Trailblazers amass 667 yards in 71-40 win over Tigers
By Patrick Dillon
LEMOORE – After the Golden West Trailblazers’ 71-40 track meet win over the Lemoore Tigers last Friday night they find themselves in complete control of their West Yosemite League destiny. Sitting in second place they will face the first place Hanford Bullpups with a chance to pull into a three-way tie for first.
“This is do or die these next couple weeks,” Golden West head coach Paul Preheim said. “Everything is within our control.”
This was the second time in three weeks the Blazers (4-4, 2-1) were involved in a back-and-forth game. The Tigers (2-6, 0-3) took the lead first with two passing touchdowns in the first half of the quarter to jump out to a 14-0 lead.
“We did not look good on either side of the ball,” Preheim said.
After Golden West’s second drive Lonnie Wessel got his team on the board with a two-yard touchdown which was followed by the Blazer defense getting a safety. That made the score 12-9.
Golden West’s Tyson Sandri followed with the Blazers biggest play of the game which was a 51-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Washington. It gave the Blazers their first lead of the game 16-12.
Before the Blazers began to string scores together right before halftime the Tigers retook the lead on the ensuing kickoff 20-16 by returning it 90 yards for the score. Wessel added two more of his five rushing touchdowns before half. Those scores of two and five yards put the Blazers ahead by ten points 36-26 at the halfway point. He ended the game with 24 carries for 167 yards.
“We were able to breathe a little easier, but we still weren’t comfortable,” Preheim said.
As a unit the Blazers offense ran 76 plays for 667 yards and 10 total touchdowns. Preheim is certain that type of production would not have been possible without the work of his offensive line. A unit which continues to shine despite suffering some injuries. Cyrus Carter was one of the new faces along the line as he made his first start at right tackle.
“They blocked as well as they have all season long,” Preheim said.
The offensive line and the rest of the Blazers will have to be in top shape this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. with their fate in the WYL on the line.