Fry throws for two TD’s in Barons’ 29-0 shutout Football
By: JOHN CRAWFORD Record Express Correspondent A win is a win., Staff Writer
That seemed to be the Barons’ attitude after defeating the 0-3 Daniel Boone Blazers 29-0 last Friday, a win that never seemed secure until the fourth quarter.
"A win is a win," said coach Mike Williams, the first to express the sentiment. "A shutout is a shutout, so that’s good. We did some good, positive things … special teams play. We did get a shutout, but we need to get better."
The win gave Manheim Central a 2-1 record going into section play and helped erase the aftertaste of the loss to Hempfield, but still left Williams thinking they should have done better.
"We’re not disappointed to be 2-1, but we’re not overly happy with what we are doing," Williams remarked. "At this stage, we’re 2-1, we’re going to go home happy about the win and get to work on next week."
Williams started the game with a Colin Fry pass which fell incomplete, but said he intended to establish the running game.
"We thought we were going to try to run the ball, but obviously we didn’t a good job running it overall," Williams said. "But the passing was there and we had numerous opportunities." One of those opportunities was an 84-yard completion with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter when Fry connected with wide receiver Dan Weiderrecht running down Manheim Central’s left side. The ball just went over Blazer Emmanuel Lacey’s hands into Weiderrecht’s grasp and the Barons’ sophomore never broke stride until he reached the end zone.
"It was a broken play," Fry said. "He pretty much ran the wrong route. That’s going to happen with inexperience but with his speed and his athleticism, he was able to make the play all the way to the touchdown."
Fry saw how close the ball came to Lacey.
"I was surprised (Weiderrecht) came down with it and I was surprised he went the entire way," he said. "Daniel’s got a ton of speed. If you get him in the open field, he’s pretty much gone. I wasn’t sure if he had to adjust to the ball, but he made a great play on the ball and scored."
After the teams exchanged short possessions, the Blazers ran off their most effective set of plays when they used 15 plays to go from their 38 to the Baron’s 12 yard line. Along the way, they converted two third downs and one fourth down. However, they couldn’t finish the drive and their field goal attempt was unsuccessful.
For Williams, that series seemed to follow an early-season trend.
"We have a hard time stopping people third and long," he said. "We’ve got them into third and long enough times, but they weasel their way out. We’ve got to work on our long yardage defense and stopping the pass on third down."
The Barons got the ball with 1:38 left in the half and needed to go 85 yards after a Blazers sack on second down. Central got a critical first down on a pass interference call on the next play and Fry led the Barons into the end zone by completing four passes. The final one went to Taylor Geib in the end zone with eight seconds left in the half.
"I saw the blitz come up the middle, but the line again protected me really well," Fry explained. "Taylor (Geib) got open and scored. We work on that all the time in practice. Coach Williams says ‘Throw the ball to the corner and let him go get it.’ You obviously don’t want to underthrow it with the corner there. I just let him run under the ball and he made the play."
Neither team got into much of a rhythm in the third period and exchanged short, unproductive possessions until the Barons recovered a Blazers fumble. Starting on their 45, the Barons drove to the 16-yard line before stalling. But Evan Stauffer kicked a 32-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-0 with 50 seconds left in the period.
The Blazers followed the field goal with a three-and-out series and Weiderrecht took the ensuing punt back to near midfield. Fry completed passes to Aaron Seiverling and Hanselman, while Justin Greene ran for 21 yards on two attempts to get back within Stauffer’s range. Stauffer then connected on a 33-yard field goal for 20-0 fourth-quarter lead.
With only 8:49 left, the game seemed secure but not locked up. The Blazers started their next possession deep in their own zone and seemed on the verge of self-destruction after committing two consecutive penalties. But they escaped a third-and-16 situation from the two-yard line by completing a 36 yard pass. Eventually, they moved to the Central eight-yard line where QB John Okuniewski dropped back looking for receiver Devyn Haring. Haring, though, never got the ball as defensive back Matt Carter intercepted the pass and raced down the Blazers’ side of the field, escorted by several teammates, for a 97 yard touchdown.
"(Haring) was my guy and he ran a flat route," recalled Carter. "I saw the quarterback (throw) the ball and I jumped it. I got my hands on it and tipped to myself." After making the catch, Carter would not be denied from reaching paydirt. "I almost lost my balance, (but) I was getting to the end zone," he said. "I wasn’t going to let anyone tackle me."
With 3:36 to go, even the shutout seemed secure and Manheim Central completed the scoring on a safety when the Blazers botched a punt attempt out of the end zone.
The victory wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t ugly either. Relief seemed mixed equally with the emotions of winning.
"It wasn’t a great win by us but we came out and did what had to do and now we’ll improve on it this week in practice," Fry said.
Carter put it more succinctly.
"We feel like we should have (done) better," he said. "We’re a better team. We practice harder. We should have beaten them (by more)."
He then added, "A win is a win." More BARONS, page B-5