Washington, Knights cruise past Warwick

By on October 29, 2014

Warwick knew that one of their keys against Hempfield was limiting the Black Knights’ big-play strikes.

But saying it was a lot easier than doing it.

Warwick’s Chris Borg (14) gets behind Hempfield defensive back Andrew Green and stretches to bring down a pass from Tyler Trimarchi

Warwick’s Chris Borg (14) gets behind Hempfield defensive back Andrew Green and stretches to bring down a pass from Tyler Trimarchi.

The Warriors learned that first-hand last Friday night.

Led by its three-headed offensive monster of QB Sam Kramer and running backs Will Blair and Devin Washington, Hempfield scored on four plays of 20 yards or longer and ran away with a 42-0 whitewashing of Warwick in a Section One game in Landisville.

“Blair and Washington are really good and the quarterback’s a good athlete, and between the three of them, they make plays and we couldn’t match their speed,” Warrior coach Bob Locker said. “We gave up the edge too much.”

While Hempfield improved to 3-3 in Section play (6-3 overall), Warwick’s fifth straight loss dropped them to 1-5 in L-L (2-7 overall).

Washington rumbled for a game-high 102 yards and two TDs, leading a Black Knight ground game which piled up 306 total yards. Kramer added 89 rushing yards and was 8-of-13 for 121 yards with a TD through the air. His 58-yard strike to Dustin Walters over the middle with 9:41 left in the first quarter put the Knights in front to stay.

For the Warriors, the play was costly in more ways than one, as defensive back/wide receiver Chris Borg was injured on the play and didn’t return.

They were already short-handed with starting QB Colin Gibble sidelined with an ankle injury. That opened the door for sophomore Tyler Trimarchi (6-of-11, 39 yards) to make his first varsity start under center.

Warwick, though, struggled to move the ball and when running back Ryan Deibler (8 carries, 47 yards) was stopped on a fourth-and-1 play, the Black Knights had excellent field position at the WHS 43.

“We gave up the first score and elected to go for it on fourth down because we kinda figured we weren’t going to hold them to one or two touchdowns,” Locker said. “We were realistic about things, so we went for it.”

On the next play, Blair (2 carries, 80 yards) got the ball on a jet sweep, gained the left corner and went the distance 43 yards to the house, putting Hempfield up 14-0 with just 4:33 elapsed.

“Blair might have been a step quicker than even I thought,” Locker said. “We knew Washington ran hard, but he runs really, really, really hard. He may be as good a running back as I’ve seen all year.”

Later in the quarter, the Warriors got a break as junior linebacker Justin Smith recovered a Kramer fumble at the WHS 40. But they couldn’t move the chains and were forced to punt it back to the Knights. For the half, Hempfield’s defense held Warwick to just 44 yards of total offense and three first downs.

“They were positive our quarterback wasn’t going to run, so on certain run plays that we ran, they didn’t keep anybody home to account for him because it just wasn’t going to happen,” Locker said. “Their D-ends sealed the edge on us and any time we started to get something right, we managed to mess something up. It’s a tough place for a sophomore quarterback to be in. I think when he came in the other two games (in relief), there were no expectations. To start a game like this tonight, it’s tough. He’s a tenth-grader, so you expect him to play nervous. He played like he was nervous and it’s part of the learning experience. So I don’t fault him at all – I think he played the best he could. Borg looked good until he got hurt and he and (Jordan) Cipalla are the two weapons we kinda go to, and especially with Colin not there as a run threat, we kinda had trouble getting anything sustained.”

Kobi Biemesderfer’s punt pinned Hempfield at its own 8, but a 30-yard Kramer-to-Blair hook-up got the Knights breathing room, and then Blair’s 37-yard TD run capped a 12-play, 92-yard scoring drive which extended their lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter.

On Hempfield’s next possession, Washington reached paydirt on a three-yard run which sent the Black Knights to the locker room with a 28-0 advantage.

With 6:37 remaining in the third, Hempfield invoked the 35-point mercy rule on Washington’s second TD of the night &tstr; a 20-yard scamper to the right corner of the end zone. Their final points of the night came on a 12-yard TD run by Kramer early in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors got their deepest penetration into Black Knight territory on their final possession of the game after Alex Dagen recovered a fumble by Hempfield’s David Martin at the WHS 47. QB Taylor Lentz completed four passes &tstr; three to Cipalla for 23 yards and a 12-yard hook-up with Keegan Flahive to the Black Knight 15. But with the clock running, back-to-back incompletions by Lentz ended the game.

“I just didn’t think we came out with the same fire we came out with a week ago (in a 31-13 loss to Penn Manor),” Locker said. “I don’t know how to compare Hempfield to Penn Manor, but all I know is a week ago, I thought we played hard.”

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