Howland passes East with ease
By ALEXIS BARTOLOMUCCI
When it comes to taking the ball into one’s own hands, Howland quarterback Samari Dean knows how to do it well.
Dean’s arm and legs teamed up with running back Jackson Deemer’s 77 yards rushing to lead Howland to Friday’s 35-12 win over East at Rayen Stadium. Dean also returned a fumble for a score.
In the first quarter, Dean connected with tight end Nathan Barrett in the first quarter with a 20-yard pass to get the Tigers on the board first.
“We were running the ball like every play and it was a good call by the coach to realize they were probably going to be ready for it,” Barrett said. “Samari was able to look for me and find me.”
The Tigers (3-3, 1-1 All-American Conference Red) were able to keep momentum going in the second quarter. Dean scored his first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run. Shortly after Dean’s touchdown, he once again found Barrett in the end zone and threw a 13-yard pass to make the score 21-0.
“We knew it was going to be a battle coming in,” East (1-5. 1-1) coach Brian Marrow said. “We just have to keep our heads down and keep plugging away and get better.”
Howland tends to run the ball a lot, but for this game the coaches and team knew they had to switch it up. Howland coach Dominic Menendez said the Tigers worked on different things during practice that paid off.
“We are a run team and teams usually prepare for us to run a lot,” Barrett said. “When we come out here, they’re going to expect us to run and when we pass it kind of throws them off and keeps them on their heels.”
Dean focused on passing more to his open players to create opportunities for scoring.
“We knew we had the let the ball go, let it fly,” Dean said. “I chipped to my tight ends and I just let it go and let them make the play.”
With less than three minutes remaining in the half, East had possession and Dean was able to recover a fumble. He then ran 30 yards to put six more points on the board for a commanding 28-0 lead going into the half.
“We preached all week do your job and guys came out and did that,” Menendez said. “They executed well on all three phases of the game and we put up a good first half.”
The Golden Bears came out stronger and more focused in the second half and only allowed the Tigers to earn one more touchdown. Howland was able to get close enough to the goal line in the third and Deemer ran 4 yards to score.
“They’re a good football team, well-coached,” Dean said of the Golden Bears. “We knew we had to come in and play hard to beat them.”
One of the major issues was the penalties taken by both teams. East lost 65 yards with eight penalties and Howland lost 75 yards with eight penalties.
“If there’s one thing you take away, one thing that needs work is to clean up the sloppy play,” Menendez said. “The more effective we can do things on offense, the better we’re going to be.”
Tight end Ilijah Donley caught a 5-yard pass from Thomas Steele to get East on the board in the third quarter.
Scoring in the fourth for the Golden Bears was running back Jawan Showers with a 2-yard run.