AW Football Opens NLL Play With 41-6 Win At Southview

AW senior tight end Ralph Burdo makes a sliding catch at the 1-yard line during last Friday’s game at Southview. Burdo had two catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in the Generals’ 41-6 victory. MIRROR PHOTO BY ART WEBER

BY JOEL SENSENIG | MIRROR SPORTS — The Anthony Wayne football team began the Northern Lakes League season in dominant fashion last Friday, easily putting up 41 first-half points en route to a 41-6 win at Southview. The Generals (3-1 overall, 1-0 NLL) looked focused and determined coming off a last-second loss to Clyde the week before, intent on not letting the Cougars (1-3, 0-1) even think about making this a close contest. AW senior running back Max Guitteau put up video-game numbers, rushing eight times for 132 yards (16.5 average) and two long touchdown runs. Sophomore running mate Ezra Scott did nearly as much damage, also handling the rock eight times for 85 yards (10.6 average) and another two scores. Junior quarterback Max Denman completed 7-of-10 passes for 139 yards and one score – a 38-yard toss to senior tight end Max Burdo (two catches, 58 yards). “I think it was the best game I’ve played in my career,” Guitteau said. “I felt pretty quick and was able to make good cuts. While I was running, I saw great blocks from the line and receivers –I wouldn’t have been able to run like I did without them.” The story of the game could be summed up in the first six drives for each squad. The Generals scored touchdowns in each of their first six possessions (averaging just 4.5 plays per drive), while the Cougars went three-and-out five times and threw an interception (to junior Jacob Neumeyer). After Southview won the toss and deferred to the second half, Anthony Wayne marched down the field via the run, save for a 32-yard hookup from Denman to senior Nick Schneider (51 total yards from scrimmage). Five plays later, Schneider ran it in from 6 yards out on a keeper that would give the visitors the lead for good with 8:08 left in the first. After a snap and holder mix-up, the extra-point try was unsuccessful, but the Generals maintained a 6-0 lead. On AW’s next possession following a Cougars punt, Denman found senior tight end Nolan Anderson for a 13-yard pickup. Two plays later, Guitteau took a handoff 43 yards to the house. Senior Tucker Ramirez’ point-after made it 13-0 Generals with 3:31 to play in the first. Anthony Wayne made it 3-for-3 on scoring drives a short time later when Denman found Burdo on a short pass, which the senior tight end took the rest of the way to Mel Nusbaum Stadium’s southern end zone. Ten seconds into the second quarter, AW led 20-0 after Ramirez booted the extra point. Following yet another Southview three-and-out, Scott did much of the work for the Generals on their next drive, running for 49 yards down the right sideline. After Denman found a sliding Burdo for a 20-yard reception all the way down to the 1-yard line, Scott finished things off, plunging in for the score. Ramirez’ kick made it 27-0 with 8:58 to play in the half. The Generals kept up their assault on the scoreboard on their next possession, needing just two plays to find pay dirt again. Guitteau scored his second TD of the game as he took it 55 yards for the score. Ramirez booted it through the goalposts for the 34-0 lead with 6:27 left before the break. “After we lost to Clyde, I think it really opened our eyes,” Guitteau said. “We learned that we had some improvements to make before entering conference play. The team came out in the beginning of the week really motivated but not just because of the loss. “Every game from now until week 10 is going to be treated as the league championship game and that is our motivation.” AW continued to steamroll on its next drive, quickly nearing the end zone once again. The Generals closed out the first-half scoring on their next possession, with Scott plunging in for his second 1-yard score. The point-after by sophomore kicker Austin Swiger made it 41-0 with 1:28 left in the second. At the half, the yardage totals were lopsided: Anthony Wayne had 366 yards compared to 9 for the Cougars, who did not get their first first down until the third quarter. With a running clock in effect in the second half, the Generals were mostly content to let it find its way to zeros while getting some playing time for their reserve players. Southview did avoid the shutout when sophomore quarterback Nathan Taylor (8-of-10, 97 yards) found senior receiver Devan Singleton, who took it 59 yards down the sideline for the score with 1:09 left in the game. The extra point was no good, putting the final score at 41-6. Defensively, the Generals put the clamps down on the Cougars’ running attack, allowing just a paltry 4 yards on 23 attempts (0.2 yards per carry). Southview had just 106 yards on the night, with more than half coming on the long TD reception as the game neared its conclusion. Anderson (two sacks, two tackles for loss) and junior linebacker partner Ben Allen (three tackles for loss) each led the team with 10 tackles. Senior linebacker Bryce Williams and junior safety Nick Prokup each had five tackles, while Schneider contributed four and Neumeyer recorded an interception for the second straight game. Guitteau said it’s nice having three backs who can potentially take it the distance any time they touch the ball. Although the game flow did not require Schneider to do much against Southview, he’s proven his abilities many times over the past season-plus as a runner for the Generals. “It’s huge to have two other really talented backs in the backfield,” Guitteau said. “It’s reassuring to know that if I come out, I’ve got two other guys that can do the job just as well. “I feel like the depth in our running back group will keep opposing defenses on their toes, especially if we are able to find a way to have us all on the field at once.” In its three wins, Anthony Wayne has outscored its opponents 127-16. The Generals host Bowling Green (2-2, 0-1 NLL) on Friday, September 22. The Bobcats are coming off a 43-14 loss at Springfield. Their two wins have come over Rossford and Otsego, while they dropped their matchup with Eastwood.

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