BREWER — At least for the opening night of the 2010 high school football season, Blair Blaisdell was a one-man scoring machine for the Lawrence Bulldogs of Fairfield.
The senior tailback didn’t start on offense, but he made up for lost time, ripping off a 5-yard gain with his first carry midway through the first quarter en route to 54 in the first half and a game-high 93 overall.
He also accounted for all of Lawrence’s points with four touchdowns and three point-after kicks in the Bulldogs’ 27-0 victory over Brewer at a breezy, but humid Doyle Field Friday night.
Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even second on the backfield depth chart.
“Blair wasn’t in the top two on our depth chart, but the two in front of him weren’t running as hard as we like to see our backs go,” said Lawrence coach John Hersom. “He definitely provided a spark and kept it going.”
Blaisdell helped the Bulldogs take a lead into halftime by breaking a scoreless tie with an 11-yard touchdown run off right tackle with 1:29 left in the first half. The score and PAT kick capped a 16-play, 85-yard drive consuming 7 minutes and 3 seconds.
Blaisdell accounted for 49 of those yards on seven carries.
“I think the other kids fed off Blair running hard and getting those positive yards,” Hersom said.
Blaisdell wasn’t the only switch. Junior Alex Leathers came in to play quarterback and finished with 81 yards on 4-for-8 passing.
“We started off with our sophomore [Spencer Carey], but he was a bundle of nerves and was having trouble with the plays and formations,” Hersom explained. “Alex did a nice job coming in and seems a little more comfortable with the pace of the game.”
After totaling 120 yards in the first half, the Bulldogs found their rhythm in the second half, rolling up 179 total yards and turning those yards into points. Lawrence opened the second half by stuffing the Witches deep on their own side, getting a 23-yard return, and scoring with a four-play, 17-yard drive.
“The offensive linemen were beating their men, but they were giving up a little too early and we made an adjustment at halftime,” said Blaisdell, referring to Brendan Hagerty, Josh Perry, Lucas Quimby, Dylan Germon and Roy Barnaby. “They opened up more holes and we started running straight at them. They finished their blocks a lot better too.”
The Bulldogs also capitalized better on Brewer mistakes.
Lawrence made it 21-0 after a high snap on a Brewer punt attempt was recovered at the Witches’ 6-yard line by defensive linemen Lucas Quimby. Blaisdell took the first down handoff and plowed up the middle for the score.
Four minutes later, the ‘Dogs made it 27-0 with 1:35 left in the third quarter by driving 78 yards in eight plays.
“Some of our guys were hanging our heads and we had some injuries, but we also made too many mistakes,” said Brewer running back Caleb Woodward. “I think a lot of it was about speed. They kept getting into the holes really well and defensively, they were slowing our running game down. They were hitting holes quicker than we could.”
Lawrence limited Brewer to 112 total yards and kept the Witches from getting a first down until the last 10 minutes of the game.
“We were able to shut them down in our own end early on and I think that really helped us with momentum because they were winning the battle of field position,” Hersom said. “So it also probably frustrated them at the same time.”
Early season nerves were evident as both teams combined for 12 fumbles, four of which were recovered by the opposition.