EF, Davidson romp past Trinity, 46-0
After last year, JaQuaun Davidson surely isn't going to sneak up on anybody.
If that's the case then that's just fine with Elizabeth Forward coach Mike LeDonne because if Friday's season-opening 46-0 Big 9 Conference win over visiting Trinity was any indication, the Warriors have plenty of more surprises in store for all who is interested.
Ryan Wardropper and Jalen French rushed for more than 100 yards; Matt Bernadowski scored four touchdowns three different ways and Elizabeth Forward's first-team defense allowed only 62 yards of total offense in picking up only its second shutout in more than a decade and its first season-opening win since 2009.
And, oh yeah, you can't forget about Davidson.
The Division I recruit picked up where he left off last year as he rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns and completed two of his three passes for 67 yards and a touchdown through the air to complete EF's balanced attack.
“Everybody always thinks that the focus 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 Friday night.
The Hillers gave up first-half scoring drives of 4 plays, 58 yards; 3 plays, 62 yards; 5 plays, 86 yards; 5 plays, 98 yards and 4 plays, 83 yards to find themselves down 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 both Davidson and French 101. In fact, all three went over 100 yards on the opening drive of the second half.
But it was Bernadowski who stole the show.
The 6-2, 180-pound receiver caught two passes for 67 yards including a 25-yard touchdown; scored on two jet sweeps inside the red zone and picked up a bouncing punt at the 4 yard line and returned in 96 yards for a touchdown. The senior finished with 110 yards of total offense.
“We knew they had guys who could run,” Coyle said. “I was more surprised with some of our efforts.”
Trinity's offense was non-existent.
The Hillers were held to negative-13 yards in the first quarter and was outgained 346-20 by the half. Twenty-one of Trinity's 25 first-half plays went for zero yards or less.
“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 as part of your secondary, throwing the ball isn't really the ideal situation.
“After what we did a 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 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.”
Elizabeth Forward (1-0, 1-0) will travel to nemesis Thomas Jefferson (1-0, 1-0) next week for an early Big 9 showdown. EF hasn't beat Thomas Jefferson 24 consecutive times dating back to 1989.
Thomas Jefferson beat Ringgold, 31-0, Friday night.
“We couldn't look past Trinity,” LeDonne said. “Now we can focus on TJ.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.