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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Charleston comes out sluggish against undefeated Blackcats

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Charleston quarterback Chase McClendon scrambles away from Fredericktown's Justin Menteer in the second quarter Friday night. McClendon picked up 39 yards on the ground and threw a touchdown pass in the Bluejays 49-6 loss. David Jenkins, Staff
CHARLESTON -- After the very much improved performance that the Charleston Bluejays had against the Dexter Bearcats last week, they could not carry that over into their game against the undefeated Fredericktown Blackcats this Friday as they fell 49-6.

"We came out just flat as can be," Charleston head coach Dan Kesselring said. "It looked like a total different ball team from last week. Last week we had a little enthusiasm. We started off the ball game a little sluggish but picked it up and got some things on our side. This week we just couldn't never get anything going."

One of the main reasons why the Bluejays had a tough time getting any rhythm going was because of the swarming defense of the Blackcats. They only allowed 48 yards on the ground which is an area that the Bluejays usually excel at.

"I'm really pleased with the way our first team defense played," Fredericktown head coach Shannon Henson said. "I'm extremely pleased with the way we handled their speed and they way we contained them. Really, we played extremely physical on the line of scrimmage and it really showed tonight."

The Blackcats on the other hand was very successful in both the air and on the ground. Fredericktown rushed for four touchdowns, each by different runners, and threw for three for 49 consecutive points. They scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, three in the second and two more in the third to run away with their seventh straight win of the season.

Charleston's Maurice Moore runs for yardage against Fredericktown Friday night. Moore finished with two yards on three carries. David Jenkins, Staff
"I think we played well the first half," Henson said. "Offensively we made some mistakes here and there. I don't think we were completely focused. I think sometimes that our kids think that we're a little bit better than what we are and maybe we don't give people the respect that they deserve. I told them that coach Kesselring doesn't have a lot of kids out and they're struggling a little bit but he'll have them ready to play and they're going to focus on our weaknesses. We weren't completely as focused as I would have liked to have been in the first half."

Fredericktown's starting quarterback, A.P. Lewandowski, completed four passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

"A.P. (Lewandowski) does a really good job of running our offense," Henson said. "We need to get him out on our bootleg a little bit and let him throw the ball off our play action. If we're going to be successful in our district we're going to have to be able to throw the football. I was pleased with our execution of the passing game in the first half."

His backup, Jake Sikes, finished the second half with one completed pass for a 30-yard touchdown.

Joey Lewandowski was the leading rusher for the Blackcats with 14 carries and 121 yards and one touchdown. And at the same time, Ryan Gifford seemed to be everywhere on the field for Fredericktown. He was responsible for two receiving touchdowns, one from each quarterback, and one rushing touchdown on his only carry. He also kicked the extra points for the Blackcats where he was a perfect 7-for-7.

"We had some kids in there like Brylan Moore who hadn't been playing a lot of offense and gets a big touchdown pass on the short flat pass," said Henson. "It was nice to see kids like him and Ryan Gifford and some other kids catch some balls and do some things offensively."

Brylan Moore was on the receiving end of the longest play of the night which was a 58-yard touchdown strike from A.P. Lewandowski. He finished up with just that one catch and rushed twice for four yards.

"I don't think it was completely that they weren't ready to play," Kesselring said. "It's just that mentally we weren't ready for Fredericktown. Granted, Fredericktown did a good job of stopping us right off the bat."

Charleston was lead by Chase McClendon in both the passing and rushing. He completed 9-of-13 passes for 82 yards with one touchdown and kept the ball on the ground seven times for 39 of the Bluejays 48 rushing yards.

Donald Dixon was beneficiary of the McClendon touchdown pass that was scored late in the fourth quarter. Dixon caught the ball at around the Fredericktown 30-yard line and cut his way straight down the sideline for a 37-yard touchdown pass.

"It was good to see Donald Dixon get some catches," Kesselring said. "We've been waiting for him all year to catch the ball and do something with it. He's had some big plays on some punts and kickoff returns, but it was good to see him get some touches and run with the ball a little bit."

Charleston (1-6) will be hoping to shake this game off and focus on their all important first district game against the East Prairie Eagles next Friday.

"It's going to be real tough," Kesselring said about their next week match-up. "They're playing real good ball. They've got a good offense and I understand their defense is playing pretty tough. I told our kids starting Monday they're going to have to get tuned in for this ballgame. District format is still going to take the top two out of the district. We'd like to win that first one and not have to worry about falling behind and get second place."