’s home football opener went less than smoothly on Friday as the Hornets were routed 21-0, thanks largely to an aggressive Addison Trail defense that has allowed only 13 points all season.
The Blazers (4-0, 2-0) kept the Hornets (2-2, 1-1) offense off balance and out of sync for almost the entire game with their blitz packages and quick linebackers. Quarterback D.J. Deolitsis had trouble moving the ball, and running back Keontae Hall was kept to menial gains. The Hornets offense managed only 86 yards for the entire game.
“I have to give them credit: Addison Trail has a speedy defense — especially their linebackers,” Hornets coach Michael Barry said. He also admitted some of their struggles came down to a lack of execution on offense.
The Blazers offense also had trouble executing at times. The team committed 13 penalties for almost 100 yards and almost all of them were on the offense.
Running back Anthony Messina and the Blazers running game were able to compensate for their penalty woes. Messina ran for 169 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. Vince Beltrano ran for 33 yards on six carries and also had a touchdown.
“My offensive line helped out a lot,” Messina said. “They really made some nice holes for me to run through.”
The Hornets only real threat to score came in the second half when Deolitsis moved the ball into Blazers territory with a 20-yard quarterback sneak. The Blazers defense held them down, though, and they were unable to convert. Deolitsis had 34 yards on nine carries and threw for 23 yards on 4-for-12 passing.
“What was tough was getting him (Deolitsis) out of the pocket. We weren’t able to get anything going,” Barry said.
The Hornets play at Leyden next Friday. Barry remains optimistic about their playoff future.
“I still like our chances,” he said. “This is a young team and we’re doing all the right things. We just need to do certain things better and execute.”