Titans roll Pretzels, stay undefeated

Junior quarterback Lamont Toney scores a touchdown from 1 yard out against Freeport. Toney ran for 21 yards total in the 56-7 victory. Photo by Matt Nestor

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

The Boylan Titans’ defense caused four turnovers, and the offense scored 34 points in the first quarter, as the Titans (3-0) cruised past Freeport (2-1) by a score of 56-7 in a battle of undefeated teams.

Aaron Einhorn scored from 43 yards out on the second play of the game to set the tone for the Titans. Chris Miller also continued his outstanding season, touching the ball three times and scoring on two of those touches.

“On offense, we wanted to impose our will up front,” Boylan coach Dan Appino said. “We felt like we had an advantage up front to really grind them.”

But the story for the Titans was the strong play of their stellar defense. Led by Sam James, who got a sack and caused a fumble in the first quarter that led to a Boylan touchdown, the Titans blitzed the Pretzels’ spread offense all night long.

“We wanted to get to the quarterback,” James said after the game. “We wanted to get pressure on him so they didn’t have a lot of time to throw and get him on the ground early.”

And the Titans did a good job of that all night, harassing Pretzels quarterback Alex Bennett into a 14-32 performance passing. The quarterback threw for one touchdown, but also fumbled twice and threw an interception.

“We always put our fastest kids on defense first,” Appino said. “They get the first share of talent. We put our best guys over there because we feel if we can stop teams, we’ll get good field position for our offense in the long run.”

For the Titans, it was another in a good stretch of tests for this young defense. In their first three games, the Titans have faced three completely different offenses, with the balance and speed of Harlem, the grinding running game of Guilford and Freeport’s spread passing attack. And each time, the young Titans have come through.

“Every week, we have a new defense,” James said. “We change it in practice and change the tempo, and our coaches do a good job of coming up with it.”

In other NIC-10 action:

→ The Guilford Vikings (2-1) bounced back from a loss to hand Belvidere North (0-3) their third straight loss of the season, defeating the Blue Thunder 54-35 in a wild shootout. Austin Smaha led North with 321 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Gerry Ford led the balanced Vikings attack with 135 yards and two touchdowns.

→ Jefferson (2-1) got an interception return by Royce Dixon for a touchdown as they held on to beat East (0-3) by a final of 27-20. Three turnovers hurt the E-Rabs’ cause, despite two touchdowns from Wes Short.

→ Late Belvidere miscues helped Harlem (2-1) hang on to defeat the Bucs (1-2) in a wild finish at Husky Stadium 35-28. The Huskies blew a big lead, as Belvidere quarterback Troy Vandenbroek threw for 220 yards. But after the Bucs’ David Gamboa touched a Harlem punt, the Huskies recovered the loose ball and went in for the short score to win the game.

→ Hononegah (3-0) continued to roll, cruising to a 47-6 win over Auburn (0-3). The Indians got two touchdowns from Carlos Hendrix, one on the ground and one off an interception.

From the Sept. 15-21, 2010 issue

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