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Big deficit costs Frazier vs. Mikes

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Frazier's Nick Smalich (14) finds running room through Carmichael's defense and comes up with a significant yardage gain in the first half of Frazier's match up against Carmichaels in Perryopolis on Friday, September 6, 2013.

The Frazier football team 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 from scrimmage 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.

Both teams had their share of play-makers as 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 two-yard run as the Mikes stunned the Frazier crowd by racing out to a 24-0 advantage. Lawless completed 10 of 18 passes for 136 yards 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 back down. 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 on a nine-yard touchdown toss to help Frazier pull to within 24-16.

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

Frazier had the momentum, but the Mikes responded with a 15-play drive that featured six strong runs by Brennen McMinn and was capped by a Lawless one-yard run into the endzone to make it 30-16 early in the fourth.

The Commodores had chances to tie the game, but the Mikes came up big defensively as Nathaniel Baker and Brody Blaker each had an interception in the fourth quarter to help Carmichaels hold on for the win.

Yough 30, Brownsville 21

The Cougars (2-0, 2-0) scored successive touchdowns in the third quarter to turn a 14-7 deficit into a 22-14 lead and never looked back in the Class AA Interstate Conference game.

Eric Baer, starting at quarterback in place of the injured Tyler Donahue, hit on 11 of 14 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns for Yough.

Trailing 14-0, the Cougars got two touchdown from Clayton Waldon, one on a 16-yard pass from Baer and on a one-yard plunge and then a 16-yard scamper from Tom Sever.

Bryan Austin capped the scoring for Yough 20-yard pass from Baer.

Jeff-Morgan 54, Bentworth 0

The Bearcats (0-2, 0-2) trailed 42-0 at halftime in this Tri-County South Conference mismatch.

J-M (1-1, 1-1) got three touchdowns frm Logan Bowman and two from Rece Henneman on interception returns in the rout.

Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at

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