Blazers foil Bruins' home opener, 29-0

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LHS dips to 1-1

By Robert Howey


The Lancaster Bruins’ 2013 home opener was a downer.

The Bruins, 1-1, never generated any offense in taking a 29-0 loss to visiting Ridge View High School on Friday, Sept. 6 at Lancaster Memorial Stadium.

The 1-1 Blazers forged a 9-0 halftime lead and broke open the issue in the second half with two touchdowns in less than a minute’s time.

The key sequence came early in the second half when the Blazers forced a Bruins’ punt which Devante Crim returned 70 yards for a touchdown with 8:10 to play in the third period.

On the Bruins’ ensuing series, the Blazers struck again, with linebacker Raheem Miller picking off a pass and rambling 25 yards for the score.

Essam Kablaoui drilled the extra point, two of four he made, to give the Blazers a 22-0 lead with 7:32 in the third period.

“Those two plays opened it up for us,” Ridge View High coach Raymond Jennings said. “That gave us a spark at a key time.

“We were up 9-0, and Lancaster was playing us tough as we expected, but then we were able to gain some separation,” he said.

The Bruins’ offense, stagnant for the night with three first downs and 44 yards total offense, couldn’t answer.

“Ridge View just took it to us,” Lancaster High coach Bennie McMurray said. “We had no answers. Our defense deserves credit for hanging in there, but they wore us down.

“We couldn’t get an offensive push,” he said.

The Blazers broke on top late in the first period when they used their ground attack to trigger the scoring march.

Kablaoui kicked a 19-yard field goal to cap a nine-play drive with 3:51 to play in the first half.

On the Blazers’ opening possession, they drove to the LHS one, but the Bruins stiffened and held on downs.

Lancaster, as was the case for the bulk of the night, was unable to get going and the Blazers drove in for the field goal.

RVHS took advantage of Chris Redmond’s fumble recovery at the LHS 17 to extend its lead.

Five plays later, running back Walter Napper, who ran for 131 yards in 29 carries, bolted in from four yards out for a 9-0 edge after Kablaoui missed the extra point with 4:33 to play before halftime.

The contest stayed that way until the Blazers ignited for their two quick scores in the third period for a 22-0 lead.

Ridge View tacked on its final points late in the third period when Okechi Ntiasagwe, who had five catches for 122 yards, hauled in a seven-yard scoring pass from quarterback Terrell Fetterson.

Jennings noted the Blazers’ offensive line was the key.

“They stayed productive and kept us steady,” he said.

McMurray offered no excuses.

“They beat us,” he said. “We have to put it behind us and learn from it. The road only gets tougher and we have to get better. That will be our focus as we prepare in practice this week.”

The LHS defense was led by Jerrell White who had an interception along with Cameron Meadows and Doopy Cloud, who each recovered a fumble.

Lancaster hits the road Friday when it ventures to Pageland to face the 2-0 Eagles, who rolled to a 28-14 win over Forest Hills of Union County, N.C.