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Mistakes costly for Frazier in loss to Jefferson-Morgan

| Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Lori C. Padilla/Trib Total Media
Frazier's Zachary Mastowski, a hard-nosed fullback, also will be a forc eat linebacker for the Commodores.

High school football games are tough enough to win when your team executes its game plan flawlessly.

But when the team makes numerous mistakes and turnovers, well, winning is sometimes nearly impossible.

On Friday night, Jefferson-Morgan and Frazier hooked up in an entertaining Tri-County South Conference battle. Although the game was close throughout, the Commodores made numerous costly mistakes and the Rockets came away with a 20-13 win.

If it wasn't a turnover, it was another costly mistake that hurt the Commodores (3-2, 3-2).

Such as in the second quarter when the Commodores trailed, 7-0, and were driving deep in J-M territory. A snap over quarterback Charlie Manack's head resulted in a 19 yard loss from the 13 to the 32-yard line and the drive stalled.

In the third quarter, after a big kickoff return had Frazier setting up shop on the Rockets¹ 36-yard-line, Zachary Mastowski rambled 13 yards and then fumbled the ball away.

After Frazier scored to tie the game, 7-7, midway through the third quarter, the defense broke down on J-M's first offensive snap and Dustin Conti raced 61 yards up the middle for a touchdown and a 13-7 lead.

And in the final seconds, as Frazier was trying to mount a tying drive, Manack's pass was tipped and intercepted to seal the defeat.

It was that kind of night.

“We just can't afford to make so many costly mistakes, especially at the wrong times,” said Frazier coach Mike Steeber. “We can't be beating ourselves.”

After a scoreless first quarter, J-M (4-1, 4-1) drove 91 yards in 13 plays with Nicholas Santoya covering the last six yards to put the Rockets on top, 7-0.

Frazier's next possession saw the hosts drive 69 yards, but the bad snap over Manack's head cost 19 yards and after Chaise Bertocci gained 14 yards back, Manack had two incompletions stalled the drive.

In the third quarter, Frazier got on the scoreboard with a 62-yard drive in six plays as Manack got things started with a 23-yard pass to Mastowski and Bertocci closed the deal with a 5-yard run with 6:02 left in the third quarter.

However, the Rockets quickly regained the lead when Conti, who rushed for 168 yards in 21 carries, took a direct snap on the first offensive play and ran up the middle 61 yards to make it 13-7.

Frazier tied the game at 13-13 on the very next possession as Manack capped a 43-yard drive by hitting Michael Fartini from four yards out to a TD. The score remained 13-13 until the Rockets marched 68 yards in nine plays with the big play being a 27-yard run from Conti to the Frazier 16.

Four plays later, J-M quarterback Tyler Bowman scored from two yards out with 1:35 left.

Frazier had one last opportunity to tie the game, but Logan Bowman picked off Manack after the Commodores had crossed midfield, and the game was over.

“It¹s frustrating to lose like this,” Steeber said. “I told the kids we all need to look at ourselves and re-evaluate things. That includes the coaches.”

Jeff Oliver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at joliver@tribweb.com.

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