Frazier blanks Bearcats
It was hard to say which group had a better game in Frazier's 38-0 road thrashing of Bentworth: the Commodores' defensive line or their offensive skill position players.
Charles Manack, Nick Smalich and Zach Mastowski accounted for 390 yards of offense, but the boys in the trenches really set the tone for Frazier in their Tri-County South Conference victory.
“We're trying to improve throughout the year,” Frazier head coach Mike Steeber said. “We know that we will be tested all season. We have some physical teams coming up and were just trying to meet the challenge. And that starts up front.”
Frazier (2-1, 2-1) put up 415 yards of total offense – 235 on the arm of Manack – and the defense held the Bearcats (0-3, 0-3) to under 100 yards on the night and forced four turnovers. The Commodores sported a noticeable size advantage in the trenches, and their defensive line virtually lived in Bentworth's backfield, racking up six sacks and repeatedly harassing opposing quarterback Angelo Rios-Lopez.
On only the third play of the game, Smalich took a pitch around left end for a 20-yard touchdown run to stake the Commodores to an early lead. However, mistakes – Frazier fumbled two snaps and muffed a punt – plagued the Commodores and kept the Bearcats in the game.
“Our game is still sloppy right now,” Steeber said. “That's a big thing that were focused on at this points. Just basic football stuff – some penalties, a few missed tackles, a couple fumbles. We just trying to clean up our game so it doesn't hurt us at the worst time.”
But Frazier finally broke through, scoring on four consecutive possessions beginning midway through the second quarter to take a 31-0 lead into halftime. Manack and wideout Dakota Hixson connected three times for 100 yards, including touchdowns of 51 and 43 yards. Mastowski scored once on a ten yard run and Manack found Tim Carson for a 23 yard touchdown pass with under a minute to go in the half.
On Frazier's first play of the second half, Smalich took a handoff, spun out of no less than four tackles and found the end zone on a beautiful 54 yard touchdown run that triggered the mercy rule.
“Mastowski had a real nice cut on the trap and Smalich had a few real nice runs, he made a lot of people miss,” Steeber said. “And of course the passing game was strong throughout. But it's nice to not have to rely on Manack to just toss the ball down the field; we have guys that he can hand it to and trust to make plays too.”
For Bentworth, it was tough going all night. Only able to dress 16 players, the Bearcats faced a huge numerical disadvantage made even more evident when two players had to leave the game with injuries. The sophomore running back tandem of Ethan Tush and Ty Mitchell provided 40 hard-earned yards on the ground and Rios-Lopez added 50 yards through the air but also threw two interceptions.
“Give it to Bentworth, they're a small team but they play hard,” Steeber said. “Tush and Mitchell were running hard the whole game.”
Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.