Special to The Gardner News
Gardner Edgerton pushed their record to 2-1 with a 48-17 rout of Blue Valley Southwest in EKL play on Sept. 20.
The Blazers asserted themselves early in this one, using a great opening kick return by Derek Ruddy to get excellent field position and then driving 45 yards in six plays for a TD with just under five minutes gone in the contest. The score came on a one yard quarterback sneak by Jared Hobby. Other big plays on the drive came from Traevohn Wrench who had a 22-yard run and Josh Lang who snared a 16-yard aerial from Hobby.
After thwarting Southwest’s first drive, GE again moved close to another TD before the Timberwolves defense stiffened, stopping the Blazers on a fourth and one from the ten-yard line.
From there Southwest went on a 15-play drive that ended in a thirty-yard field goal at the 7:56 mark of the second period. That score sliced the GE lead to 7-3 but more importantly gave the Wolves some much needed momentum
The Blazers quickly reversed that momentum with two quick scores. After Jaylon Radel’s scintillating kickoff return gave GE the ball at the Southwest 47, it would take only two plays-a Hobby to Deonte Kendrick 29-yard pass and a 24-scoring run by Wrench-for the Blazers to go up 14-3 with 7:28 remaining before the break.
Just 14 seconds later it was Wrench finding paydirt again, plunging one yard for a TD that would put his team up 21-3.
That touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery by Dustin Williams after an errant option pitch.
Kris Henry’s defensive group forced another turnover just moments later when Tommy McLennan jumped a route and made a nice interception. Unfortunately, an interception by the Blazers would stop their subsequent drive and the half would end with GE up 21-3.
The third quarter saw better play from the Blazers on both sides of the ball. The defensive front seven led by Nick Wohlford, Blake Goff, Seth Pesek, Emilio Fowler, Logan Powell, and Jacob Moore really closed the door on the Southwest option attack and gave up just 31 total yards in the entire stanza.
Offensively, the Blazers scored three TD’s in the frame on efficient drives that took two plays, one play and four plays.
The first of those touchdowns was a 15-yard scoring strike from Hobby to Lang. The next time GE got the ball it was Wrench taking it to the house on a 75-yard run. Hobby would then put an exclamation point on the period, hitting Marshall Wade on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 left in the quarter. After the dust had settled, the Blazers had a commanding 41-3 lead.
In the fourth quarter, reserve quarterback Colten Mullin had a 23-yard run for a touchdown which was sandwiched by two Timberwolf scores to account for the 48-17 final. Juniors Anthony Smartt, Devon Gulley, and Anthony Cisneros all had some impressive carries in that final stanza as well.
Overall, the Blazers finished with 328 yards rushing with Wrench leading the way with 211 yards in three quarters of action. The offensive line of Kelly Bromley, Chris Oathout, Andrew Sprague, Justin Periman, Donovan Fahy, and Sean Callahan blocked well, especially in the second half. Quarterback Hobby had a brilliant night passing, going seven of nine for 116 yards and two TD’s.
Defensively, GE only allowed one TD and that came late in the game when the outcome had already been decided. The Blazers gave up just 44 yards in the air with the secondary of Carson Hobby, McLennen, Williams and Trae Henderson all providing great pass coverage all night.
Special teams play was also stellar. Kicker Tim Mitchell was six of seven on extra points and his booming kickoffs coupled with great coverage kept the Wolves bottled up in their own end most of the night.
Coach Marvin Diener was pleased with the win and his team’s more consistent play.
“This was a tough, hard-fought game. Southwest really was a game opponent. I was very pleased that we stayed consistent and played hard the entire game,” said the Blazer coach.
GE returns home this week when they face an undefeated Bishop Miege squad at 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 27.