Blanton’s boot not enough to boost DA
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002
It’s not hard to tell that Michael Blanton hasn’t spent his entire life playing football.
The stringy senior from Demopolis Academy, in fact, was always a soccer player. Friday night, he was a football player. In fact, he was the entire offense for the Generals.
With 5:38 left in the first half, DA called a timeout to set up a 30-yard field goal. Just before the timeout, Blanton walked up to an official and handed him a square black tee.
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Apparently, Blanton wanted to go ahead and tee the football up at the line of scrimmage. Of course, that’s not how field goals are kicked. Normally, the placeholder sets up seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, sets the tee down (only in high school) and people like Blanton give it a boot.
The official looked at Blanton and pointed a few yards back. The official then leaned over, laughed a little, and probably couldn’t wait to see Blanton’s attempt at the field goal.
After the timeout and snap, that official looked amazed when Blanton’s attempt sailed through the uprights with plenty of room to spare.
That field goal cut a Warrior Academy lead from 13-0 to 13-3 with time more than 5:00 left in the first half. In fact, it appeared to give the winless Generals some motivation.
Ah, but motivation doesn’t last long in high school football. On the ensuing kick-off, a short one by Blanton, Warrior’s Jonathon Curtman received the ball at his own 35 yard line and dashed 65 yards for a touchdown. It was Curtman’s first of three touchdowns on the night. And needless to say, the momentum from Blanton’s kick fizzled fast.
Warrior took a 19-3 lead into the half and the Braves didn’t stop until they rolled up 32 points against Demopolis Academy.
In the end, the Generals fell to 0-4 on the season with a 32-3 loss Friday night.
Even in the loss, though, Demopolis Academy proved they had guts. There was no better evidence than the play of quarterback/safety Kevin May.
All night, what appeared to be a black ink spot in the sky, decorated by flashes of lightning, stayed away from General Field. As cheerleaders took the field for their halftime show, the skies opened.
A steady rain poured over Demopolis for the entire halftime break, but the skies parted just in time for the second half. However, the pouring rain didn’t allow for players to warm up after a 20-minute intermission.
May, who played both ways all night, fell victim to the quick start of the second half.
On their first possession of the third quarter, Warrior was faced with a fourth-and-six from the Demopolis 43-yard line. They faked a punt and the Generals snuffed out the play, taking over on downs.
After a three-and-out, Warrior took the ball and faced another fourth-down situation. This time, the Braves punted.
May lined up at left end and went for the block. Warrior got the punt off beyond the outstretched hands of May, who dove to the ground.
Five minutes later, May was helped off the field by a couple of coaches. His left calf had frozen with cramps and he couldn’t walk.
After making it to the sideline and taking a few drinks, May hobbled back on the field and tried to keep his team in the game. The Generals went three-and-out again, and faced another fourth-down situation from deep in their own territory.
Now the Generals faced a dilemma. May also serves as the team’s punter and he’s left footed – the same leg that had cramped a few plays earlier.
May stayed in the game and boomed a 40-yard punt. He never came off the field again, but his efforts couldn’t help propel the Generals past Warrior.
Offensively, Demopolis Academy struggled the entire game. They gained only 47 yards in the first half, and were held to 68 yards in the second half. Of those 68 yards, 24 came on the last play of the game when DA’s Joe Magro rushes to the Warrior 12 yard line.
Demopolis will be off this Friday because Marion Academy has dissolved its football program this year.