Wynford turns out the lights on Blue Devils
CAREY – As Brayden Wentling’s pass sailed to the left corner of the end zone and bounced off Carey’s Cody Luzader, the lights went out on the home side of C.D. Wentling Field on Friday night.
Despite there being 4:30 to go in the second quarter, that turned out being the last play before halftime of the Carey-Wynford game.
While the lights came back on 20 minutes later, the Royals played lights out defense the final 28 plus minutes for a 28-0 victory.
“Fortunately our defense stepped up and played extremely well for us tonight,” Wynford coach Gabe Helbert said. “They just played a phenomenal game to shut Carey out like that. Just a credit to our defense and our defensive staff.”
The incomplete pass was a momentum killer for two reasons. For starters, it ended Carey’s drive on the Wynford 18 as it was fourth-and-5 when Wentling’s pass bounced off the chest of Luzader.
“I wanted to play the first half,” Worst said. “They had just stopped us on fourth down, which is a momentum killer, but I thought we were playing well enough that we could have gotten a stop. But with them having time to talk about it a little bit and our guys losing a little bit of their edge on defense, I thought it was to their advantage and their style of play.”
Wynford had 20 minutes to scheme how it was going jumpstart an offense that had amassed just 42 yards on 12 plays so far in the first half.
The result was a Royals squad that lit up the Carey defense, driving 82 yards and scoring with 2.5 seconds to go until halftime on a well-timed 9-yard out route from Zach Hoffman to Jordan Imbody, who snagged in the right front corner, dragging his feet in the end zone as he was tackled out-of-bounds.
“It was great for momentum. We got that, got the ball back right after halftime and kept rolling,” Hoffman said.
Instead of a second halftime, the officials gave the two teams three minutes in-between the second and third quarter and Wynford got the ball back. While it didn’t score, it left the Carey defense on the field after just spending 15 of the last 16 plays on the field.
“I didn’t count but what did we spend (20) plays on defense right in a row? That’s difficult for most defenses,” Worst said. “You could tell. It was third and short, fourth and short and we just couldn’t get that last play that we needed to get off the field.”
After the early halftime, Carey couldn’t get its offense jump started. One drive ended on downs and two others ended when Hoffman intercepted Blue Devil passes.
“At the end of the day, I think I say it every week, we’re really fortunate to have Zach Hoffman. He’s just a tough hard-nosed football player who loves the game,” Helbert said. “He’s playing more defense the last two weeks and we’re probably going to ask him to do that throughout the year as the year progresses. He did his job.
“He made two excellent plays on the ball, momentum-shifters,” Helbert said. “He’s a game-changer and we’re fortunate to have him.”
That wasn’t the only damage Hoffman did. He scored on runs of 14 and 72 yards on consecutive possessions in the third and fourth quarters. He amassed 140 yards rushing and 92 more on 10-of-17 passing.
“I think their guy is a little bit faster. Anytime it looks like poor tackling, it’s usually because their guy is faster. They had a little more team speed and once they got outside, they were able to take advantage of it,” Worst said.
Zack Houck scored the final TD with just over two minutes to go in the game on a 8-yard scamper.
“I thought we started all right. We weren’t consistent enough on offense. We made some decent plays on defense but we just couldn’t get off the field there,” Worst said. “We came back out on the field after that delay there with the lights and we knew we needed to get a stop and we didn’t get it.”