Prep football: Cadets rout ’Cats

WATERFORD – Rivalry games are supposed to be the type of matchup where anything can happen and energy flows from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.

But when one team holds a 14-0 lead before many fans can get out of their car, it kind of steals the thunder from the atmosphere.

The Fort Frye Cadets tallied touchdowns on their first three possessions and on every first half possession but one as they claimed a 47-0 victory over cross-river Waterford Friday evening.

“It took us two plays to score on that first drive. That’s the way to get started,” said Fort Frye football coach Eric Huck. “I thought we looked good in all three phases of the game.”

In reality, the Cadets looked more than simply good.

For the game, the Cadets averaged 10.7 yards per carry and 16.6 per pass attempt, amassing 440 yards of total offense.

Defensively, the Cadets held the Wildcats to just 52 yards in the first half and 122 for the game with 28 of it coming on the final possession of the contest, but even then they weren’t satisfied.

“We did alright,” said senior Colt Shuster, who had 92 yards rushing on 10 carries and 83 yards receiving and a score. “We’ve got to get a lot better on defense. We’ve got a lot to improve on.”

Perhaps the only thing the Cadets didn’t do well Friday night was keep the laundry off the field, as Fort Frye amassed 115 yards in penalties, just seven fewer than the yards from scrimmage allowed by the defense.

“We’ve got to clean up the penalties. We know we can’t get down on stupid mistakes,” said senior Chandler Lang, who ran for 86 yards and four touchdowns.

Needing just two plays to get the scoring started in the game, the Cadets continued to move the ball against a youthful Wildcat team that features just three seniors and six juniors on the roster.

“Fort Frye’s a good team and well coached. We didn’t execute our game plan the way we needed to,” said Waterford football coach Tom Tucker.

Along with giving up a touchdown two plays into the game, the Wildcats didn’t have it scripted in the game plan to go three-and-out on their first possession, and then three plays later give up another touchdown to cap a 58 yard drive that took just 40 seconds off the game clock.

“We knew we were going to have some growing pains. We just have to keep plugging away,” Tucker said.

The Cadets capitalized on virtually every miscue the Wildcats made, with Waterford unable to keep pace with a Fort Frye offense that has put up 111 points through the first three games of the season, an average of 37.0 per contest.

“Our line did a great job blocking this week,” Lang praised. “We knew they were man to man on the outsides, so we had to block inside the box.”

And boy did the Cadets block.

Following an interception by Shuster to stall the Wildcats’ best offensive threat of the game, the Cadets needed just 11 plays to cover 83 yards to the endzone, with Lang scoring from four yards out with 47 seconds in the opening quarter.

Zach Prichard’s extra point gave Fort Frye a 21-0 lead after one period of play, and the Cadets never looked back.

In fact, the only first half possession not to result in points was when Fort Frye lost a fumble at the Wildcats’ 34 yard-line on its opening drive of the second stanza.

Fort Frye would stall the Wildcats at the 50, and nine plays later Lang connected with Shuster on a 35-yard touchdown pass to set the halftime score, 27-0.

In the first half, the Cadets had run 21 plays for 271 yards while Waterford had run 18 plays and netted just 52 yards of offense. On the plus side for the Wildcats, was they had 142 yards from scrimmage after you added up all the extra advantage the Cadets gave them.

“We actually had more yardage in penalties than we gave up,” Huck said, noting the 90 yards in infractions in the first half.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they didn’t discover their offense in the second half. And the offense didn’t help the defense any, as another interception, this time by Prichard, gave the Cadets the ball at Waterford’s 9-yard line just three plays into the second half.

Derek Layton promptly put the Cadets ahead 34-0 as he scored from nine yards out the next play.

The offensive explosion for Fort Frye continued as the Cadets netted first downs on four straight plays on their next possession before Lang tallied his fourth and final score from 16 yards out with 2:01 in the third.

Luke Yates capped the scoring when he took the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter 49 yards to the end zone for the Cadets’ sixth rushing touchdown of the game.

“I thought our offensive line did a lot better job (Friday) night,” Huck said. “We were able to run between the tackles and our defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage.”

Down by seven scores, the Wildcats managed a spark of life against the Cadets’ reserves, picking up 55 yards from scrimmage in the final period of play, but it was far too late to catch Fort Frye, which improved to 3-0 on the season.

Fort Frye is now 16-8 over the past three seasons, and 29-15 since the 2009 season. They’ll look to improve that mark next week as they travel to Conotton Valley. Waterford will travel to Eastern.

“We’ve got to practice hard the rest of the season, and keep getting better every week,” Shuster said.