The Springbrook High School football team spent an uncomfortable week off the field after forfeiting their only win of the season for using an ineligible player.
Under the lights Friday night in front of a home crowd, the focus was back on the field and the Blue Devils shined.
Quarterback Neiman Blain passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more and Springbrook shut out Montgomery Blair for three quarters en route to a 26-6 win.
“It’s a resilient bunch,” coach Adam Bahr said of the 1-3 Blue Devils (1-2 4A East Division). “We thought we had won a game, it got taken away from us. And then we played Sherwood close last week. You hear around school, people aren’t happy. ‘You guys are 0-3.’
“Instead of disenfranchising, we kind of pulled together. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m so happy for the guys.”
Blair, which trailed 20-0 before Darron Cumberbatch scored on the second play of the fourth quarter, falls to 2-2 (0-2). At halftime, the Blazers had amassed just over 50 yards of offense.
“They were just being very physical, and we need to be more physical,” coach Andrew Fields said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
The Blue Devils scored on their first possession, going 55 yards in nine plays after a Blair punt.
Blain completed three passes on the drive and then covered the final nine yards himself on a run up the middle.
Later in the quarter he found Antonio Lee for an 11-yard score to make it 13-0. Blain finished the night with 102 yards passing.
Blair then mounted its best drive of the half, going from its own 35 to the Springbrook 5 before Raymond Burtnick’s fourth down pass was broken up in the end zone by Sherwyn Benjamin.
“I think we were just playing assignment football where we preach 11 guys each do their job and it comes together,” Bahr said of his defense. “We tackled well and I think we communicated well to help everybody know their assignment.”
The Blazers lost the ball and their quarterback on the second play of the third quarter when Burtnick was sacked by Isaiah Eisendorf and fumbled.
Springbrook recovered and Burtnick was done for the night and Daymon Anderson took over.
“(It) could be a dislocated shoulder or some type or tendon strain,” Fields said afterwords.
The Blue Devils drove, but appeared to be stalled when they went for it on fourth and 17 from the Blair 24. Blain barely avoided a sack around the 40 and dumped the ball off to running back Terrence Caudle at about the 25. Caudle broke several tackles and scored.
“We missed a lot of tackles and that’s what I’m talking about when I say they were more physical then us,” Fields said. “We weren’t getting off blocks and doing a poor job of tackling.”
In addition to the receiving touchdown, Caudle rushed 10 times for 72 yards.
After Cumberbatch, who was held to five yards on four carries in the first half, scored on a 14-yard run up the middle, Blair was within 20-6 with almost a full quarter to go.
The Blazers then intercepted a Blain pass and took over at their own 38, but four plays later Springbrook picked off an Anderson throw.
After four runs by Tyler Stewart gained 29 yards, Blain scored from three yards out.
Springbrook 26, Montgomery Blair 6
Blair (2-2) 0 0 0 6 — 6
Springbrook (1-3) 13 0 7 6 — 26
S — Neiman Blain 9-yard run (kick failed)
S — Antonio Lee 19-yard pass from Neiman Blain (Allan Kawiiso kick)
S — Terrence Caudle 24-yard pass from Neiman Blain (Allan Kawiiso kick)
B — Darron Cumberbatch 14-yard run (kick blocked)
S — Neiman Blain 3-yard run (kick failed)
Blair — Darron Cumberbatch 13-83, Gage Hack 2-10, Yonis Blanco 2-6, Daymon Anderson 5-(-5), Raymond Burtnick 2-(-2).
Springbrook — Terrence Caudle 10-72, Tyler Stewart 10-59, Neiman Blain 5-10.
Blair — Raymond Burtnick 7-15-75, Daymon Anderson 3-10-19-1
Springbrook — Neiman Blain 10-21-102-1
Blair — Darrell Blue 5-31, Daymon Anderson 2-27, Gage Hack 1-17, Malcolm Williams 1-10, Hugo Canto 1-9.
Springbrook — Baki Akbar 4-38, Antonio Lee 2-26, Sherwyn Benjamin 2-20, Terrence Caudle 1-24, Isaiah Eisendorf 1-14.