Saturday September 15, 2012

LEE -- The backfield of Deaglan Giarolo, Dan Griffen and Ryan Hurley had a hand in all the scoring and yardage as Lee High School blanked Mahar Regional, 19-0 in the Wildcats’ home opener Friday.

Giarolo, a junior quarterback, threw for one touchdown, while Griffen and Hurley each ran for another -- all in the first half. The trio also racked up 159 yards rushing, with Giarolo throwing for another 97 yards.

However, the triple threat says they owe their success to a vastly improved offensive line.

"The line made blocks all night long allowing the backs to make their moves," Giarolo said.

"It was all the [offensive] line, all day," added Hurley. "We couldn’t do it without them."

After being shut out by Hoosac Valley in the season opener, Lee head coach Keith Thomson challenged his offensive in practice to be better prepared for Friday night’s contest.

"This week they took the challenge, feeling embarrassed by last week’s effort," Thomson said. "Because of graduation and injuries, the line is brand new from last year so we still have work to do."

The Wildcats had the dominate offense, 256 total yards to Mahar’s 103, as the Senators never found the end zone. The closest they came was a second half drive that stalled on the Lee 30-yard line.

Meanwhile, Lee scored on three of its first five possessions, with an opening first quarter drive that went 57 yards in less than two minutes, capped by Hurley’s 5-yard scamper into the end zone.

The Wildcats began the second quarter by capitalizing on one of three first-half turnovers by Mahar. Lee recovered a fumble at the Senators’ 25-yard line, thanks to a solid hit by Hurley on Mahar’s Tristen Merchant who coughed up the ball after catching a screen pass from quarterback Logan Barrett.

Three plays later, Griffen scored from one-yard out.

"We pride ourselves on defense," Thomson said. "They came out with 14 different offensive formations, something we practiced against all week."

Mahar also employed a no-huddle offense, which worked well at times, but something the Senators couldn’t effectively sustain throughout the game, according to heads coach Greg Scotland.

"My philosophy is ‘Fast and Furious,’ but our team is too young and not fully prepared yet to play at level consistently," Scotland said.

The Wildcat defense came up big again late in the second quarter when Jordan LePrevost picked off a Barrett pass inside Mahar’s 20 yard line. Two plays later, Giarolo hooked up with Jared Kirchner for a 7-yard touchdown pass at the 2:22 mark before halftime.