Blazers spank Wolverines in homecoming game

Oct. 24, 2003, midnight | By Zach Mellman | 20 years, 1 month ago


The Blazers steamrolled past Watkins Mill, 43-0 tonight, proving that they are better than their 1-6 record may have indicated. Blair was able to capture its largest win in Head Coach James Short's nine-year tenure. The team capitalized on being able to play a Wolverine team that is winless this season, and which is averaging a margin of deficit of 35 points.

The Blazers' simply outplayed Watkins Mill in all areas, winning with a combination of an unstoppable rushing attack and an unwavering defense. Blair had six rushing touchdowns by four rushers, while its defense prevented the Wolverines from gaining any substantial yardage. The Blazers may have won this game in the trenches, as the offensive line enable the Blazers to collect nearly 400 yards, easily its largest output of the season, while the defensive line kept the Wolverine rushers in check for the entire game.

On the first play after Blair's defense forced Watkins Mill to punt, senior running back Perry Smith broke away for a 55-yard gain, and then proceeded to score on a 16-yard touchdown run. It was all the offense that the Blazers would need to win its homecoming game, and second game of the season. Smith also scored from 69 yards out on the first play of Blair's final possession of the first half.

Senior fullback/linebacker Hansel Cedeno continued his strong play this season on both sides of the ball. Seven minutes into the game he found a hole in the Wolverine defensive line, hurdled over a defender and outran his pursuers en route to an 85 yard touchdown run. In the second quarter he added a 50-yard run on a critical third and long play. He finished with a whopping 213 yards on an average of over 15 yards per carry.

Cedeno was also responsible for the Blazers' defensive highlight, the team's second safety of the season. Two plays after senior Noam Dror punted a ball down to the Wolverine five-yard line, Cedeno knocked the ball out of a Wolverine rusher's hands, and out of the endzone making the score 30-0. Dror, the team's kicker, also made all five of his extra-point attempts.

In the third quarter, junior Michael Wright ran for a six-yard touchdown and senior Marcus Moore put the icing on the cake with his own 64-yard touchdown rush, making the score 43-0 with 6:00 left in the game. In fact, the Blazers dominated to such a degree that a "running clock" was in effect for much of the second half. This nation-wide rule keeps the game clock from stopping when a team is up by at least 35 points.

Short feels that the Blazers took advantage of Wolverine weaknesses and that his team was full of life. "We took advantage of some things they were weak at. [The players] were very intense and energetic," he said.

The closest the Wolverines came to scoring were on two kickoff returns when their return man broke away from the pack, but on both plays junior Femio Elemoso made touchdown saving tackles in Blazer territory. Both times, the Blazer defense took over and prevented the Wolverines from scoring. Blair's defense continually halted Watkins Mill and allowed the Blazers to have great field position all game long. The defense continued the strong play that it has displayed throughout the season in which they have only allowed their opponents to score 13 points a game. However, this was its first shutout in 12 games.

Senior linebacker Jonathon Beckwith believes that the Blazers played together and didn't let their record dictate their level of play. "We played as a team and we put the losses behind us. We didn't give up," he said.

In the play before halftime, Wolverine senior Julian Mugunda was taken off of the field in an ambulance when his helmet collided with that of another player. According to Short, he was showing signs of movement and was taken away in an ambulance as a precautionary measure.

The Blazers may be able to finish the season 4-6, as their final two competitors, Einstein and Richard Montgomery have only one win apiece. The team next plays at Einstein on Oct 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Click here to stream the Blair Sports Network's highlights from this game.

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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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