Hornets beat Allen in opener
The unsung guys who work in the pits win football games. That doesn’t mean you should forget names like Brandon Camire, Gabe Trexler or Jared Groller or any of the other skill players who made the Green Hornets’ opening night 62-33 win over the William Allen Canaries a reality. But there’s a saying that all running backs look identical when nobody blocks for them.
“This was a good win over a much-improved football team,” said Emmaus head coach Harold Fairclough. “We ran the ball really well, and that starts up front.”
Forty-eight times Emmaus runners went into the Allen meatgrinder and the record shows they acquired 374 yards of J. Birney Crum Stadium real estate. All the land acquisition began with the musclemen and earth movers up front.
That offensive line features captain Dmitri Garcia, Jaden Vazquez, Liam Garrett, Justin Roman and Dylan McHugh. Individually they won most of their matchups. Collectively, they won the line of scrimmage most snaps.
Running back Camire (5-foot-10, 165-pounds) scored five touchdowns on 22 carries while piling up 222 yards using a combination of speed, vision and moves. He was simply superb.
Trexler is more like a battering ram. He was the change up, slamming Allen’s defense for 80 yards on 11 carries. Then there is sophomore Jared Groller, a razor-thin runner who hit pay dirt twice in accumulating 78 yards on 11 runs.
“They all have different running styles,” said Fairclough.
The boys in the trenches also provided quarterback Alex Lanzone with time to survey the Allen coverage.
“I know it may not look like it on the stat sheet, but Alex did a pretty nice job,” said his coach.
Lanzone is still learning and his coach admits “there’s a few things to work on,” but that could be said of almost everyone and everything. Lanzone completed seven of 20 passes for 135 yards but threw four interceptions.
He found junior wide receiver Chad Newhard twice for touchdowns. The first on a nifty 57-yarder to open the scoring and the second on cool 11-yard dart when it looked for all the world like the blowout was underway at 41-6 in the second quarter.
New offensive coordinator Dale Fink has done “a great job” with Lanzone’s mechanics and his ability to dissect opposing defenses, Fairclough said.
Of Lanzone’s four picks, two balls went through a receiver’s hands and one occurred when a receiver ran the wrong route. Unfortunately for Emmaus, three of them were returned for touchdowns.
“Sure, there’s room for improvement, but we talked Saturday and he’s going to be all right,” the coach said.
The Emmaus defense proved to be somewhere between imposing and invading. It did a great job putting the Canaries air attack (6-12, 38 yards) on the endangered species list.
Allen was 0-for-8 on third downs and gained just 193 yards of total offense. But five turnovers made Emmaus rooters crack their knuckles when Allen pulled to 44-33 in the early fourth quarter.
Middle linebacker Adam Heiserman continued his 2018 vibe by making life miserable for the Allen offense, tackling ball carries, covering receivers and rushing the quarterback. He finished with four tackles, one assist, one sack and two tackles for losses. Groller led Gang Green with seven tackles, one assist and two tackles for losses.
“We flew around and made some plays out there,” Fairclough said of his defense.
Emmaus eventually did rout Allen, easily outplaying the Canaries in the fourth quarter and scoring three touches.
But the storyline for Emmaus’ first win of the 2019 season was Brandon Camire - along with the young men on the offensive line, who grunt, shove and push most Friday nights in relative obscurity.