Blazers leave Saints in their wake

September 10, 2011|By MARK KELLER |
  • Clear Spring's Tylar Habel (4) gets a hand carrying the ball from teammate Ryan Aaron (10) as Saint James' Lucas Hart, bottom, and Kevin Manesh, middle, try to stop him.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

ST. JAMES — Clear Spring football coach Craig Bathgate has a great deal of confidence in his offense.

Still, even he was a little surprised at the proficiency that unit showed late in the first half on Saturday afternoon.

The Blazers scored three touchdowns in less than two minutes to put Saint James on the ropes, then quickly activated the running clock in the second half of a 45-0 win over the Saints.

The Blazers (2-0) went ahead 19-0 with 2:37 left in the first half, and having just forced a Saint James punt, Clear Spring coaches wanted one more score before halftime.

“OK, offense. You have two minutes,” shouted one coach from the sideline.

No problem. On the first play after that challenge, Adam Mellott connected with Ryan Aaron for a 43-yard touchdown pass for a 25-0 lead.

But that wasn’t all. On the Saints’ next play from scrimmage, Sam Elwood picked off a Bobby Brennan pass and returned it 25 yards to the Saint James 29.

Two plays later — and just 63 seconds after the Blazers’ last score — Mellott threw across the middle to Mike Sensenbaugh, who dived into the end zone for the score. Jonathan Durboraw’s PAT made it 32-0 at halftime.

“We wanted to get on the board again before halftime, but I’d have never thought we’d get two scores that quickly,” Bathgate said. “I guess that’s a luxury of having a quarterback who can put the ball on the money 40 yards downfield. It’s hard to combat that as a defense.”

Opposing defenses have little success in combatting Mellott so far this year. The Blazers senior starter was 9 for 14 for 165 yards Saturday and has thrown for 323 yards and nine touchdowns in the first two games of the season.

Four of those touchdowns — two in each game — have been thrown to Aaron.

“It’s an unbelievable comfort to know that we have a quarterback with the kind of ability that (Mellott) has,” Bathgate said.

Clear Spring scored on the first possession of the game, set up by a 57-yard kickoff return from Jesse Gentry. Nine plays later, on fourth-and-goal from the Saints’ 21, Mellott hit Aaron with a pass that went for a touchdown and 6-0 Blazers lead.

Following a couple of punts, Saint James (1-1)  took advantage of two pass interference calls to move the ball inside the Blazers’ 5-yard line, but once there, the Saints couldn’t convert. Brennan was stuffed on two straight runs from the 1 and Brennan’s pass intended for Nnamdi Enechionyia was broken up to end the threat.

“That was a real momentum killer for us,” said Saint James coach Juwuane Sandridge. “To have three plays from the 1 and not get in, that hurts. If we get in there and make the extra point, we’re up 7-6 and things are different.”

Midway through the second quarter with the Saints trailing 13-0, Kevin Manesh broke through for what appeared to be a 12-yard touchdown run. Instead, the play was called back on a holding penalty and Saint James eventually turned the ball over on downs.

“I think having that touchdown called back was devastating,” Sandridge said.

Mellott found Tylar Habel down the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 left — the start of Clear Spring’s second-quarter scoring outburst.

Mellott, Stephen Smith and Jordan Gladden each scored a rushing touchdown for the Blazers, who are 2-0 for the first time in the program’s history.

“We know we have some good teams coming up on our schedule, so we wanted to get off to a good start and give ourselves a better chance late in the season,” Bathgate said.

Clear Spring 45, Saint James 0
Clear Spring    6    26    6    7    —    45
Saint James    0    0    0    0    —    0
First Quarter
CS—Ryan Aaron 21 pass from Adam Mellott (kick failed)
Second Quarter
CS—Mellott 1 run (Jonathan Durboraw kick)
CS—Tylar Habel 23 pass from Mellott (kick failed)
CS—Aaron 43 pass from Mellott (kick failed)
CS—Mike Sensenbaugh 22 pass from mellott (Durboraw kick)
Third Quarter
CS—Stephen Smith 7 run (kick failed)
Fourth Quarter
CS—Jordan Gladden 7 run (Durboraw kick)
    CS    SJ
First downs    13    8
Rushes-yards    29-143    19-22
Passing yards    165    106
Comp-Att-Int    9-14-0    8-27-1
Total offense 43-308    46-128
Punts-avg.    2-37.5    4-22.5
Penalties-yards    6-58    7-55
Fumbles-lost    2-0    2-0
RUSHING—Clear Spring, Smith 9-82, Walling 5-31, Brant 3-15, Gladden 2-12, Mellott 7-4, Gentry 2-2, Team 1-(minus-3). Saint James, Tolton 7-24, Manesh 1-7, Brennan 5-6, Pank 1-(minus-1), Neale 1-(minus-3), Hart 4-(minus-11).
PASSING—Clear Spring, Mellott 9-14-0-165. Saint James, Brennan 8-27-1-106.
RECEIVING—Clear Spring, Aaron 3-72, Habel 3-53, Elwood 2-18, Sensenbaugh 1-22. Saint James, N. Enechionyia 5-67, Tolton 1-20, Manesh 1-12, O. Enechionyia 1-7.
Records: Clear Spring 2-0; Saint James 1-1.

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