SYRACUSE – In what was a nearly identical repeat of last season’s annual blue & white match-up, Syracuse proved once again it was a force to be reckoned with, as the Titans trampled the Lancers and held them scoreless 31-0.
Undefeated in preseason and region play, Syracuse left no doubt as to who was the boss in Friday’s contest as it took only six minutes to score with quarterback Brock Anderson’s 32-yard pass to running back Mason Woodward (2), followed by Anderson’s extra point kick. Two minutes later, an interception by running back Myles Naisbitt (45) on Layton’s 19-yard line set the stage for a 22-yard field goal by Anderson that advanced the score to 10-0.
Syracuse took possession of the ball on the 40-yard line to begin the second quarter with a hand-off to Woodward for a gain of 20 yards. The Titans stalled in their offensive drive, however, turning the ball back to Layton on the 11-yard line. What should have been a scoring opportunity for the Lancers was stopped and possession reverted to Syracuse. A failed 40-yard field goal by the Titans placed the ball back in the hands of the Lancers, who once again were unable to score — ending the half at 10-0.
A re-energized Titan team exploded on the field for the third quarter, as running back Kavika Fonua (14) raced into the end zone on a 39-yard carry. Anderson’s PAT kick brought the score to 17-0. Layton’s quarterback Hunter Evans (15) was almost sacked by Titan defensive end Jace Purser (53), setting the pace for another Lancer loss of possession. A Titan 33-yard long pass to Jake Garver (8) with the extra point kick by Anderson placed the score at 24-0, with four minutes left in the quarter. Purser (53) and Kaden Craig (63) sacked the Lancer quarterback again forcing them to punt the ball away.
Syracuse scored for the third time in the quarter on a carry by Woodward into the end zone with 24 seconds left on the clock, racking up 21 unanswered points and putting the game out of reach for the Lancers.
"Offensively, our kids came out with a purpose and focus in the second half and we were able to put a couple of tough shots on the board in the third quarter," Syracuse offensive coordinator Mike Knight said. "Brock Anderson went 10-for-15 with 133 passing yards and had nine rushes for another 46 yards. Mason Woodward rushed 16 times for 70 yards."
Titan quarterback Spencer Johnson led the offensive charge for the fourth quarter, connecting with two 5-yard carries by Dillon Spencer (21). Layton’s offensive play midway into the quarter was stopped by defensive lineman Spencer Woodhall (75) and Brock Brewer (64). Syracuse regained possession on Layton’s 14-yard line. Johnson passed to Landon Ostler (13) for a carry to the 42-yard line and again to Ostler for a sprint to the 23-yard line.
With only one minute left in the game, the Titans opted to take a knee ending their homecoming game at 31-0.
“Obviously you get excited when your defense posts a shutout”, Knight said. “Layton has some really good skills players, especially on the edge, as well as quality receivers. Our secondary did a good job of shutting them down and making plays for us. Up front, Jace Purser put some pressure on their quarterback with a couple of sacks, along with Kaden Craig and Cardon Malan."
The Syracuse offense posted 355 total yards and held Layton to 103 yards. The Titans will meet undefeated opponent Northridge this coming Friday at Northridge.
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