Guilford (1-4) vs. Branford (4-2): A Loss in a Win
Kavanaugh Turf Field, Guilford, CT
Friday, October 26, 2012 7:00 PM
It was a beautiful fall night for the Guilford Indians annual pink night. It was also MyTv9’s game of the week and the crowd was buzzing with excitement. After Guilford’s heartbreak to Hillhouse last week, the team was ready to pull out a victory. Although Branford was 4-2, their victories had come against weaker teams which gave Guilford a chance to pull out a victory especially with their strong showing against Hillhouse in the previous week. This was Guilford’s chance and they were ready to give their fans a victory at home.
The Branford Hornets won the coin toss and started with the ball on their own 21 yard line. After unsuccessful runs by Alex Borkowski and Devan Hall, quarterback Dj Ryan completed a 14 yard pass to Andrew Cohen for the first down. The Hornets gained another quick first down after another 14 yard pass to Hall. Borkowski and Blood each added a yard and then Ryan made a 49 yard pass to Blood for a touchdown. With a good extra point, the Hornets were up 7-0 with 8:38 left in the quarter.
After the Hornets were forced to re-kick the ball after a 5 yard penalty, the Indians started at their own 36 yard line. After Joe Nault’s 8 yard run, he was able to make 35 yard run for a first down. Guilford was backed up with a 5 yard penalty for a false start. That did not stop the Indians for long as Nault was able to make a 40 yard touchdown run. The Indians tied the game with a good extra point with 6:26 left in the quarter. The Indians’ defense was able to hand the hornets a three and out on their next possession. The Indians’ offense continued its fast-paced game on their next possession. After Zergiebel made a 2 yard run, Nault made a 40 yard touchdown run to put the Indians in the lead. With a good extra point, the Indians lead 14-7 with 3:56 left in the quarter. The defense continued to have a fantastic night and forced the Hornets into another three and out. It did not take the Indians long to score when K.C. Horton returned the Hornet’s punt for a 79 yard touchdown. The extra point failed so the Indians were up 20-7 with 1:28 to go. The defense was after to force the Hornets’ offense into a third three and out in a row to close out the first quarter.
The Indian’s offense started the second quarter with the efficiency of where it left off in the first quarter. Zergiebel ran for 3 yards and then Horton added 22 to get the first down. Zergiebel got another first down with a 10 yard run. Zergiebel gained another 4 yards and then Nault made a 41 yard dash into the end zone for the score. With a good extra point, the Indians were now up 27-7 with 9:47 to go.
The Hornets were able to get a good drive going on their first drive of the second quarter. Blood made a 5 and then 1 yard run before Ryan threw and incomplete pass. Ryan then was able to complete a 7 yard pass to Borkowski for a first down. The Hornets gained another quick first down with a 23 yard pass to Blood. Hall added a 4 yard run before the Indians’ defense was able to shut the Hornets’ offense down. They forced Hall to loose 3 yard on his next rush attempt and then forced Blood to loose 4. After they sacked Ryan, the Hornet’s were forced to punt.
On the Indians’ ensuing possession, Zergiebel made two 4 run plays and then Nault made a 71 yard touchdown run. With a good extra point, the Indians were up 34-7 with 3:47 to go in the half. The Hornets got the ball on their own 24 yard line. Blood made a 12 yard run on the first play of the drive to gain a first down. The Hornets got another first down on a 13 yard run by Hall. Blood added 3 more yards and then the offense gained another 15 yards and a first down on a chop block penalty against the Indians’ defense. The Indians’ defense came alive and was able to sack Ryan for a loss of 5 yards. After an incomplete pass by Ryan, a delay of game penalty backed up the Hornets 5 yards and a motion penalty backed them up another 5. Ryan was able to scramble for 3 yards on his next play but another motion penalty on the play after that resulted in another 5 yard loss and a punt for the Hornets.
On the Indian’s final drive of the quarter Zergiebel started the drive with two 5 yard runs. On the next play, Horton made a 4 yard run and was tackled by multiple defenders. All the players got up from the pile and Horton was left on the ground injured. Time expired in the half after Horton was taken off the field in a stretcher.
The Indians had a commanding 34-7 lead going into the locker room at half time. With Horton’s absence, the offense was going to have to fill a huge gap in the running back position. Zergiebel, Nault and Duke Knapp were ready to do just that as the third quarter started.
The Indians started the third quarter on their own 29 yard line. Zergiebel followed up a 4 yard run with a 2 yard run and Nault was able to get the first down on a 4 yard run. Nault was sacked for a loss of 3 on the next play but gained 5 on the next. After the Indians lost 15 yards on a personal foul penalty, they punted the ball.
The Indians’ special teams were able to get the Hornets to start on their own 7 yard line for their first drive of the second half. Hall made a 4 yard run to start the drive. On the next play, Borkowski gained a first down on a 9 yard run. Borkowski was unable to gain any yards on first and ten and an illegal shift penalty backed up the Hornets 5 yards. Borkowski’s 12 yard run was called back after a holding penalty was assessed as a spot foul. Ryan was able to complete a 13 yard pass to Hall for a first down. Blood added three yard to make it 2nd and 7. Ryan completed another 13 yard pass to Hall to gain another first down. Borkowski was unable to gain any yard on his attempt and a false start backed up the Hornets another three yards. That did not stop the Hornets for long as Blood ran the ball into the end zone for a 9 yard touchdown. After the extra point was added, the game was 34-14 with 3:34 left in the quarter.
The Indians got the ball back on their own 44 yard line. Nault and Zergiebel combined two runs for 14 yards to gain a quick first down. Nault then added another 9 but was sacked for a loss of 2. Zergiebel added 7 to get another Indian’s first down. Nault was able to add 3 yards and Zergiebel 5 to make it 3rd and 2 as time expired in the third quarter. The drive continued into the fourth quarter and Zergiebel added 6 yards. Nault was able to score a 13 yard touchdown. With a good extra point, the score was 41-14.
The Indians defense handed the Hornets a three and out on their first drive of the fourth quarter. Blood lost 5 yards and then Ryan threw and incomplete pass. Even with Ryan’s 10 yard run on the next play it was not enough for the first down and the Hornets were forced to punt the ball.
With 10:03 left in the game, the Indians ran the clock on their next possession. Zergiebel made three runs for 13 yards to gain a first down. On two runs for 11 yards, he gained another. After another two runs for 5 yards by Zergiebel, Knapp made a 6 yard run for a first down. Knapp gained 7 more yards after three runs and Antonio Pensa gained another 3 for a first down. Nault did not gain any yards on first down and 10 and Pensa lost 3 on his next run attempt. Freshman Nathan Tepley came in the game for a carry but was unable to gain any yards. On 4th and 13, the Indians punted. The Hornets let the clock run down to 0 to end the game after an incomplete pass by Ryan.
The Indians 34-14 victory was a feel-good win for the Indians after their heartbreaker to Hillhouse the previous week. They showed their skills on offense with 34 points and their defensive skills by only allowing 14. Although a win is a win, the Indians could not have helped but feel a loss in the game. Running back K.C. Horton broke his femur which is a devastating loss to the Indians on offense, defense, and special teams. In the next few games, the offense especially will have to step it up with Horton’s absence. Horton had 42 carries for 534 yards so far in the season. He averaged 12.79 yards a carry and contributed 9 touchdowns for the Indians. To say that his loss is a devastating blow to the offense is an understatement. The Indians’ next game is at home against Law on November 2 at 7:00 PM. Everyone come out and support the team and hope K.C. has the fastest recovery possible.