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A Unioto High School lineman tackles the Alexander High School ball carrier Friday, Sept. 9, at Alexander High School. Alexander defeated Unioto, 35-0. (Melissa Holler | FOR THE POST)

High School Football: Spartans defend home against Tanks invasion

With back-to-back blowout road wins to start the season, the Alexander Spartans are showing why it’s dangerous to wear white after Labor Day.

Alexander shut out the Unioto Sherman Tanks in a 35-0 victory at home Friday, using an explosive second quarter to take a 21-0 lead into the break.

A balanced attack helped confuse Unioto’s defense all night long, and Alexander head coach Sean Arno said it was crucial to their success.

“Having a balanced attack now and down the stretch is absolutely very important,” he said. “Watching the ’backers come up on film last year, we knew we would find something in that by hitting those quick slants.”

Balance included more than success in rushing and passing. Five players in Alexander’s backfield touched the ball to give the Spartans fresh legs whenever a run play was dialed in.

As a team, Alexander carried the ball 29 times for 153 yards and three touchdowns. With star tailback Cody Lawson’s graduation after last season, Alexander knew players had to step up.

“A lot of those kids played last year,” Arno said. “They took some lumps, but they did some good things for us. Tonight, they hit well and did some good things for us.”

Trey Bennett accounted for four of the Spartans’ five touchdowns. Bennett tossed both touchdowns in the first half. He found Gage Miller twice, including a 73-yard pass in the second quarter to begin Alexander’s assault.

“Those were things that we worked on,” Arno said. “We knew what our game plan coming in was, and that was part of the game plan — and we definitely executed.”

Defense also played a big role. Alexander forced three turnovers en route to the shutout, including two interceptions.

“Defense stood strong, didn’t let them in, and we had a couple big hits that started propelling us in the right direction,” Arno said. “They went all the way to the end — zero, zero, zero.”

Even with Alexander’s impressive win against Unioto and a 3-0 start to the season, Arno said his team still has plenty to work on.

“We’re not where we’re at yet by any stretch of the imagination,” Arno said. “Offense, defense — it’s not anywhere yet, so it’s what you’re working at every week.”

Penalties stacked up for the Spartans, including two roughing-the-kicker penalties that moved the ball for Unioto.

“There’s far too many penalties,” Arno said. “No turnovers, but the penalties — again, far too many.”


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