Here he comes again! Austin Snell breaks into the clear for an 11-yard touchdown in the first quarter, one of four TDs he scored to lead the Trojans past Bark River-Harris 46-6.
CRYSTAL FALLS—To those Forest Park fans who were worried about their football team this season, the Trojans made a statement in their season opener Aug. 24.
First play of the year: Austin Snell took a pitch from QB Jeff Johnson around the right side and dashed down the sideline for a 58-yard TD.
That gave FP a big emotional boost right away, and the Trojans rolled on, scoring on their first four possessions. FP’s defense didn’t allow Bark River a first down until late in the first half.
The new scoreboard at Dick Mettlach Field showed a 46-6 score after the final horn. Lookin’ good!
Much tougher foes are on deck—Norway and Hurley—but the Trojans have some confidence now. Coach Bill Santilli later he was “very surprised.”
“Everybody contributed. We had so many players contribute in this game.”
At the same time, there’s a long way to go. Santilli has been badgering his team for weeks about execution. “It’s the little things we’ve been continuously harping on.
“We’re going to find out over the next two weeks, when our opponent brings a different caliber of competition.”
More points: Snell’s first-play TD was just the start. FP’s other first half scores came on a seven-yard keeper by Johnson and 11- and 7-yard runs by Snell. Fullback Raymond Tomasik ran in two conversions, and passes to Derek Aberly and Snell for the deuce also worked. It was 32-0 at halftime.
Two more scores came late in the third quarter: Johnson passed 10 yards to Brett Hietala, and Snell struck again on a 53-yard run—his fourth TD of the night and FP’s second one-play scoring drive. Zach Painter’s ran in a convert.
Bark River struggled against the Trojan defense all night. The Broncos did better after switching to a wildcat formation near halftime. Even so, FP defenders kept blowing through the line on pass plays.
The Broncos’ lone score was set up by Jorden Sodergren’s 42-yard pass to Dane Messersmith at the Trojan 3 in the final minutes: Sodergren was clobbered as he released the pass and stayed on the turf for a minute or so. Messersmith scored on the next play.
Special credit: QB Johnson had a strong debut on varsity, completing 4 for 7 for 56 yards and adding 42 with his feet. The rebuilt offensive line gave him time. The defense played aggressively and well.
Santilli, who has been very critical of his team, gave them an “A.” Yes, some things weren’t done right. But “We played a very complete, all-around game. I hope this can carry over into next week,” against a hard-nosed Norway squad.
Numbers: Total yards, FP 346 (36-290r, 56p), BRH 123 (29-80r, 1-8-43p). First downs: FP 10, BRH 4. Rushing: Austin Snell, 6-141, 4 TDs; Raymond Tomasik, 13-89; Jeff Johnson, 2-42. Passing: Johnson, 4-7-56. Receiving: Zach Painter, 1-26; Snell, 2-20; Brett Hietala, 1-10, TD.
Defense: Tackles: Hietala, 6t-2a; Taylor Nocerini, 5t-2a, 1.5 sacks; Derek Aberly, 5t. Tackles for loss: Nocerini, Johnson, Ryan Silva. Hurries: Adam Hilberg 2, Tomasik, Connor Dalpra. Fumble recovery: Hietala. Strip: Aberly.
Coming up: The Trojans visit Norway on Thursday, Aug. 30. The Knights rallied late to win their opener over Northern Elite 12-6.
Broncos 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Trojans 24 8 14 0 -- 46