BROADWAY – For the third straight week, Sherando’s football team entered a game as the heavy favorite. And for the third straight week, the Warriors looked the part.
Sherando traveled to Broadway on Friday night and blasted the Class 3 Gobblers, 55-6, in what was its third consecutive dominating performance against an overmatched opponent to open the season. The Warriors, who began the 2018 campaign with lopsided wins over James Wood and Jefferson (West Virginia), have won each of their first three games by an average margin of 48 points.
On Friday night, Sherando took the lead a little over three minutes into the contest and led 41-0 at halftime.
“It was just like any other week,” Warriors senior two-way lineman Nick Corbit said of preparing for games that most people expect Sherando to win handily, “we’ve just gotta work our tails off Monday through Thursday and as long as our preparation is good up until Friday then all of our work from the week will take care of itself on game day.”
Friday’s first half was as one-sided as they come. Sherando (3-0) scored on all five of its first-half possessions, piling up 249 yards on just 19 offensive plays in the first two quarters, while the defense allowed only 17 yards of offense in that span to a Broadway team that dropped to 0-3 with its latest loss.
The Warriors’ defensive front seven harassed Broadway quarterback Nick Lohr (12-for-25 passing, 90 yards, one interception) the entire first half, recording three sacks and forcing a pair of turnovers that Sherando turned into points.
“(Sherando defensive coordinator T.J.) Rohrbaugh is like a mastermind with the defense, and he got us in the right position,” said Corbit, who had two of Sherando’s four sacks in the game and forced a fumble. “We did a lot of different looks, 4-3, 3-4. I was really impressed with just some of the stuff we did.”
Broadway, which finished the night with 149 yards of offense after finding some success against Sherando’s reserves in the second half, had just 2 yards rushing on 15 carries in the first half. Thirteen of the Gobblers’ 29 first-half offensive plays went for zero or negative yards.
“The line, they were just blowing them off the ball, and it just created open windows for our linebackers to run through,” said junior linebacker Payne Bauer, who recorded a sack and spent most of the first half in Broadway’s backfield. “The line was manhandling them, I felt like.”
Sherando needed little time to find the end zone offensively, as quarterback Hunter Entsminger connected with running back T.J. Washington for a 42-yard touchdown pass on the Warriors’ second offensive play of the game.
Washington motioned out of the backfield pre-snap and leaked out into a wide-open area along the Sherando sideline. Entsminger, looking downfield, stepped into the pocket before rolling right and dumping the pass off to Washington, who raced untouched to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
“It’s one of those things where I feel like you have to attack early if you’re gonna have a shortened game type of thing,” Sherando head coach Bill Hall said. “And that’s a credit to Hunter, to be honest with you, just in terms of you’re going to empty (backfield) on that play, and he’s reading (the) safety, if the safety’s rolling and stuff, to pick out what’s proper read progression, which changes based off the motion going across the field. And so for him to pick that up right away and then being able to execute it like that – I mean that was the No. 3 option, going to T.J. on the side. And so to get to No. 3, you don’t see many guys at our level doing that, so I mean that’s a credit to him. And then our guys executed and obviously any time you get T.J. or those guys in space that’s a good thing.”
Wide receiver Jabril Hayes made an electric play of his own on Sherando’s next possession when he caught a pass from Entsminger in the flat, made a move at the line of scrimmage and darted upfield for a 21-yard touchdown reception.
Fullback JoJo Doleman scored on a 6-yard run to cap a 64-yard drive set up by Corbit’s strip sack and McKinley Dean’s fumble recovery, and Washington scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors a 27-0 lead with 7:10 left in the first half.
Sherando was gifted with excellent field position in the first half, as Broadway continually tried to punt the ball away from Washington and instead settled for kicks that sailed out of bounds just beyond the line of scrimmage. Three of the Warriors’ first four drives began at the Broadway 48-, 30- and 30-yard lines after punts of 4, 16 and 22 yards.
“It does a lot because first it tells us that we can have trust in our defense to put us in a position like that,” Washington, who had 104 yards of total offense (62 rushing on eight carries, 42 receiving) and three TDs, said of the Warriors’ good field position. “And also we know once we’re in the red zone we can score.”
The Warriors’ defense added a touchdown of its own midway through the second quarter. On second down from the Broadway 10, Bauer led a pack of Sherando defenders as he streaked toward Lohr in the end zone, forcing the Gobblers QB to float an off-balance throw to a receiver near the 5-yard line. Dean plucked the ball out of the air and returned it 6 yards for a score.
“We just try to talk about putting other people in a position to get opportunities, and I feel like that was one,” Bauer said. “Nick (Corbit) and the D-line, they put me in an opportunity to get to the quarterback and then since I got to the quarterback, I could put (Dean) in a position to make a play and get the pick.”
Washington added his second rushing touchdown of the night with four seconds left in the first half, capping a quick three-play, 67-yard drive that included a 50-yard pass from Entsminger to Dean on first down with 0:31 showing on the clock.
Entsminger completed 5 of 7 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, while Sherando rushed for 240 yards and finished with 391 yards of total offense. The Warriors averaged 10.9 yards per play in the win.
Junior running back Darius Lane led Sherando’s rushing attack with 121 yards and two TDs on 12 carries, all in the second half with the Warriors’ reserves on the field. Lane’s first varsity touchdown came on a 7-yard run in the third quarter, and he reeled off a 70-yard scoring run in the fourth to answer a 1-yard TD run by Broadway’s Brandon Cruz (18 carries, 70 yards).
Sherando returns to action on Friday with another road game at Loudoun Valley, a team it beat 50-20 last season.
“We’re just trying to raise our ceilings no matter who we play,” Corbit said. “So if we’re playing Broadway or Jefferson, James Wood, Martinsburg, whoever we’re (playing), we’re just gonna give it our all and try to raise our ceilings.”