Baldwin football team ignites in 2nd half, beats Norwin

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Friday, October 1, 2021 | 11:12 p.m.


After being shut out in the first half, it looked like Baldwin’s winless start to the season could continue.

But with a ball, the Highlanders ignited an unforgettable second half.

Baldwin recovered an offensive kick to start the third quarter, then scored touchdowns on special teams, defense and offense to complete the turnaround for a 21-10 home win over Norwin in Friday’s game. the Quad County Conference.

“When you start 0-5 and you’ve been lenient five times, you’re back to the wall,” said Baldwin coach Tim Sweeney. “We were in a position where we have to play to win, and that forces us to take more risks. If we’re going to lose a close-range soccer game or blow ourselves up, we’re going to fight. “

The recovery of the away kick Davonte Jones – whom Sweeney affectionately calls “Hollywood” – put Baldwin (1-5, 1-2) in business after falling 10-0 at halftime, but the practice ended with a placement attempt that never took off from the ground after a high snap.

But with the momentum, the Highlanders’ defense forced a three-and-out.

On the ensuing punt, Andrew Sharp, who led Baldwin with 74 rushing yards on 13 carries, pulled and choked the kick, allowing Victor Iaquinta to retrieve it from the goal line for the score. or 10-6.

Things got worse for Norwin (2-4, 0-3) in his next scrimmage game as the snap went over the header of quarterback Luke Levendosky and was salvaged for a 17 touchdown return. yards by Keith Mincin. A 2-point run from Sharp made it 14-10 as Baldwin scored two touchdowns in 10 seconds of the third quarter.

“We did some good things in the first half, but we left opportunities,” said Norwin coach Dave Brozeski. “But you have to play against one opponent; you cannot play against two. Giving up a blocked punt, a side kick that we knew could happen – you give them extra opportunities, and both of these games hurt. I take full responsibility for the fact that my children are not prepared and ready to go. “

Levendosky was 15 for 24 passing for 185 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown for Xander Smith in the second quarter. Only 63 of those yards came after halftime as Baldwin increased the pressure with his pass rush.

The teams traded possessions with only three first downs over the next five drives. A good punt return from Jones put Baldwin on the Norwin 35, and four plays later Kam Allen scored on an 8-yard run with 3:13 remaining in the game.

Norwin attempted to set up a late practice that included a big 23-yard run from Levendosky on the third down. But with 1:25 remaining, it was “Hollywood” providing the final climax as Jones crossed the pitch for an interception to seal the match at Baldwin 2.

“We had planned the kick in play at the start of the week, but give it up to our players. They’re the ones who came out and performed the things that we saw, ”Sweeney said. “(The last workout) was a great workout, thanks to our O line, the coaching staff and the kids for having a great week of training.”

Officially, this is the third consecutive defeat for Norwin but only the second on the field. Last week, the Knights had to drop their game against Seneca Valley due to positive cases of covid-19 at school.

While Brozeski took the blame if the free time had an effect on his team, Sweeney took a more sympathetic point of view. After all, his team Baldwin saw half of their last season wiped out due to covid-19, playing just five games in 2020.

“Give Norwin a lot of credit. It’s hard to come back. They would start to roll a bit and then they stopped, ”Sweeney said.

“It’s not professional football. It’s high school, and it’s hard for the kids to bounce back. I want to congratulate them. They played the tough game all night.

Matt Grubba is a contributing writer.

Tags: Baldwin, Norwin

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