By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
SAYRE — Sayre’s high-powered offense sputtered Friday night in a 30-6 loss at Canton in what second-year coach Kevin Gorman termed “the worst offensive performance we’ve had in my 18 games here.” Watching the game film didn’t change his tune.
“It was a little bit of everything.
“At times the offensive line wasn’t doing its job,” said Gorman. “I don’t think Brayden( Horton) was crisp at all for the entire game, and sometimes the receivers didn’t do their job.
“Isaiah (Firestine) was running hard, but when you’re being hit in the backfield, you can’t really do much.
“It was almost a complete meltdown in every facet of the offense,” added Gorman. “Easily our worst offensive performance in my time at Sayre.”
Gorman said he and his coaches weren’t the only ones upset after the loss.
It wasn’t a good night,” he said. “Obviously, the coaches weren’t happy with the performance, and I know the kids weren’t happy with themselves after the game. It was good to see they were upset about their performance, too.”
“I let the guys know after the game we laid an egg,” he said. “Coming in, everyone expected to win. I certainly didn’t expect to be on the short end of a 30-6 outcome. A one-score game either way I would expect, but I didn’t see this one coming.”
Gorman is hoping the Redskins get another crack at the unbeaten Warriors.
“We might get another shot at (Canton),” he said. “We just need to take care of our business the next three weeks, and in the first round of the playoffs.
“If we can take care of business the next three weeks, we should have a home game in the semifinals,” added Gorman. “Win that, and anything can happen in the playoffs.”
The Warriors jumped out to an early 12-0 lead, but Gorman said it didn’t effect the play-calling.
“We didn’t really change our approach,” said Gorman. “We got down early, but our offense can make big plays to get us back in games.
“Obviously, later in the game when the clock was ticking, we had to be a little more pass-heavy, but nothing changed early on,” he added.
Gorman acknowledges his team may have been pressing a bit after falling behind early.
“I think the guys were pressing too much, trying to make up the entire (12-point) deficit with one drive,” he said. “We just needed a score to get the momentum back — it’s a game of momentum.”
Gorman said his defense was solid, allowing the first two scores in a short field after Sayre mistakes on offense and special teams.
“Defensively, I thought we were OK.
“If you had told me, we would hold Uriah Bailie ran to 103 (rushing) yards, with the tear he’s been on recently, and that we would somewhat hold down their passing game, I would have thought it would be a lot closer game than it was,” said Gorman.
“I thought our guys did a good job of making (Canton) drive the ball, and not giving up the big play, like Bailie or Ben Knapp are capable of,” he noted.
“I thought we did a nice job of forcing turnovers. We forced two fumbles, blocked a punt, and recovered a bad snap on what I think was going to be a fake punt.
““We definitely have some areas to clean up,” added Gorman. “At times, our tackling got a little suspect.”
Gorman notes his team may have been pressing on defense a bit as well.
“I also think some of our guys were trying to do too much, instead of just their job, and that really cost us on a couple of second- and third-and-longs,” he said. “If our guys just do their jobs, we’re off the field.
“Canton can throw the ball, but they are a run-first team,” added Gorman. “We wanted to get them into situations where they had to pass the ball, but it didn’t work out for us.”
Even special teams had its share of struggles.
“Special teams wasn’t great,” said Gorman. “It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great.
“Looking at the film, I think Luke (Horton) could have gotten the punt off,” he noted. “The snap was definitely slow, but if he had shortened his process, one-stepped it and got it off, I think we could have saved some field position there.
“Our kick-off game wasn’t as good as I expected. We’d score, then we’d give up a 50-yard return,” added Gorman. “Those are momentum plays. You get a little momentum with a score, then you give up a big return, and you’re back on your heels.”
GRADE: C- / D+. “We told the guys after the game this is not we expect from them,” said Gorman. “I think the guys agree we are a better football team than what we showed in Canton.
“It was a bad night for us,” he noted. “I don’t think any coach walking into a game like that at 5-1, would expect that to happen.
“We’re going back to practice, and will re-group and re-focus on the last three games of the season,” added Gorman. “The District playoffs is what matters, and if we take care of business the last three weeks, we’re the 2-seed and we’re hosting a District game.”
IN PHOTO: Sayre coach Kevin Gorman.
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