At the dawn of the 18th century, Charles XII of Sweden set his eyes on expanding his empire, and looked to the east. In 1708, the Swedes would cross the Vistula and begin their push into Russia. Territory was taken, and advancement ensued. The Russians, however, would enact a scorched earth policy, leaving nothing of value as they slowly retreated and let their strongest ally, an unforgiving, bitter winter, go to work. By spring, nearly half the Sweden army perished, marking the beginning of the end for Charles’ empire. From this Great Northern War, to the Napoleonic War, to World War II, the adage “don’t invade Russia in the winter” would be ignored, to the invading armies’ ultimate demise.
Mark Gibson, a 30 year coaching veteran and Senator defensive coordinator, is also an amateur history buff. Often, the Senator defense is like attacking Russia in the winter. Ground can be gained, but eventually the opposition runs out of resources and freezes on the tundra.
Such was the case Friday night, where the Senator defense would come up with two separate goal line stands enroute to a 35-0 victory over the hosting Mitchell Bluejackets to move to 3-0 on the season.
“So far, we are a team that wants to compete,” said head coach Jeremy Lowery. “Our execution is still a work in progress, but through the first third of the season, we are happy with the intangibles this group possesses.”
After the first Senator drive would end with a punt, senior linebacker Greyson McCoy would step in front of Mitchell’s first pass and return it 20 yards. After the pick six, the PAT would prove true, giving the Senators a 7-0 lead.
Senior linebacker Zach Stice would force a punt on the ensuing Mitchell possession after a tackle for a loss, and senior quarterback Kenton Chase would find McCoy streaking behind the Mitchell defense for 54-yard touchdown pass.
Sophomore linebacker Jack Armstrong would put Mitchell behind the chains with a tackle for loss, and senior cornerback Jaxson Cambron would pick off an errant Bluejacket pass to set up the Senators at mid-field. On 4th and goal, Chase would find senior wide receiver Titan Williams, who would walk the tightrope to come down in bounds in the end zone for the Senators third score. Junior fullback Tyler Miller would convert the two point on a throw from sophomore running back Gavin Hunt to make the score 21-0.
The second quarter would see the Bluejackets put together a drive before turning the ball over on downs. Chase would then use his legs on a 34-yard dash to the endzone. The converted PAT would make the score 28-0.
The Bluejackets would embark on a promising drive, eventually securing 1st and goal inside the Senator 5. However, junior linebacker Hudson Cress would deny the Bluejacket runner at the goalline as time expired in the first half to preserve the 4 touchdown advantage.
The second half would see the Senator defense force a turnover on downs, and then Chase would add his second rushing touchdown of the evening on an 18-yard run. The PAT would prove true, giving the Senators a 35-0 advantage and starting the running clock.
The Bluejackets would again put together a promising drive, matriculating the ball down the field and setting up another 1st and goal inside the Senator 5 yard line. Once again, the Senators would bow their backs and come up with four straight stops to force a turnover on downs and preserve the shut out.
The Senators are in action next Friday night at home versus the Springs Valley Blackhawks.