The Marco Eagles football teams stepped it up against First Baptist on Saturday, winning four games and barely losing two.
The pee wee Gold team led off with a resounding 18-0 victory.
The Eagles scored on the very first play, a 65-yard touchdown run by Tyler Wallace.
However, Coach Greg West said it was the defensive side that set the tone for the game.
“Brian Kocak Sr., our defensive coordinator, made some changes during the week that paid off on Saturday as the defense made great strides,” West said.
The Eagles defense was led by linemen Howie Jordan and Brian Kocak Jr. and linebackers Jay Vanderjagt and Zach West.
Wallace accounted for all the scores, thanks to good blocking and his speed. He had two more TDs on runs of 55 and 67 yards.
“Tyler has that extra gear that if he gets into the open no one is going to catch him,” West said.
In the pee wee Green game the Eagles scored a touchdown and an extra point, making it stand up for a 7-6 win.
An eight-play drive, which included a 46-yard run by Nick Trammazzo, hit pay dirt on a one-yard plunge by Raul Rodriguez. In the drive Nico Santimauro gained nine yards and Rodriguez 10 for a 65-yard scoring drive.
The First Baptist Beacons scored late in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles stuffed the run for the extra-point try.
“The defense came up big,” Coach Jim Santimauro said. “We worked hard all week on outside containment and the kids really responded during the game.”
The Eagles Junior Green team, broke a 13-13 tie to win, 20-13. First Baptist scored first on a pass interception, but the Eagles stopped the extra point.
The Eagles returned the favor when Daulton Herrity intercepted a pass, returning it 50 yards for a touchdown. The extra point failed.
A 20-yard pass from Sean Wallace to Zach Gober and another 20-yard run by Gober, got the Eagles its second score. Jared Jackson’s run was good for the extra point, but First Baptist added seven to end the half at 13-13.
The game became a grueling battle of defenses, until four minutes left in the game, when the Eagles started moving the ball. Runs by Cole Stretton, Gober and Jackson got the ball in scoring range and Jackson finished it off with a 15-yard jaunt into the end zone. Wallace hit Andrew Delgado on a roll-out pass for the final point.
The junior Eagles Gold team had the easiest time, romping to a 25-6 win.
The Eagles only had 14 players due to injuries, but played strong.
“Our defense played another great game,” said Coach Jim Young. “Our defensive line and linebackers made almost every play. Our offensive line of Cameron Robau, Kyle Ginther, Dylan Noel, Brett Anderson and Drew Stocklein, played an excellent game, allowing our backfield and receivers plenty of time to execute our plays.”
On the Eagles first possession, Greg Trzyna completed a pass to Peter Servente, good for 40 yards and Wesley Lancaster ran the ball in from five yards out. In the second quarter the defense forced a punt, which was returned by Cody Young for a 65-yard TD.
In the third quarter, Lancaster scored again on a 30-yard run. The final score came on Cole Cleary’s 55-yard jaunt.
The senior Gold Eagles lost a hard-fought battle, 12-8.
The Eagles scored first on an eight-yard run by Elijah Henderson.
On the ensuing kickoff the Eagles pinned First Baptist back to its own goal line. With a full blitz on, the Eagles Devin Noel tackled the runner in the end zone for a touchback, giving the Eagles an 8-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Eagles Jeff Leonia made a big sack and on the next play recovered a fumble to stall the Beacons.
“Playing in the dead heat of the afternoon, and missing four players, the Eagles simply ran out of gas in the last five minutes,” said Coach Bill Hollowsky.
The Beacons scored a touchdown and then performed a successful onside kick to push over its second score for the win.
Hollowsky cited Clayton Halunen and Adam Hurdis for “stepping up and playing a great game, on offense and defense.” Assistant Coach Ken Moss said, “The team made me really proud today, we couldn’t have asked anymore of the players.”
Henderson and Chris Ginther led the team in rushing, while Henderson led the defense with 10 tackles, Kyle Mitchusson, six and Jake Dworkin and Tyler Esquivel had four each.
In the final game, the junior Green Eagles lost a heartbreaker, 27-26.
The Eagles started the game with a bang as Nick Ronquette ran the kickoff back for a touchdown. Joe Scarpaci added three more touchdowns, but the Eagles were undermanned.
“We had only five offensive linemen and they gave it their all,” said Coach Steve Schneider. “Michael Mitchusson, Austin Rutherford, Dane Stretton, Ryan Garousi and Quinton were on the field throughout the game without complaint. Grimm also led our defense, along with Diego Cruz and Gage Wheeler.”
Schneider said the team made improvements and eliminated mistakes, but they couldn’t overcome First Baptist’s numbers.
“We are a little undermanned on the senior teams, but we are getting close and know that better days are ahead,” Schneider said.