Pirate-Rams clash closer than the score

Posted 10/7/09

Englewood lost the Oct. 2 football game to Ridgeview Academy 36-7 in a game much closer than the score indicates. It was a 15-point game, 22-7, with …

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Pirate-Rams clash closer than the score


Englewood lost the Oct. 2 football game to Ridgeview Academy 36-7 in a game much closer than the score indicates.

It was a 15-point game, 22-7, with about two minutes left in the contest. But, a Rams touchdown, followed by a Ridge View player returning a pass interception for a TD, created a score indicating it was a one-sided contest.

The Pirates played hard, perhaps feeding on the energy generated by a large homecoming crowd. They moved the ball well at times and Ridge View’s final touchdown came because Englewood was still battling and trying to cut into the Rams lead.

After the game, Coach Matt Bednorz said, while the team is 0-5, the Ridge View game was the first divisional contest so the Pirates remained a contender.

“We need to focus on Pirate football,” the coach told the players. “We have some tough games coming up but I still believe in you, the coaches believe in you and we want you to believe in yourselves, focus and get this team playing up to its potential.”

The coach was right as the next game is on the road against Centaurus, a team that currently has a 2-2 overall record and is 1-1 in conference play.

Centaurus appears to like to throw the ball as, in the first four games, Warrior’s quarterback Evan Erickson has completed 34 of 57 passes for 488 yards and six touchdowns.

The team has pretty good size up front and defensively, they use a base 4-4 formation but shift into a number of variations, including having eight players up close to the line of scrimmage to counter the run or put pressure on the passer.

The kickoff is at 7 p.m. at the Warrior’s home stadium in Lafayette.

Englewood got off to a good start in the Oct. 2 game against the Rams as the Pirates picked off a stray aerial deep in Ridge View territory. Unfortunately, the interception didn’t turn into a scoring drive, the Rams took over and drove the other way to put six points on the board.

Just over halfway through the first quarter, the Rams got another TD, made good on a two-point conversion and boosted the score to 14-0.

Englewood’s score came in the final quarter. With 9:37 left in the game, the Pirates partially blocked a punt and got the ball inside the 30-yard line.

The first play was a pass from Pirate quarterback Jason Lowder to Johnny Waltz. Waltz appeared headed for the end zone when he was tackled hard from behind. The ball popped loose and rolled into the end zone. There was a mad scramble for the ball but it was junior Steve Ross who made the recovery for the Englewood touchdown. Aaron Embertson added the extra point to make it 22-7.

Two Ridge View scores in the final two minutes, including a pass interception returned for a TD, boosted the final score to 36-7.

Lowder hit four of 21 passes for 79 yards. Ben Gutierrez was the reception leader as he caught a single pass for 42 yards while Anthony Gomez was the leading as he carried nine times for 59 yards.

Defensively, linebacker Dustin Fletcher was the tackle leader with 10 solo tackles and 10 assists.

“I always try to go 100 percent but I had a particularly good game tonight,” Fletcher said after the game. “Our defensive game plan was good. We knew they ran a lot of sweeps and my job was to cut through and chase down the runner. It worked pretty well.”

He said he it felt good to make that many tackles but he wished his effort would have helped the Pirates win the game.

Like many Englewood players, Mike Tolle does double duty. He regularly is in the backfield on offense and he is a linebacker on defense.

From his linebacker spot, he regularly crashes the line and consistently is among the tackling leaders. Against Ridge View, he made nine solo tackles and eight assists.

“We are trying hard but I hate losing. I think all of us do,” Tolle said after the game. “It’s my senior year and I wanted this to be a good season. We just have to step up our efforts and keep trying to turn things around.”

He said he likes playing defense best.

“I like the tempo and I like battling to get to the ball carrier,” he said. “I also enjoy the chance to light the other guy up a bit. That’s fun, at least for me.”


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