Turnovers amid torrents symbolize Blair's latest loss
BLAZER STADIUM, Oct. 26 –
Blair's varsity football team hosted the Kennedy Cavaliers for the homecoming game on Friday despite the elements. Although the game was evenly matched for most of the night, Blair (0-8) was unable to make up for long Kennedy plays, and the Blazers lost, 18-0.
Just as Mother Nature was unforgiving to Blazer Stadium, so has this season been unforgiving to the Blazers. "It's hard to be a senior on this team," head coach Jeffery Seals said. "Our record doesn't show how hard these kids work. They do what they're told and never give up."
Homecoming game is usually the most packed football game of the season, but between the downpour and winter temperatures, the stands were only dotted with a few umbrellas as senior players were escorted by their parents through the bleachers, a tradition of Senior Night.
By the time the teams took the field for the opening kickoff, there was more water on the field than grass. The Blazers started by pinning Kennedy within their own 5-yard line. The Cavaliers, however, expertly maneuvered out of danger on a short pass up the center. The open receiver turned and ran for sixty more yards, a long play that epitomized Kennedy's ability to break out at any point.
"Their long plays killed us," junior defensive end Neil Corran said. "A few missed tackles made the difference."
The Blazer defense regrouped, and with the help of the relentless rain, forced a Kennedy fumble. As could be expected, the rain did more than just ruin the field. Four consecutive plays midway through the second quarter resulted in Blazer fumbles, though two were recovered.
Blair's offense, who has had trouble producing all year, ventured first on the ground. With little success, the coaches turned to Alex Egber, the starting sophomore quarterback. Late in the first quarter, Egber sent a ball out to the left sideline, where senior wide receiver Jeremy Sutton tracked the ball despite low visibility. Sutton ran 55 yards with the ball before a Cavalier tackled him and knocked the ball loose.
Kennedy recovered possession, and on the first play of the second quarter broke through the Blazer defensive line for a long touchdown run. The Cavaliers chose to go for two points rather than chance the wet and windy path to the uprights. Blair stopped Kennedy to keep the score 6-0.
Still in the first half, Blazer junior running back Keith Ayensu tried to get the offense rolling. But without much support and penalties that negated long runs, Blair had difficulty moving the chains.
In the second half, the rain continued to influence the game. After Blair's defense forced a Kennedy turnover on downs, Egber fumbled the snap and Kennedy returned the loose ball to end zone for a 12-0 lead. Blair's following possession resulted in another fumble deep in Blazer territory. Kennedy capitalized on the short field to extend their advantage to 18-0.
The Blazers did a better job of holding onto the ball in the fourth quarter, but the offense continued to stall, having difficulty moving past half field. Senior defensive lineman Issy Melton led the defensive fight, highlighted by two consecutive tackles that pushed the Cavaliers back. The Blazer defense continued to play well, giving up no further points, but the damage was already done, and the final score read 18-0, Kennedy.
Blair football closes out the season with games on the road against Damascus on Nov. 2 and against Springbrook on Nov. 10. Both matchups are daunting for the winless Blazers, but strong performances would go a long way as the team tries to salvage another disappointing season and again look towards the future.
Greg Kohn. Greg Kohn is a native Marylander. He's lived in one house his whole life, played soccer since before he could talk, and loves to chant "09" when it's really quiet. He hates being called Gregory, and he wishes he were more organized. He was a … More »