascus friday
  • sdf on November 7, 2005 at 7:27 PM
    it will be the first time in 29 years i believe, if we make it to the playoffs. drumline will be there and rooting for you, guys. PEACE
  • Ian Procter*Captain on November 7, 2005 at 11:47 PM
    There might be a fan bus for $1 to ride that will go up to damascus for anyone who wants to come out and support us against damascus. Please come out and support the team. And hopefully we will win and go to playoffs.
  • yeah on November 8, 2005 at 9:13 AM
    yeah blazers im proud of ya
  • you've gotta be kidding me on November 8, 2005 at 7:29 PM
    " Also, Damascus is defending state champs, and their offense is based around the passing of Matt Reidy."

    Um, no, no, and no. First things first: Damascus is purely a power running team, not a passing one. Number 2, Matt Reidy was a senior LAST YEAR, and he played RB, not QB. C'mon, man.
  • angryy on November 8, 2005 at 10:39 PM
    how come you never put the class (junior, senior) of the students in your articles? it makes me reallly angry
  • wood layer on November 9, 2005 at 1:38 PM
    we are bringing this 1 home fellas

    huh man
    we are goin to the playoffs for free!!!!!
  • bob marley (View Email) on November 9, 2005 at 2:52 PM
    blair is going to get crushed i am beting a a loss of 65 to zero and thats if they are lucky
  • Anonymous on November 9, 2005 at 7:33 PM
    Well I'm coming out to see my first Blair football game Friday, y'all better win it. I would hate to be dissapointed. Good luck.
  • playoffs nah (View Email) on November 11, 2005 at 12:47 AM
    maaaan i know blair aint winning. they scared of damascus yall goona get crushed and i meen crushed and they say no pain no game but yall gonna feel pain im tellin u them country farms boys dont give no breaks. yall gonna be hurtin
  • hry on November 11, 2005 at 8:54 AM
    the peoples names on the football team are junior terrin flowers-jackson and tyrel is the senior. hes a wide reciever running back safety and linebacker. thers no torrin or terrel or anything else
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