By rich loup
Special to The Advocate
September 23, 2012
ZACHARY — It’s a tired cliché at times, but defense and special teams truly were the difference for Zachary High School on Friday night in its 21-14 upset of fourth-ranked Dutchtown in a nondistrict matchup of Class 5A teams.
Zachary’s special teams blocked three kicks — two for touchdowns — and a late fourth-quarter interception sealed a home upset for the Broncos (3-1).
The loss was the first regular-season defeat for Dutchtown (2-1) since 2009.
“The smallest guy on the field was the biggest guy out here,” Zachary coach Neil Weiner said of Kentrell Fisher, who was responsible for two of the blocked kicks and two of the Broncos’ special teams touchdowns.
Zachary’s Boston Scott rushed for 89 yards and scored the go-ahead 3-yard touchdown run with 9:21 remaining in the game.
Scott also contributed on special teams with an average of 48.8 yards per punt on four kicks. He took advantage of some friendly bounces on the artificial surface at Bronco Stadium, including a game-high of 58 yards.
Dutchtown quarterback Mason Nickens threw for 126 yards and rushed for a game-high 119. Torrance Mosely added 87 yards on the ground for the Griffins, who had 390 total yards.
But Nick Maxey’s late interception wrapped up a Zachary win that appeared improbable based on the first-half dominance displayed by Dutchtown.
But if Fisher’s 40-yard scoop-and-score return on a blocked punt wasn’t a harbinger of what was to come, his block of a 43-yard field-goal attempt in the final minute of the first half reinforced the message.
And Zachary cemented the point in the third quarter. Darryl Garner’s block of a 47-yard Dutchtown field-goal attempt resulted in Fisher’s 58-yard score off the loose ball.
Jacob Garrett’s extra point tied the game at 14 with 3:56 to go in the third quarter.
Weiner credited assistants Chris Carrier and Cade Worsham for their work with the special teams.
“We’ve blocked an extra point or a field goal in every game,” Weiner said. “I’m just so excited for those kids.”
Dutchtown methodically moved the ball in the first half and dominated time of possession.
That trend started with an impressive 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive that took 6:53 off the clock on its first possession.
Nickens finished the drive with a 6-yard TD run and Tyler Sarrazin added the extra point as the Griffins took a 7-0 lead with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.
DHS broke a 7-7 tie midway through the second quarter. Nickens’ 15-yard run capped a 71-yard drive as the Griffins went up 14-7 with 5:17 left in the second quarter.
But Dutchtown couldn’t finish what it started.
“We got exactly what we deserved,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “They outplayed us. My hats are off to them. We’ll have a better product next week.”
On the other hand, Weiner was happy with what his team produced.
“It’s just so awesome,” Weiner said.
“It’s one of my prouder moments. Dutchtown is such a class act. Benny Saia’s a great coach. They’ve got great players. They do it right. And to play the No. 4 team in the state and give that kind of effort, win or lose, I’m so proud of our guys. But to come away with a win just shows what great kids they are and great football players.”