July 1, 2016

Partly cloudy

Pirates punish Brooklyn

BROOKLYN — Somewhere, Woody Hayes was smiling.

Black River took the former Ohio State coach’s philosophy to the extreme Friday in a 39-20 Patriot Athletic Conference cross-divisional win over Brooklyn.

It was more than just 3 yards and a cloud of dust for the Pirates (4-5, 4-2). It was 551 yards and a mushroom cloud.

The Pirates, who didn’t complete any of their five passing attempts, blew by the Hurricanes (2-7, 2-4) with a trio of backs surpassing the 100-yard mark.

Seth Rowan led the way with 238 yards and two touchdowns. The senior’s rushing total ranks third in school history, behind Charlie Moskal (337 in 1998) and Jason Riddle (268 in 1990).

Rowan had scoring runs of 55 and 84 yards, with the first kicking off a scoring frenzy by the Pirates in the opening quarter.

“We hit them with some stuff I don’t think they were ready for,” Black River coach Al Young said. “We were able to get some things broken open and we got right back at it.”

Brandon Freeman (13 carries, 171 yards, 3 TD) followed with runs of 30 and 81 yards to complete a six-play stretch where the Pirates scored three touchdowns and amassed 185 yards.

“We have been working hard all year to have a game like this,” Freeman said. “The two of us have a good 1-2 punch and having a guy like Chad Muetzel blocking helps us, too.”

Muetzel set a career-high with 107 yards while leading the way for Rowan and Freeman.

“You can’t rush without an offensive line, tight ends and receivers making blocks,” Muetzel said. “They were really helping us out today.”

The players opening the holes for the grinding Black River attack were Jake Wright, Cory Spooner, Caleb Crispin, Ryan McClure, Bill Spooner, John Sas and Dan Green.

“It all starts up front,” Young said. “The offensive line has been doing a great job. We are still making mistakes, but our veteran backs have been helping us out.”

Despite all the individual heroics by the Pirates, the Hurricanes pulled even in the third quarter when Ajon Sessions stripped Freeman and rumbled 65 yards for a score.

Rowan, however, raced 84 yards on Black River’s next possession and the Pirates were on the run again.

The defense took over from there, limiting Brooklyn to just 23 yards in the second half, including minus-7 yards rushing.