Guilford (4-4) vs. Foran (5-3): Duke Domination
November 14, 2012 7:00 PM Kavanaugh Turf Field, Guilford, CT
It was a cold Wednesday night for the Guilford Indians’ matchup against the Foran Lions. Guilford’s defense was ready for a tough night defending Foran’s dynamic passing offense. It is rare to see a passing offense as dynamic as Foran’s in high school football, which makes then a difficult opponent. Foran’s only losses had come against mighty Hillhouse, Shelton, and North Haven. Head Coach Tom Unger knew very well about the threat of the Foran offense. He scouted Foran’s game against Notre Dame and witnessed how the blitz did not work on defense. With this in mind, Coach Unger designed a zone defense which allows the quarterback to make throws but requires a defensive player to make a quick tackle so there is minimum yardage gained. Coach Unger’s defensive philosophy has four simple but crucial steps: “1.Get lined up. 2. Make blocks. 3. Run to the ball. 4. Make tackles.” In order to be successful against the spread offense of Foran, these steps were more important than ever. The pressure was on for the Indians. It was their chance to have a winning record going into the Hand game and to make a defensive statement against a strong offensive team.
Foran won the coin toss to begin the game. After the kickoff was re-kicked because of a motion penalty against Guilford, the offense started out throwing. Quarterback Jake Kasuba starting out his commanding game with a 25 yard pass to Nicholas Weissauer for a first down. Kasuba stepped up to throw again but launched the ball down field, making it easy for Antonio Pensa to intercept the ball and run 42 yards up the field.
The Indians were immediately pushed back on their next play because of a chopblock penalty that lost them 15 yards. On 1st and 25, Duke Knapp was unable to gain any yards but Eric Zergiebel was able to gain 10. Nault added 8 more yards but the Indians were unable to capitalize on the turnover and punted the ball.
Weissauer returned the punt for the Lions to Guilford’s 26 yard line. Connor Cadrin was able to gain a first down on the very next play after a 12 yard run. The Lions were able to gain another quick first down with an 18 yard pass from Kasuba to Micael Callahan. The Indians were able to hold the Lions for two plays when Cadrin was only allowed a 4 yard run and Kasuba threw an incomplete pass. But Guilford was unable to hold them on third down when Weissauer ran for 7 yards and a first down before he was dragged down by Tyler Nelson. On first down, Kasuba threw an incomplete pass but an encroachment penalty on Guilford cost the Indians 5 yards. Foran then committed a holding penalty that cost them to lose 10 yards. Kasuba then threw another incomplete pass that was broken up by Nelson. The Lions were able to gain 10 yards after Cason Sperry was able to drag down Cadrin after Kasuba’s pass. The Lions went for the first down and with an incomplete pass; the Indians took over on offense.
The Indians started out on their own 25 yard line. Nault was able to gain a yard on his first run of the drive. Zergiebel gained 2 yards but Nault was sacked by Nicholas Griswold and lost two yards. The Indians were forced to punt the ball again.
The Lions went back on offense on their own 32 yard line. On the first play of the drive, Cadrin was only able to gain 2 yards before he was dragged down by Fred Trotta. The Indians looked like they were going to get a sack Kasuba, but he was able to evade three attempts to grab him and run for 19 yards before Nault dragged him down. Kasuba then completed a pass to Weissauer for 5 yards. His next pass to Chris Hoey lost a yard. On third down Kasuba ran the ball himself for 5 yards but was pushed out of bounds by Nick Setaro and was short for the first down.
The Indians ran the ball to their own 46 yard line after the Lions’ punt. Zergiebel was only able to gain 2 yards on his next two runs but a 10 yard pass from Nault to Knapp got the Indians another first down. A pitch attempt failed which lost the Indians 2 yards. Zergiebel was able to gain the 2 yards back on a run but Nault was sacked for a 5 yard loss as the first quarter ended.
The second quarter began as the Indians punted the ball. After the kick, Foran was pushed back 10 yard on a holding penalty. Linell tackled Cadrin after a gain of a yard. The Lions were able to get a first down on the next play with a 13 yard pass to Cadrin. Kasuba completed another pass for 6 yards to Sean Deegan. After an incomplete pass, he completed an 8 yard pass to Zachary White who was tackled by J.P. Peters but after he gained the first down. The Lions got another quick first down with an 11 yard pass to Weissauer. Kasuba then ran the ball 4 yards and was tackled by Peters. He then threw two incomplete passes but completed an 11 yard pass to Weissauer for a first down. The Indians defense was shocked when the ball was snapped to Marc Rossetti who tossed it to Weissauer for an 8 yard gain. Colton Schilling was able to tackle Cadrin for a loss of 2 yards. Kasuba threw another incomplete pass but, a pass interference penalty was called and the Lions gained 5 yards. Kasuba ran for 2 more yards before Cadrin gained 3 more. That set up Weissauer for a short 1 yard touchdown run. With a good extra point, the Lions were up 7-0 with 6:53 to go.
It did not take long for the Indians to strike back. The Lions attempted an onside kick but it failed and was recovered by Zergiebel for the Indians. Knapp then make an amazing run for a 58 yard touchdown. It would not haven been possible without an amazing offensive block by Pensa. With a good extra point, the Indians tied the game 7-7 with 6:40 to go.
