Blair remains undefeated after a commanding victory over Northwood
The Blazers (3-0) dominated the Northwood Gladiators (0-3) in the famed “Battle of the Boulevard” matchup with a crushing 30-0 score. Northwood attempted to compete, but Blair’s electric first-half offensive performance and powerful defensive play made it impossible for the Gladiators to stay in the game. Blair now moves to first place in the Montgomery County 4A North Region.
The Blazers started off with a bang, scoring a touchdown early on in the first quarter. The domination continued in the second quarter as Blair reached the end zone three more times, twice through the air and once on the ground in drives that were as methodical as they were explosive. The Gladiators relied heavily on their rushing attack, which the Blair defense promptly stuffed.
Right as the first half was ending, junior running back Tariq Taylor gained big yards, putting the Blazers at the 40-yard line. Then, junior quarterback Kendell Anderson scrambled his way through the Gladiator’s defensive line, getting the Blazers a first down. Anderson followed up his run by completing a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jamal Worrell. Taylor described how seeing his teammates play well lights a fire in him. “After seeing Kendell put on that show, it’s hard not to get pumped up,” Taylor said.
Anderson, who started off the second quarter with another touchdown pass, felt especially excited to have such an excellent performance during one of the most important sporting events for the Blair community. “This is my second time doing the ‘Battle of the Boulevard.’ They robbed us last year from playing it, so this year was like a big comeback and it felt really good,” Anderson said.
In the second half, the Blazers started off with a significant punt return getting them to the 50-yard line. Senior running back Andy Merrill got in a 10-yard run getting the Blazer’s to the 40. Merill immediately followed with a 20-yard run, which was negated by an offside penalty.
Northwood’s defense started to show some fire in the second half, getting their first stop on the Blazers and forcing them to punt. The offense fumbled and recovered, but the Blair defense followed up by getting a tackle in the endzone for a safety.
The game ended relatively quietly in the 4th quarter with both team’s defenses getting good stops. Blair’s defense felt like ending the game in style, sacking the Gladiator’s QB for a loss on one of their last possessions. Senior defensive tackle Antonio Gonzalez credited the show that the Blazers put on today to the team's hard work and the electric crowd. “The stomping, the screaming, we feed off the crowd’s energy, and you see that in our game,” Antonio Gonzalez said.
Head Coach Samual Nosoff was also pleased with the defense’s performance. “Our guys on defense, combined with our defensive plan, we’re tough to beat. We make tackles, [and] when we send linebackers on blitzes they’re hard to stop. We’re just an overall sound defense,” Nosoff said.
Nosoff added that there are always things the team can improve, but those minor flaws aren’t the team’s primary concerns as they look towards the next game. “It’s all about just gameplanning for Paint Branch and exploiting their weaknesses,” Nosoff said. The Blazers will keep that in mind as they play their next away game on Friday, Sept. 24, against the undefeated Paint Branch Panthers at 7:00 pm.
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