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Dawgs return to Class A by choking off No. 10 Chilton in season opener


Junior Eric Guzman looks for some open space on a 24-yard kickoff return in Thorndale’s huge season-opening win over Chilton on the road Friday evening. 
Reporter/Teresa Ging Junior Eric Guzman looks for some open space on a 24-yard kickoff return in Thorndale’s huge season-opening win over Chilton on the road Friday evening. Reporter/Teresa Ging CHILTON—Thorndale’s check list for its season opener went something like this:

• Win on the road.

• Defeat a top 10 team with loads of tradition for winning.

• Break in a new quarterback and allow him to be successful.

Check, check, check.

The Bulldogs traveled to dangerous Chilton and ransacked the No. 10 Pirates 44-27 Friday night in the 2012 season opener.

In his first start, junior quarterback Riley Schaefer deftly guided the Bulldogs to victory in their triumphant return to Class A.

The Bulldogs jumped out of the gate in a hurry in the past two seasons in Class 2A, going 5-0 to start 2011 and 2010.

Now, Chilton outdistanced Thornda le 400 to 387 in total yards, but led by senior noseguard Fabien Gomez, the Bulldogs kept the Pirates out of their backyard.


Quarterback Riley Schaefer hands off to Darius Brooks, who gained 102 yards and scored four times against No. 10 Chilton Friday night. 
Reporter/Teresa Ging Quarterback Riley Schaefer hands off to Darius Brooks, who gained 102 yards and scored four times against No. 10 Chilton Friday night. Reporter/Teresa Ging Thorndale led 44-14 with just over five minutes left in the game as Chilton crossed the goal line twice in the final four meaningless minutes.

“A couple of keys were first, containing their speed on offense,” said second-year Thorndale Coach Brent Brevard. “They did break a couple of big plays on us, but for the most part we kept them hemmed up. On offense our offensive line did a great job of run blocking to control the line of scrimmage.”

The Pirates—who scored 40 points a game last season— averaged just five yards per play Friday night.

Back to Schaefer. The 5-foot- 11, 165-pounder passed for 137 yards on 14-of-21 accuracy without an interception or a fumble. He also snuck in for a rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

He spent the remainder of the evening handing the ball to a stable of Bulldog runners who stacked up 250 yards on the ground, led by another youngster, sophomore Darius Brooks, who ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.

Brooks also made his presence felt on defense as he returned a fumble recovery 27 yards for a score for a fourth touchdown.

Veteran Price Miller complemented Brooks with 77 yards on just seven tries. Seven different Bulldogs handled the ball.

Miller also led all receivers with four catches for 32 yards.

Quarterback Kyondris Landrum accounted for most of the Pirate offense, passing for 141 yards and running for 121 more with two scores.

While the two teams exchanged touchdowns in the first quarter for a 14-14 tie, Thorndale pulled away for good in the second quarter as Brooks scored twice within a minute of each other, trotting in from the 16-yard line and then scooping up a Pirate miscue for a 27-yard score and a 27-14 halftime advantage.

Chilton would not score again until late in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.

Brooks added his fourth score in the third quarter followed by a 33-yard field goal from new kicker Gabriel Salinas and a 14-yard run from Seth Barker to close out the scoring and make it 44-14.

Scouting Somerville— The Yeguas are coming off an encouraging 26-19 victory over Class 2A Anderson-Shiro, a school in its first season of varsity play.

Somerville was 4-6 last season but still were able to put the ball in the end zone, averaging 29 points per outing.

Somerville scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to hold off Anderson-Shiro and quarterback John McDonald, who ran for a 3-yard touchdown and threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to help give the Owls a 19-7 halftime lead.

The Yeguas are led by sophomore quarterback Hayden Martinez who started last season and is the leading rusher returning.

The Yeguas are picked fifth in the six-team District 13AII, which includes Milano and Granger.

In the past eight years, Somerville has posted just two winning seasons.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.


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2012-09-06 digital edition



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