Frazier runs through Springdale for 1st win

Friday, October 13, 2023 | 11:04 PM

For the first time “in a very long time,” Frazier had two players rush for more than 100 yards as the Commodores picked up their first win of the season Friday.

Using a hybrid wing-T offense, Derek Diamond carried 19 times for 108 yards, and Chase Fulmer ran nine times for 103 yards and the opening touchdown as the Commodores topped visiting Springdale, 20-14.

Frazier (1-7, 1-4) scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter when receiver Andrew Bandish skied over a Springdale defensive back and ripped the ball away for a 10-yard touchdown on a fourth-down pass from Brennen Stewart.

“Andrew Bandish is one of the hardest workers on this team and just does everything right,” Frazier coach Mike Shannon said. “If he was playing at a bigger school, he’d be getting all kinds of attention from schools. He’s a great receiver and just makes great plays.”

Defensively, Bandish also had a key play as he intercepted Dynamos quarterback Chase Weihrauch at the 20-yard line on a fourth-down play with just under five minutes to play.

Springdale (1-7, 0-4) never got the ball back as Diamond barreled through the defense for three first-down runs, allowing the Commodores to go into a victory formation for the first time this season.

“Diamond is like full of Novocaine,” Shannon said with a laugh. “He delivers the blow, and he takes a licking and he just keeps going and going. He wears down a defense, and, in the second half, defenses just don’t want to tackle him.”

The Commodores struck first when Fulmer raced 67 yards midway through the first quarter. The 2-point conversion failed, giving Frazier a 6-0 lead.

The Dynamos answered with the one-two punch of Weihrauch and Colton Gent on the outside.

The pair connected three times on the opening drive for 67 yards with Gent catching a 15-yard touchdown. Noah Skaugen’s PAT made it 7-6.

“That No. 2 (Gent) is a great player. We were able to switch some things around at the half, but he was gashing us early,” Shannon said.

Weihrauch completed 11 of 24 passes for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Gent finished with eight catches for 174 yards.

On the ensuing Frazier drive, the Dynamos defense looked like it had Stewart stopped on a quarterback sneak, but the quarterback kept his legs churning, spun to the right and raced 37 yards for the go-ahead score on the first play of the second quarter.

Stewart connected with Fulmer on a 2-point pass to give the Commodores a 14-7 lead.

The Dynamos picked up the tying score with 2:11 remaining in the third quarter. This time it was Wiehrauch rolling left and cutting inside for a 14-yard touchdown run.

Bandish’s touchdown catch followed on a 15-play, 82-yard drive that featured 10 running plays through the heart of the Springdale defense.

“You know, we moved Greensburg Central Catholic’s front line pretty good last week. It didn’t show on the scoreboard, but we definitely came out of that game a better team,” Shannon said. “We figured, if the offense worked against them, it would work against these guys. I thought this was one of the few teams where we had a size advantage.

“I have to give it up to the offensive line, though. Those guys worked so hard and really opened up some good holes for us tonight.”

As Shannon watched his team celebrate with the student section and the band near the locker room, his exhale was noticeable.

“It’s a weight off the shoulders to get this win. It starts with one, and this definitely gives us some momentum. Just look over there,” he said pointing to the locker room area. “This makes it all worth it. Even with the lopsided losses, those kids worked so hard for this. They deserve it more than anything.”

The Commodores will travel to Clairton next week in the last game at the old Neil C. Brown Stadium before renovations. Springdale will host Jeannette for homecoming.

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