Blazers crush Bengals, capture first win

Oct. 4, 2003, midnight | By Zach Mellman | 20 years, 1 month ago


After four heartbreaking losses to start the season, the Blair football team was able to put a mark in the win column as they overpowered Blake tonight, winning 19-6. The Blazers dominated in every facet of the game and were able to cruise through a 3-1 Blake team which had beaten two teams that had defeated the Blazers.

The Blazers did not commit a turnover and played nearly an error-free game. Blair was only able to record 52 total yards in its last game on Sept 30, a 15-0 loss at Springbrook. However, consistent quality play by the offensive line allowed the Blazers to rack up nearly 300 rushing yards, and score three early rushing touchdowns.

Blair's defense refused to let Blake get any offensive progress early on, while the Blazers scored four more points in the first quarter than they did in their previous three games combined.

Junior defensive back Michael Stewart scooped up an errantly passed ball in the backfield on Blake's first possession, and ran it back to the Bengal 24-yard line. Two plays later, senior Perry Smith scored his first touchdown of the season on a 25-yard scamper. This gave Blair a 7-0 advantage, and its second lead of the season.

After a Blake punt, Blair marched down the field, but encountered a fourth-and-two on the Bengal 34 yard line. Fortunately, senior fullback Hansel Cedeno was able to rush for eight yards on the play, and followed that by nine and 14-yard rushes. These set up another Smith touchdown run from three yards out with :56 left in the first quarter.

However, senior Noam Dror's extra point attempt was blocked, his first of three blocked kicks in the game. He almost made a 45-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but the ball hit the crossbar. Dror, who also doubles as the team's punter, kicked a 67 yard punt on Blair's next possession, but it was negated as he drew a roughing the kicker penalty. This play seemed to spark another good Blazer drive, leading to a 43 yard-run by Cedeno with 4:21 left in second quarter. This sent the Blazers into halftime with a nearly insurmountable 19-0 lead.

Head Coach James Short elected not to try any risky plays as the Blazers went to their bread and butter: hard-nosed, north-to-south rushing by the tandem of Smith and Cedeno. "We didn't try anything fancy. [Smith] did a nice job and [Cedeno] remained his steady self," he said.

However, nine minutes into the third quarter, a Bengal receiver made a leaping nine-yard touchdown grab. This was not only Blake's only score of the game, but was its only trip inside the Blazer 35-yard line.

Blair's defense played exceptionally well, as the Bengals were forced to punt early on in most of their possessions. The defense held Blake to its lowest offensive output of the season. In the fourth quarter, as Blake attempted to mount a comeback, the Blazers played what may have been their best defensive ball of the season. The Blazers had four sacks in this quarter, two by junior linebacker D'Andre Thomas. Cedeno, one of the many Blazers who play both offense and defense, had a key interception late in the game, which he ran back to the Bengal 10-yard line.

Smith, who credited Blair's offensive line and defense for the victory, believes that the team was very determined to win the game. "We were focused on a goal that we had, we just went out there to do it," said Smith.

The Blazers, who in all likeliness must win every game in the remainder of the season to make the playoffs, next play at Wheaton on Oct 10 at 6:30.

Tags: print

Zach Mellman. Zach Mellman was born on October 18, 1956 (he was held back once or twice). He has lived in Takoma Park, Maryland his entire life. He is currently a senior at Blair enrolled in honors classes. He is also a member of Blair's golf team, … More »

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