BREWER – As his adrenaline-fueled Brewer football team revved themselves up for Friday night’s homecoming football game on Doyle Field, coach Josh Emmett grinned and shared one small pre-game concern.
“I just hope we have something left come kickoff,” Emmett said.
He needn’t have worried.
The Witches dominated early, put on a special-teams and defensive show late, and cruised to a 43-0 win over Hampden Academy.
The Witches improved to 4-1 while Hampden dropped to 0-5.
This is how complete Emmett’s crew’s performance was: About the only thing the Witches didn’t master on a crisp Friday night was the school song: It took the team two tries to get it just right during the post-game celebration.
Brewer was never forced to punt, scored on its first four possessions of the game, and outgained the Broncos 364-140.
“I think they had enough left,” Emmett said after the win. “They kept it going.”
Brewer went right to work in the first, inheriting the ball near midfield after a 10-yard Hampden punt and punching it in on an efficient eight-play, 55-yard drive.
Seth Emerson made the big play of the drive when he rambled 23 yards for a first down on fourth-and-1 from the H-47.
Emerson capped the drive on his first TD of the night – a three-yard sweep – with 5:39 to go in the first.
Brewer struck again on its second possession, after Chris Cote picked off a halfback pass and returned it 28 yards to the HA-15.
Four plays later Josh Caldwell barged in from the eight to make it 12-0.
Juniors Emerson (13 rushes, 89 yards) and Caldwell (15 carries, 80 yards) keyed the Brewer ground attack behind a tenacious offensive line.
Center Tim Largay, guards Mike Arrico and Matt Whalen, tackles Tony Lorenz and Scott Hatch and tight end Andrew Boyles served as the engine that let Brewer pile up 297 yards on 39 carries in the game, a 7.6-yard average.
Quarterback Sean Collins had a hand in the next three Brewer scores. First, he plunged in from a yard out to make it 18-0 and cap a 15-play, 59-yard drive that chewed up 7 minutes and 35 seconds of the second period.
Then, after a three-and-out HA possession, he struck again when he connected with Shawn Sutherland on a 60-yard TD bomb on Brewer’s first play.
“I saw he was wide open, and Shawn and I have been playing catch forever,” Collins said. “I knew he could catch it, so I laid it out there for him to get it.”
That made it 24-0. But after Hampden opened the second half by forcing a fumble at the B-31 and earning a first-and-goal at the nine, Collins made the play of the night.
A penalty set up first-and-goal from the 18, and as Hampden quarterback Evan Thomas eyed the end zone, Collins stepped in front of a pass … and kept on running.
“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘What do I have in front of me for blockers,'” Collins said. “And I saw the whole right side was open.”
Collins sprinted 95 yards for the score – thanks in large part to a Ryan Hahl block at midfield – and the conversion made it 31-0.
Emerson scored on a 53-yard fourth-quarter punt return, while Josh Roberts bulled in from seven yards out to cap the scoring. Court Rancourt set up Roberts’ TD with an 80-yard scamper.
“Part of the game is that you need to eliminate turnovers and play sound defense, and we didn’t do either one of those tonight,” Hampden coach Mike Corneil said.
“And that’s gonna cost you.”
WITCHES 43, BRONCOS 0
Hampden (0-5) 0 0 0 0? 0
Brewer (4-1) 12 12 7 12?43
B?Emerson 3 run (kick failed)
B?Caldwell 8 run (pass failed)
B?Collins 1 run (rush failed)
B?Sutherland 60 pass from Collins (rush failed)
B?Collins 95 interception return (Sutherland kick)
B?Emerson 53 punt return (rush failed)
B?Roberts 7 run (pass failed)
First downs 10 13
Rushing att.-yards 44-124 39-297
Passing comp.-att. 1-6 2-5
Passing yards 16 67
Total yards 140 364
Punts-avg. 3-20.7 0-0.0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Intercepted by 1 2
Penalties-yards 1-5 5-35
Hampden: Bearor 15-67, Grover 4-8, Bryant 15-51, Thomas 5-(minus 8), King 3-6, Simms 1-2, Murphy 1-minus 2; Brewer: Caldwell 15-80, Cote 5-16, Emerson 13-89, Collins 2-19, Kotredes 1-3, Roberts 2-10, Rancourt 1-80
Hampden: Thomas 1-5-16-1, Grover 0-1-0-1; Brewer: Collins 2-5-67-1
Hampden: Dionne 1-16; Brewer: Sutherland 2-67