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Generals Run Over St. Francis For 44-7 Victory In Glass Bowl

AW sophomore running back Ezra Scott runs behind his blockers, including junior Ben Allen (No. 8) and senior Dawson Zaleski last Friday against St. Francis. Scott ran for 110 yards and two scores in the Generals’ 44-7 victory. MIRROR PHOTO BY ART WEBER

BY JOEL SENSENIG | MIRROR SPORTS — Senior Max Guitteau ran for three scores and sophomore Ezra Scott tallied two more as the Anthony Wayne football team dominated in a 44-7 win over St. Francis deSales last Friday in the season opener at The University of Toledo’s Glass Bowl. Junior quarterback Max Denman, making his first varsity start, was impressively efficient, completing 13-of-21 passes for 173 yards and perhaps most importantly, no turnovers. “We’re good up front,” said AW coach Andy Brungard. “Our guys dominated the line of scrimmage. I thought Denman was very efficient with the football. We did a great job taking care of it. When you have a game like this with zero turnovers in week one, that’s huge. “I thought our offense moved the ball and our defense made stops when we had to. Overall, there are some things to fix, but it feels good as a week-one game.” Guitteau ended up with 29 carries for 145 yards (5.0 average) and the three touchdowns, while Scott – a young back who didn’t even touch the junior varsity squad last season – rushed 19 times for 110 yards (5.8 average) and scoring runs of 20 yards and 1 yard. He also caught two passes for 15 yards. Anthony Wayne’s offense excelled, racking up 431 yards on 73 plays compared to St. Francis’ 172 yards on 42 plays. AW had 27 first downs to the Knights’ 12. Things started out well for the Generals when Guitteau took the opening kickoff into Knights territory at the 43-yard line. Thirteen plays later – all runs except for an 11-yard pass to senior tight end Ralph Burdo – Guitteau ran in from 2 yards out on a fourth-and-goal with 6:20 remaining in the first stanza. The extra point by senior Tucker Ramirez made it 7-0. After holding St. Francis to a three-and-out, the Generals marched down the field over 12 plays, this time settling for a 29-yard field goal by Ramirez. With 1:38 left in the first, AW led 10-0. Midway through the second quarter, Anthony Wayne got on the board again with an eight-play drive. Denman hooked up with junior receiver Max Bradfield (four catches, 64 yards) for a 31-yard play, putting the ball on the Knights’ 28. Three plays later, Scott ran nearly untouched up the middle of the defense, scampering in from 20 yards out for the score. The point-after made it 17-0 with 3:51 remaining in the half. “I saw a big hole and I ran through it,” Scott recalled of the play. “I didn’t see any defenders in my way.” On their first drive of the third quarter, the Generals put another score on the board when Guitteau ran for his second score, this one from 6 yards out. The PAT made it 24-0 with 7:48 remaining in the stanza. The big play of the drive was a 20-yard completion to junior receiver Nick Kaufman, which immediately preceded Guitteau’s TD. The Knights finally broke their scoreless stretch when junior running back Malachi Wyse plunged in from a yard out with 3:23 left in the third. The extra point cut the Generals’ lead to 24-7. Two possessions later, Anthony Wayne struck again when Guitteau capped a five-play drive by making a 34-yard sprint to the end zone. Ramirez’ point-after made it 31-7 with 7:21 remaining in the game. AW got the ball back and cut through the Knights defense with runs of 3-6 yards before Scott broke free for a 22-yard run down to the St. Francis 1-yard line. On the next play, the sophomore plunged into the navy blue end zone for the score. The extra point by Ramirez made it 38-7 with 2:21 remaining. As the clock wound down toward zeros, St. Francis quarterback Ethan Hertzfeld fired to the left side of the field, where the ball was picked off by senior linebacker Bryce Williams, who took it 35 yards to the house for the pick six as time expired. When the smoke cleared, the final score was 44-7, the first opening-night victory for the Generals in at least six years. After the game, volunteer quarterbacks coach Bruce Gradkowski talked with Denman about his varsity debut. “You did a good job protecting the football, that’s the most important thing,” said the former UT and NFL signal-caller. “You made good decisions. The one time you tucked it and took a sack, that’s fine. Learn from this film tomorrow, keep an open mind and take constructive criticism. Good job tonight.” Denman relished the chance to line up behind center for the first time on varsity. “It was awesome. It was a great opportunity,” he said. “My teammates and I have been working for this all summer, so it was a great feeling to come out here and get a victory like this. “When you have a line as big as we do, you just pound the ball and get the defense in the box. When it’s that time, we can throw it. It’s an easy scheme when you have linemen like that. “ It’s safe to say Scott was not taking up much space in the game plan of St. Francis coach Dan Chipka (an AW alum). At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Scott proved to be a formidable force, regularly eating up chunks of 5 yards or more. “Getting to play on the varsity level was a main goal of mine this year,” said Scott, who moved to the Anthony Wayne district from Napoleon prior to his freshman year. “It was a great experience being able to play with this team and having fans cheer us on. “I ran the way I did because of my team. They kept motivating me to run hard – most of all my linemen. They did an outstanding job doing what they had to do. I couldn’t thank them enough.” Scott said he just tried to run hard and not turn the ball over. “The keys for me were holding on tight so I didn’t fumble and staying low so that you can hit hard and drive your legs through people,” he said. Defensively, the Generals kept St. Francis in check for the most part. Hertzfeld completed 11-of-24 passes for 120 yards, while Wyse ran 12 times for just 29 yards (2.4 average). Junior linebacker Ben Allen (11 tackles, one for loss) and senior linebacker Nolan Anderson (10 tackles) led the way for the AW defense, while Williams had eight tackles (one for loss) to go along with his interception. Junior safety Nick Prokup added six tackles, while Bradfield (three tackles) had the other interception for the Generals. Anthony Wayne hits the road again on Friday, September 1, when it plays at Tiffin Columbian, which lost 42-20 to Elida in week one. “We get to travel to a new environment, another college field,” Brungard said. “It’s going to be an exciting place to play. The nice thing is we’re 1-0. You already put yourself better than half the teams in the state.”

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