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Frazier's rally comes up short against Carmichaels

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 12:09 a.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Frazier's Charles Manack (11) attempts to shake off Carmichaels Ty Metcalf in Frazier's back field before being brought down for a loss of yards in the first half of Frazier's match up against Carmichaels in Perryopolis on Friday, September 6, 2013.

Frazier did a number of good things in Friday's Class A Tri-County South Conference home game against Carmichaels.

However, spotting the Mikes a 24-0 lead wasn't one of them.

After surrendering three touchdowns and three two-point conversions in the second quarter, the Commodores twice pulled to within one score in the second half, only to fall agonizingly short, 30-22.

“We believe in our guys, and we know they are capable,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said. “Carmichaels played a very good game and made big plays. We had our chances late. It's not anybody's fault.”

Frazier was dealt an early blow as starting senior running back/linebacker Chaise Bertocci was injured on the first play and didn't return.

“He was getting our first carry, and he was our leading tackler last season, so I'm not going to say it didn't hurt us,” Steeber said.

Carmichaels quarterback Brandon Lawless and wide receiver Robert Aeschbacher were nearly unstoppable in the second quarter. Lawless hit Aeschbacher on touchdown strikes of 10 and 5 yards, and he also scored on a 2-yard run as the Mikes raced out to a 24-0 advantage.

Lawless completed 10 of 18 passes for 136 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Aeschbacher caught seven passes for 109 yards.

“We had some big plays early,” Carmichaels coach Ryan Krull said.

But even though they fell behind big, the Commodores (1-1, 1-1) didn't fold. Instead, they trimmed the lead to 24-8 as quarterback Charles Manack hit Nathaniel Zurich on a 20-yard scoring strike on the last play of the first half. Then, on Frazier's first drive of the second half, Manack again found Zurich, this time for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 24-16.

Manack completed 18 of 40 passes for 278 yards but also was hurt by four picks. Dakota Hixson caught five passes for 124 yards.

Frazier had the momentum, but the Mikes responded with a 15-play drive, featuring six strong runs by Brennen McMinn and was capped by a Lawless 1-yard run into the end zone to make it 30-16 in the fourth.

“Things looked a little bleak, but our guys fought through it,” Krull said. “They stayed the course, and they deserved what they got.”

The Commodores had chances to tie it, but the Mikes came up big defensively as Nathaniel Baker and Brody Blaker each had an interception in the fourth quarter.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at

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