Elizabeth Forward hammers Trinity, 46-0
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After last year, JaQuaun Davidson isn't going to sneak up on anybody.
If that's the case, then that's just fine with Elizabeth Forward coach Mike LeDonne.
If Friday's season-opening, 46-0 Big 9 Conference win over visiting Trinity was any indication, the Warriors have plenty of surprises in store.
Ryan Wardropper and Jalen French rushed for more than 100 yards, Matt Bernadowski scored four touchdowns, and EF's first-team defense allowed 62 yards of total offense in picking up its second shutout in more than a decade and its first season-opening win since 2009.
Davidson, a Division I recruit, picked up where he left off last year.
He rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns and completed 2 of 3 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown to complete EF's balanced attack.
“Everybody always thinks that the focal point is going to be on JaQuaun and that's fine,” LeDonne said. “But we have Ryan Wardropper, Jalen French, Matt Bernadowski and JaQuaun. That's some nice weapons to have.”
Trinity (0-1, 0-1) found that out first-hand.
The Hillers gave up first-half scoring drives of four plays, 58 yards; three plays, 62 yards; five plays, 86 yards; five plays, 98 yards; and four plays, 83 yards. They trailed, 33-0, midway through the second quarter.
“I was disappointed with our play on both sides of the ball,” Trinity coach Ryan Coyle said. “Last year, we were very fortunate to pull off a win against these guys. They were a great football team last year and certainly a good football team this year.”
Wardropper finished with 125 yards, and Davidson and French both added 101. All three eclipsed 100 yards on the opening drive of the second half.
But it was Bernadowski who stole the show. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver caught two passes for 67 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown; scored on two sweeps inside the red zone; and picked up a bouncing punt at the 4-yard line and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown.
“We knew they had guys who could run,” Coyle said. “I was more surprised with some of our efforts.”
The Hillers were held to negative-13 yards in the first quarter and were outgained, 346-20, by halftime. Twenty-one of Trinity's 25 first-half plays went for zero yards or fewer.
“I knew that we were going to have a little difficulty running the football,” Coyle said. “When you are not able to run the football, then they can drop guys back and dare you to throw it.”
When you have Bernadowski, French and Davidson in your secondary, throwing the ball isn't really an ideal situation for foes.
“After what we did at Yough (final scrimmage), we were a little displeased with our defense,” LeDonne said. “But they worked hard and focused and came up with the goose (egg), and we are proud of that. It is about keeping them off the scoreboard, so we are proud of the goose. Our job is to not let them score.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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