Black River (1-0) jumped out front with 22 points in the first nine or so minutes of the game on the way to a 51-6 win to spoil Western’s home opener (0-1).
“This is one of the top two, three or four teams on our schedule that we open with, so that’s not the best scenario in the world,” Western coach Ty Stevenson said.
“Black River is a really good program. Coach (Al) Young has been there a long time. They are consistent every year; they’re going to work hard; they’re going to be tough, physical kids.”
The Pirates’ first score came four minutes into the game as running back Caleb Simonson capped a 65-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown.
Following a short series by Western and up 8-0, Black River hit pay dirt on the first play of the next drive. Running back Spencer Constable avoided Western defenders for a 72-yard TD run. The two-point conversion made it 16-0.
Constable had 99 yards and the score on the ground plus another 110 yards in receptions and two more TDs. He scored Black River’s third touchdown of the night on a 41-yard passing play from quarterback Riley Bartolic. The two-point attempt failed and the Pirates led 22-0 with 2:52 in the first quarter.
Despite the lopsided loss, Stevenson saw a few positive things from the ’Riders.
“I thought our kids fought pretty well. They kind of blitzkrieged us a little bit in the beginning, got us (down) 22-0 pretty quick and then after that, you know I thought we fought pretty hard — for the first time out, with a new staff (and) a lot of new kids. After that, I thought we were OK,” he said.
Western junior defensive back Adam Lewis intercepted Bartolic at Black River’s 35-yard line with 25 seconds left in the first quarter. That turnover led to a short drive which culminated with Western’s only score of the game, a 4-yard run by junior Cody Benesh. The two-point conversion failed and Black River led 22-6.
“That was what kinda turned it and then we had a nice drive,” Stevenson said. “That was a big turn of events right there.”
The swing didn’t last long. Black River’s Simonson scored his second TD on a 20-yard reception from Batolic. The two-point conversion was successful and the Pirates led 30-6 with 6:11 left until halftime.
Simonson ended the night with 52 yards rushing and a TD on the ground. He also had 29 receiving yards and another score.
Bartolic was 6-8 for 179 yards through the air, three TDs and an interception.
Western came out with a long drive to start the second half, but failed to get any points on the board.
“We talked about it at halftime. We said, ‘Listen, the score is what it is. We need to come out and we need to have a really good first drive’ and we did; we took it down the field. I was proud of them for that. We dug deep and played pretty well there. We wanted to punch that thing in, but sometimes it is what it is,” Stevenson said.
Black River scored with 2:50 left in the third quarter on a 35-yard TD catch by Constable. The extra point made it 37-6.
The Pirates scored twice in the final period on a 23-yard run by Chance Bailey and a 44-yard scamper by Tommy Yourich.
“We’ve got some fight. I thought we played hard. We had a few things in the second half that we need to clean up, but I think we’ve got some pretty good players,” Stevenson said.
Margaretta (0-1) comes to Bachelder Field on Friday for a non-league game after losing to Seneca East.
“Seneca East is a pretty good team. That was a pretty good game for about three quarters,” Stevenson said. “They (the Polar Bears) are gonna be big, they’re going to be physical (and) they’re going to be well coached. Coach (Todd) Pooch has been there for a long time, so they’re a really good team. We’re going to come back (this) morning and watch some film and try to be better next week.”
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger” and on Twitter at @Cary_reporter.
Black River 22 8 7 14 — 51
Western Reserve 0 6 0 0 — 6
B — Caleb Simonson 6 run (two-point)
B - Spencer Constable 72 run (two-point)
B — Constable 41 pass from Riley Bartolic (two-point failed)
WR — Cody Benesh 3 run (kick failed)
B — Simonson 20 pass from Bartolic (two-point)
B — Constable 35 pass from Bartolic (kick)
B - Chance Bailey 23 run (two-point failed)
B — Tommy Yourich 44 run (two-point)