Cadrin returned the kickoff for the Lions but did not get far before he was tackled by Linell. Weissauer was able to receive a 2 yard pass but that was all the yards the Lions got. Knapp almost intercepted Kasuba’s pass but it was incomplete. He threw an incomplete again and the Lions punted the ball.
The Indians went back on offense ready to go. Knapp gained 9 yards on the first play. Nault launched the ball into the end zone to a wide open Setaro but the ball tipped off his fingertips and was incomplete. Nault was able to gain 28 yards on a run to the 7 yard line. Zergiebel was able to run for 4 more yards but lost a yard on his next play. Pensa then added a yard. Nault faked a pass to the far side of the end zone but made a completion right down the middle to Setaro for a touchdown. The extra point failed so the Indians led 13-7 with 2:17 in the half.
The kickoff was received for the Lions by Weissauer. Linell tackled Cadrin to prevent him from gaining any yards on the next play. Kasuba threw the ball on the next play and it was tipped by the intended receiver. Nault came out of nowhere and snagged the ball out of the air for an interception.
The Indians went back to work on offense again. Nault pitched the ball to Knapp for an 8 yard gain. Knapp was able to run the ball again into the end zone but a block in the back penalty on the Indians forced the touchdown back and caused them to lose 15 yards. Nault threw a quick pass to Carson Sperry and he was able to gain 16 yards a first down and even get out of bounds to save time on the clock. Zergiebel then ran the football into the end zone for a 10 yard touchdown. With a good extra point, the game was 20-7 with 39 seconds left.
White ran the kickoff back for 26 yards before he was tackled by Nault. Cadrin then added 9 yards but Kasuba’s pass on the next play was blocked and intercepted by Linell. Back on offense, Nault gained a yard before the quarter ended.
The Indians commanding lead was a surprise to most who believed that the Lions’ passing offense would give the Indians a lot of trouble on defense. The key to their success was to make adjustments. In football, if something is not working on offense or defense, it is critical to make the necessary adjustments. The Indians were able to adapt well to the Lion’s offense and be able to read the quarterback. On the other hand, the Lions were not able to make their adjustments as well as the Indians were. The Indians were confident going into the locker room at halftime and were ready to come out with the momentum and make a statement. It was time for the Indians to close this game out and prepare for Hand.
The Indians came out in the third quarter and attempted an onside kick. The attempt failed and the Lions went on offense. Knapp was able to tackle Cadrin for a 2 yard loss after Kasuba’s pass. A pass to White got the Lions 11 yards. On third and inches, Cadrin gained a yard to get the first down. Weissauer caught Kasuba’s pass on the next play and gained 13 yards and a first down. Kasuba threw the ball again, but this time he was picked by Knapp. Knapp returned the ball 81 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The kick was blocked and the game was 26-7 with 10:26 to go in the third.
The Lions were only able to gain 7 yards on their next drive. Knapp was able to tackle Kasuba for a loss of 4 and then 2 incomplete passes forced the Lions to punt.
The Indians got the ball back on their own 33 yard line. Pensa made a 14 yard run for a quick first down. Zergiebel and Knapp combined for 11 yards for another first down. Knapp made the next run and gained 31 yards after stiff-arming a defender. Nault was able to make a 1 yard run into the end zone. A 2 point conversion failed and the Indians were up 32-7 with 6:29 to go.
The Lions were able to drive the ball from their own 29 yard line to the Indians’ 46 but Kasuba was intercepted again by Nelson. Nault, Zergiebel, Knapp, and Pensa were able to drive the ball down the field to the 45 yard line of the Lions. Knapp then made a 45 yard touchdown run. The 2 point conversion was successful and the Indians were up 40-7 with 1:45 to go in the quarter.
Cadrin was able to run the Indians’ kickoff for 60 yards to the 30 yard line. Kasuba made a pass to Hoey for 11 yards. After an incomplete pass, White caught the ball in the end zone for a 12 yard touchdown reception. The extra point was blocked which made the score 40-13 with 10 seconds left. The Indians made a few plays before time expired in the quarter.
The Indians were able to drive the ball from their 21 yard line to the Lions’ 5 yard line. This was mostly due to Knapp’s 19 yard pass reception and his 12 yard run. Zergiebel was able to score a 1 yard touchdown. With the extra point, the game was 47-13.
Kasuba was intercepted again, this time by Linell. Freshman quarterback Jack Jankura took a knee to end the game.
This was a domination victory by the Indians to say the least. Their defense proved to be up to the test of Foran’s offense. It was a sweet victory for Guilford’s senior night and a breakout game for Duke Knapp. Knapp had 188 total yards and ran for three touchdowns. He was a force on both sides of the ball making many tackles for the Indians as well. Coach Unger says “Its great to have someone like Duke ready to step in for K.C.”, “He’s a very hard worker and has always had the ability.” Looking ahead, Duke and the Indians need to be on their game next week. They face the undefeated Hand Tigers of Madison on Wednesday November 21 at 7:00 PM at the Madison Surf Club. The game is always a lot of fun before Thanksgiving so everyone come out and support the Indians!!! The Tigers might be undefeated but Coach Unger believes that the team, “has nothing to lose” and that “anything can happen”
The Guilford Indians would not be the same without their seniors. We are going to miss them greatly next season. The players who are part of the class of 2013 are:
Colton Schilling, J.P. Peters, Tyler Nelson, Sean Sullivan, Michael Serra, Nick Setaro, Mike Ferrara, Josh Cash, Ryan Affaunt, AJ Jayawardena