Chris Folsom (25) strips the ball on the Spartans opening drive!
The photos from this Novato Stingers game are now available on the 2009 Novato Stingers Shutterfly site.
The Stingers played their second home game of the season, this time against the Esparto Spartans on a warm, breezy day at Novato High School. In a rare change-of-pace, the team wore their white "away" jerseys with the "home" black pants to better offset the dark blue Spartans uniforms. What did not change was the way the Stingers defense swarmed the opposition. While allowing only three first-downs on the day, Novato held Esparto scoreless, making it five straight shut-outs for the Stingers.
And while the defense held firm, the offense was off and running early. After winning the coin toss, Novato elected to receive the ball and quickly drove the field. Ben Putman (10) ran for a quick 2-yard touchdown and followed it up with a rushing PAT giving the Stingers a 7-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, the defense quickly took the ball back when Chris Folsom (25) stripped the ball and Robbie Cassée (16) pounced on the fumble.
It got ugly from there, as speedy Alec Ball (12) racked-up rushing touchdowns of 13, 60 and 30-yards to give the Stingers a 28-0 lead by early in the second quarter. With 1:30 left in the first-half, Mark Alvarez (21) scored on a 60-yard catch and run for a touchdown bringing the score to 34-0 and invoking the "mercy rule" for the third-straight game. That meant no more "official" scoring for either team, and the Stingers could only run the ball between the tackles while the clock would run without stopping for the rest of the game.
While quick, the second-half was more of the same, with the Stingers defense holding firm, and the offense moving the ball on the ground. On their second drive of the half, Putman ran the ball 15-yards into the end-zone with 1:10 left in the third quarter officially not-scoring what would have been another 6 points. He actually had to do it twice because the first time it he was called back for running outside the tackle, negating the play.
In all, another commanding performance by the entire Stingers team who were playing a little short-handed with two starters out for the game.
"The kids played great again today," said head coach John Jones after the game. "Next week, we'll line 'em up and play hard again. These guys just don't let up, which is good because we're sure to face some stiff competition as we work through the second-half of the season."
Final Score: Novato Stingers 34*, Esparto Spartans 0
2009 Stingers Record: 5-0
Defensive Points Allowed: 0 !!!!!
* The mercy rule was invoked before the end of the first-half
Ben Putman (10) on the first of his two end-zone runs of the day.
Alec Ball (12) rushing for one of his three touchdowns on the day.
Mark Alvarez (21) caps a 60-yard catch and run for the score.
Robbie Cassee (16) and Hunter Wegner (18) harass the Spartan QB
Paul Kunst (24) tackles a Spartan for a loss.
Cheers! - Jason