Another week, another blowout win in the books for Red Riders

BULLDOZING — Weir High’s Donavan Kirby rushes against Anacostia on Friday. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)

WEIRTON — The thing that Weir High coach Tony Filberto feels is lacking from his 2-0 Red Riders is swagger, and he thinks his charges may have found that in Friday night’s 71-20 romp over Anacostia from Washington, D.C.

The Red Riders started slow for the second week in a row, but once they found what Filberto called “the grove” they dominated both football games. The Riders swamped Oak Glen in the opener, 49-14, a week earlier.

“Here’s what I told the kids,” Filberto said after the game. “I thought that, early on, we played to their level. Good teams don’t play to somebody else’s level — we set the tone of the game. I don’t think we did that early, but once we got into the grove we showed what we can do.”

What they did was dominate both sides of the line of scrimmage. They piled up 374 yards of offense (175 yards on the ground and 199 through the air), making big strike plays on offense and, with a few exceptions, threw up a stifling defense. That combination tended to wear down the undermanned Indian squad that showed up at Jimmy Carey Stadium with just 16 players.

The Red Riders scored 65 points in the first three quarters, and the 65-20 deficit going into the fourth quarter invoked the mercy rule that allows the continuous running of the fourth-quarter clock.

The 15-0 first period lead Filberto’s club built didn’t seem too bad, but it was first-game mistakes that helped to keep the Indians from getting on the board. A long first period touchdown run was called back by a holding penalty, and the Indians stopped themselves with numerous illegal procedures, offsides and delay of game penalties. In all, the Indians had 14 penalties that set them back 72 yards. Anacostia ended up gaining 222 yards on the ground against the Red Rider defense.

Senior quarterback Kenyatta Lemon ran for 140 of those yards and scored on runs of 60 and 45 yards. It was his apparent 62-yard scoring run that was called back by the holding penalty.

“They have some speed,” Filberto said. “A couple of times we had blitzes, and they called the right play. They have some athletic kids. Early, our line didn’t play very well, but then the line finally kicked in, and I thought we played pretty well after that.”

The Red Riders had some trouble rushing the football in the early going, but senior quarterback Tyler Komorowski went to the air with about as much success as the two-year starter has had in his career. He wound up completing 12 of 16 aerials for 199 yards, including four touchdowns.

“It felt good, healthy and playing the game,” Komorowski said. “I give credit to our line. They kept it clean all night. I didn’t have to worry about a defender in my face. We had a big night. You can’t start slow against a team like this. We tried to play down to their level for a little bit, but we picked it up. We have to clean up that part of our game for sure.”

Junior speedster Sebastian Spencer was his favorite target, hauling in five passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Spencer got behind the Anacostia defense repeatedly and caught a touchdown pass of 38 yards and two that covered 33 yards each.

“Once we settled in, we were able to use our passing game to pick them apart,” Filberto said. “Then, our run game got some consistency, and it all came together.”

The Red Riders piled up 175 yards on the ground, with 131 of them coming in the second half. Junior Ste’von Semedo, who has a jitterbug running style darting in and out as he sees openings, gained 53 yards on six carries. He scored touchdowns on two nearly identical runs of 22 yards each in the second half.

Senior Donovan Kirby was the leading ground gainer with runs of 17, 15 and 20 yards among his eight carries. He scored on a 4-yarder and finished with 67 stripes. Komorowski opened the scoring with an 8-yard power run up the middle in the first quarter and had another 12-yard rush in the second stanza.

“We ask a lot of Komorowski,” Filberto said. “He’s our all-state defensive end around whom we built our defense. He has the freedom to check off of plays at the line of scrimmage. Many of the plays we send in have both a run and pass option, depending upon what he sees in the opposing defense. He threw some nice balls. He did a good job.”

It might have been a fumble recovery by big sophomore tackle Jordan Brueck midway through the first quarter that swung the momentum to Weir High’s side. That set up Komorowski’s rushing touchdown.

Komorowski’s 38-yard pass that Spencer caught over his shoulder down the middle of the field in full stride opened a 15-0 first-quarter lead.

Anacostia answered with with a 56-yard scoring dash by junior Devon Allen and a two-point conversion run by Lemon on the first play of the second period to close the gap to 15-8.

The Red Riders went on a 31-point second-quarter scoring blitz with Spencer’s 33-yard swing pass reception and run, Kirby’s 4-yard blast and a pretty 18-yard Komorowski fade pass to senior Jake McCoy in the left corner of the end zone. They capped the blitz when Komorowski picked up a fumble deep in Anacostia territory and rambled 14 yards for a touchdown.

The Riders added conversion points after all those touchdowns with a Komorowski keeper, his passes to Spencer and McCoy and a Reed Reitter kick.

The Kirby touchdown was set up by an interception in Indian territory by senior linebacker Chris Helms.

Earlier in the period, Lemon got loose on a 60-yard scamper for a score. All that gave the Red Riders a commanding 46-14 halftime lead. They scored 19 more points in the third period and closed it out with six in the fourth.

The Red Riders continue their early season home stand, hosting James Monroe next Friday.

Weir High 71, Anacostia 20

Anacostia 0 14 6 0 — 20

Weir High 15 31 19 6 — 71

W: Komorowski 8 run (Wills pass from Spencer)

W: Spencer 38 pass from Komorowski (R. Reitter kick)

A: Allen 56 run (Lemon run)

W: Spencer 33 pass from Komorowski (Komorowski run)

W: Kirby 4 run (Spencer from Komorowski)

A: Lemon 60 run (run failed)

W: McCoy 18 pass from Komorowski (McCoy pass from Komorowski)

W: Spencer 33 pass from Komorowski (G. Reitter kick)

W: Spencer 55 punt return (kick failed)

W: Semedo 22 run (run failed)

A: Lemon 45 run (run failed)

W: Semedo 22 run (kick failed)

RUSHING: Anacostia 31-222-3 (Petway 2-(-4), Towles 2-3, Fuller 5-(-4), Allen 9-72-1, Lemon 13-140-2); Weir High 18-158-4 (DiMatteis 1-1, Kirby 7-50-1, Semedo 6-53-2, Walters 2-34, Komorowski 2-20-1).

PASSING: Anacostia 1-8-29-0-1 (Allen 1-5-29-0-1, Lemon 0-3). Weir High 12-16-199-4-0 (all by Komorowski).

RECEIVING: Anacostia (Petway 1-29); Weir High (Spencer 5-125-3, G. Hostuttler 1-12, R. Reitter 1-9, McCoy 4-45-1, Gillette 1-8).

FIRST DOWNS: Anacostia 4; Weir High 12.

PENALTIES/YARDS: Anacostia 14-72; Weir High 5-60.

FUMBLES/LOST: Anacostia 4-2; Weir High 1-0.