Panthers do the little things necessary
By Michael Boytim
WILLIAMSBURG — Northern Bedford shut out Williamsburg, 49-0, Friday night at War Memorial Field.
The lack of Blue Pirate scoring made Black Panthers coach Garry Black happy, but it was another zero that made his night.
A week after fumbling 12 times and losing four of them in its first loss of the season, Northern Bedford didn’t fumble once.
“Last week we didn’t play at all the way we wanted to play football,” Northern Bedford coach Garry Black said. “We worked really hard in practice to eliminate our mistakes. Last week, we couldn’t snap the ball, and tonight we had no issues with it. That’s a big plus and props to our center Ethan Quarry. He could have hung his head and sulked about his performance last week, but he came back, we trusted him and he played well.”
The Black Panthers were the ones causing the turnovers Friday. Williamsburg fumbled five times and lost two, and Northern Bedford’s Jaden Fernandez picked off two passes and returned one 36 yards for a touchdown.
“We didn’t turn the ball over, and that was big,” Black said. “We forced turnovers. Jaden is a ball hawk for us defensively. The ball seems to find him, and he’s always making big plays for us.”
Fernandez also caught a 44 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Foor, who finished 6-for-6 with two touchdown passes and 171 yards.
“It’s awesome to be a team that’s 6-1 now,” Fernandez said. “We did it as a team. It felt awesome to get the shutout. It’s something Northern Bedford has always strived for, and it’s tradition. We have to get hot going into playoffs, and this is something we needed.”
Freshman Cadin Ebersole ran for two touchdowns and 71 yards on just four carries for the Black Panthers.
“I’m happy to see a lot of guys make plays for us,” Black said. “Lucas Heck scored his first touchdown. I think ninth graders scored three different times tonight. I’m excited about those guys getting opportunities and making the best of it.”
Williamsburg (1-6) got occasional sparks from quarterback Rashadd Knorr, who ran for 78 yards and had five carries of at least 10 yards.
“We started to mirror him,” Black said. “He was hurting us early and making plays. He’s a really good football player, but he has to do a lot. They have a lot of injuries. Knorr has a lot on his shoulders, but he handles it well.”
The Blue Pirates got to the Northern Bedford 7 early in the fourth quarter, but Fernandez picked off backup quarterback Wade Shultz to preserve the shutout.
Williamsburg was dealing with injuries to several key players, including starting running back Chandler Gunnett.
“We had some guys out, but the next line has to step up and play,” Williamsburg coach Bob Hearn said. “Those guys got some good experience tonight. Northern Bedford is a good football team, and they’re big up front. They are fast and have some speed. It was a tough night for us, but you have to take your hat off to Northern Bedford.”
Freshman Tyler Clark ran for 52 yards on just nine carries for the Blue Pirates.
Game notes: Williamsburg held its homecoming. Olivia England was named queen, and Nathan Ross was crowned king.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Northern Bedford 21 14 7 7 — 49
Williamsburg 0 0 0 0 — 0
NB–Dasher 6 run (Keller kick), 8:37.
NB–Ebersole 26 run (Keller kick), 7:35.
NB–Fernandez 44 pass from Foor (Keller kick), 1:02.
NB–Imler 35 pass from Foor (Keller kick), 6:51.
NB–Fernandez 36 interception return (Keller kick), 6:31.
NB–Heck 1 run (Keller kick), 5:00.
NB–Ebersole 54 run (Keller kick), 2:39.
RUSHING: Northern Bedford–Dasher 8-48, Zeth 7-28, Ebersole 4-71, Clark 2-10, Foor 1-4, Smith 1-1, Heck 2-1, Imler 2-2. Williamsburg–Knorr 17-78, Clark 9-52, Shultz 7-17, Mikesic 8-6, McCall 1-(-4), TEAM 2-(-15).
PASSING: Northern Bedford–Foor 6-6-0-171, Leidy 1-2-0-9. Williamsburg–Knorr 2-5-2-13, Shultz 0-2-1-0.
RECEIVING: Northern Bedford–Fernandez 2-59, Dasher 2-38, Zimmerman 1-39, Imler 1-35, Diehl 1-9. Williamsburg–Shultz 1-8, DeHoyos 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS: Northern Bedford–Fernandez 2. Williamsburg–none.
TEAM STATISTICS NB W
First downs 13 10
Rushes-yards 27-165 44-134
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 7-8-0 2-5-2
Yards passing 180 13
Total yards 345 147
Fumbles-lost 0-0 5-2
Penalties-yards 3-20 1-5
Punts-avg. 1-33 3-24.6