Defenders have no answers for Bloom
BLOOMSBURG — When the stat sheet and scoreboard look as ugly as they looked for Warrior Run on Friday, there’s not much anyone can say.
So, Defenders’ coach D.J. Flick didn’t have that much to say after Bloomsburg dominated his team in every facet of the game in a 62-6 win.
“They won this game in January,” said Flick. “They committed themselves in the offseason and I told my team after the game that if they don’t commit themselves in the offseason, they aren’t going to be able to compete with teams like that. They were faster, stronger and wanted it more.”
The Defenders were sacked 10 times and had 17 plays go for negative yardage as Bloomsburg outgained Warrior Run 386-116. But that didn’t even include the yardage on special teams.
Bloomsburg scored four touchdowns on special teams out of five total returns, returning three punts and a kickoff for touchdowns. Hunter Coulter, who was inserted by head coach Kevin Seabrook as a second punt returner this week, returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdown and also scored three rushing touchdowns.
“We made some changes on special teams and instead of having just one returner back on punts we went to two with Hunter Coulter to give us some more speed and it worked out pretty well and on kickoffs as well,” said Seabrook. “I said ‘we have to use our best guys back there’ and Hunter is definitely one of them.”
Coulter finished with 97 rushing yards on just five carries for an average of nearly 20 yards per carry, and also added 107 return yards for 204 all-purpose yards. Osiris Hemphill, the other returner Seabrook also put back to return punts, ran back two punts for touchdowns.
“They just executed and wanted it bad. I think they had a lot of frustration after the first two weeks and really wanted a win tonight,” said Seabrook. “They did an excellent job of executing the offense and playing tough defense.
Coulter capped Bloomsburg’s first drive with a five-yard touchdown run just over a minute into the game after Eric Foust caught a 43-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage and then two plays later picked up 35 yards on an end-around. Cooper Thrush ran in a two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
Coulter then ripped off a 64-yard run on Bloomsburg’s next possession to put it up 15-0. Warrior Run punted on its ensuing possession and Hemphill weaved through traffic and then used his speed to finish off a 61-yard punt return to make it 22-0.
Coulter got this third rushing touchdown of the night late in the second quarter on an 18-yard run that capped a 39-yard drive that took just four plays.
Warrior Run scored its only touchdown of the game with just :34 left in the half as it capped an impressive 14-play, 73-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Denver Beachel to Ty Kirkner. Beachel replaced starter Gage Anzulavich under center late in the first half.
“We were trying to get a spark and Denver got in there and played pretty well in that last series and was able to get us that touchdown,” said Flick. “We knew Gage could catch the ball and we wanted to hopefully feed off that momentum going into the second half.”
As quickly as Warrior Run was able to get on the scoreboard, though, Bloomsburg made sure there wouldn’t be any momentum for the Defenders, as Coulter took a squib kick at the 18-yard line and returned it 82 yards to give Bloomsburg a 35-6 lead at the half.
An interception by Aiden Klinger on Warrior Run’s first play from scrimmage of the third quarter further ensured no momentum for the Defenders, as it gave Bloomsburg outstanding field position at the Warrior Run 43 and two plays after ripping off a 38-yard run, Joe Zola punched it in from five yards out to put the game into mercy rule territory, 42-6.
Coulter returned a punt that the Defenders kicked out of their end zone 25 yards on Warrior Run’s ensuing possession for his fifth trip to the end zone of the game.