Jonthan Alder rebounds, romps
By Chris Miles
The Jonathan Alder defense treated the visiting Logan Chieftain offense like a purple and white clad door-to-door salesman during the two teams Week 4 football tilt Friday night at Alder.
The visitors marched the length of the field twice in the first half, but both times the stingy Alder defense left the eager Chiefs standing on the doorstep. Logan turned the ball over on downs both times in the red zone and never recovered as the Pioneers eventually walked away with a convincing 35-0 victory.
Alder, which only ran three plays in the game’s first 14 minutes, finally got its offense cranked up following Logan’s second empty trip into the red zone.
It did so thanks to the arm and legs of quarterback Andy Fooce. The senior scored on a 42-yard run midway through the second quarter, tossed a 26-yard scoring strike to Brad Miller a couple minutes later and closed out the first half scoring with a 1-yard run to give the home team a commanding 21-0 halftime advantage.
“We really had to fix all the things that weren’t right with the offense,” Fooce said. “We really came together and our offensive line did a good job and gave us time to get the ball down the field.”
The win helped wash away the memory of the Pioneers disappointing 49-7 loss a week earlier against a talented Clinton-Massie squad.
Alder coach Steve Coate was happy to see his team get its swagger back in a big way.
“All the credit goes to the kids,” Coate said. “It was definitely a good bounce back for us.”
With the big halftime advantage, the Pioneers went for the knockout punch early in the third quarter. Fooce went up top on the first play of the second half, finding Miller on a 56-yard touchdown pass. The score came after Logan had tried an on-sides kick to start the half.
The Fooce-to-Miller connection covered 50 yards for a score with 5:13 to play in the third quarter when the quarterback hit the shifty receiver across the middle. Miller then broke free of a would-be tackler and scooted down the sidelines for his third touchdown of the game.
“Miller is one of our key guys,” the quarterback said. “They were keying on Matt Rowe and Miller was able to get free down the middle a few times.”
Defensively the Pioneers got strong individual efforts from senior linebacker AJ Detweiler, junior linebacker Chandler Ferko and Miller, who was all over the place from his defensive back position.
“(The Chieftains) had a couple good conversions there early,” Coate said. “We had a chance to really jump on them early and they had some third down and a couple fourth down conversions to keep drives alive, but our guys stayed at it and the stops turned out to be pretty big for us.”
“Our defense really has improved a lot since Week 1,” Fooce said. “Those stops helped us a lot. If they had scored it might have been a different ball game.”
It wasn’t all smiles for the home team, starting senior running back Derritt Potts injured his leg on the team’s first play of the game and did not return. His loss was lessoned by the running of Fooce, who helped pick up the slack with his legs.
“We practiced a lot with Derritt and he goes down on the first play and our game plan is gone,” the coach said. “We had to improvise, with Andy and Brad especially. The offensive line did a great job and we were able run some, it was definitely a good night for us.”