Frazier makes plays in 48-6 win over W. Greene
The Frazier football team doesn't seem to run out of playmakers.
Even with last season's leading rusher, Chaise Bertocci, sidelined for the second straight game with an injury, the Commodores scored early and often en route to a 48-6 Tri-County South Conference victory over West Greene.
The Commodores (3-1, 3-1) raced out to a 40-0 halftime lead over the Pioneers (1-3, 1-3), putting up 320 total yards on only 16 plays, including scoring drives of 4, 1, 4, 2 and 1 plays.
Quarterback Charles Manack completed all four passes he attempted, for 106 yards and three touchdowns and running back Nick Smalich added 165 yards on the ground and a touchdown on just five carries.
“Charlie has some guys to go to who can make plays,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said. “We are going to put the ball in their hands and let them make a big play. They came through tonight for sure; they have been doing that all year, sometimes making something out of nothing.”
While it was apparent that the run defense still misses Bertocci – last season's leading tackler at linebacker – the secondary intercepted three passes which the Commodores turned into 22 points.
Michael Luce had an interception and on the following offensive play Manack found him for their second touchdown connection of the night, a 24 yarder (the first was a 17 yarder to open the scoring). Ethan Weisner's had two interceptions on the night, both of which resulted in long touchdowns. His first led to a 92 yard touchdown scamper by Smalich and the second Weisner took himself, 102 yards for a backbreaking pick six near the end of the half.
“That pick six was huge,” Steeber said. “That has been a goal of ours, to put points on the board from our defense. Weiser made a big-time play, a great return and the guys threw some solid, nice-clean blocks to spring him downfield. That has been a goal for our defense and we saw it tonight. Coach Keefer has been working with them on creating turnovers and making big plays and it showed tonight.”
Dakota Hixson also caught a 51 yard touchdown pass from Manack – that saw Manack do his best Ben Roesthlisberger impersonating, eluding the pass rush and finding Hixson alone behind the secondary – and freshman Alvin Ross added touchdown runs of 12 and 63 yards on his only two carries. Smalich has rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries – an average of 21.8 yards per rush – over the past two games filling in for Bertocci.
“Smalich has been a real nice surprise for us in the backfield this year,” Steeber said. “He has made some real solid, athletic runs for us, making people miss, and it's nice to see him thrive in the backfield. Some younger guys ran well for us too. Weiser hasn't seen a lot of time in the backfield and he had some nice runs and Ross obviously, it shows that those guys are hungry to play.”
West Greene's Dalton Wildman ran for 143 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in the loss.
Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.