DOVER — It’s difficult at times to say one player can change the outcome of a game when playing in a team sport. But Friday night at Strawberry Crest, Isaiah McIntyre was a one-man wrecking crew.
Bloomingdale’s junior quarterback completed 17 of 26 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 61 yards, at times breaking multiple tackles and carrying defenders on his back, to lead the Bulls to a 16-7 win against the host Chargers in the season opener.
“Isaiah is turning the corner, maturation-wise,” Bloomingdale coach Brian Surcy said. “I said earlier in the fall camp these are the best practices he’s been having since Aug. 4. He’s growing and he’s going to continue to make plays. That’s just who he is.”
Amazingly, McIntyre was withheld from practice earlier this week to rest an ankle injury he sustained during last week’s preseason classic.
“We were well prepared for Strawberry Crest,” McIntyre said. “We’ve seen them for two years and we had a good week of practice and we came in here motivated.”
On one of McIntyre’s touchdown passes, he eluded defenders in the pocket, scrambled forward and launched a pass over the secondary to an open Patrick Wiedrich for a 37-yard score.
If not for the three sacks McIntyre suffered during the game, he would have easily surpassed 100 rushing yards in the game.
“I have to learn to get down, stop taking so many hits,” he said.
Senior receiver Logan Crouse was McIntyre’s top target with seven receptions for 147 yards. Senior quarterback Tristan Hyde led Strawberry Crest’s offense with 170 passing yards.
Set up by a 54-yard kickoff return by Theo Williams, Strawberry Crest scored on the opening drive of the game, a 4-yard touchdown run by Arjay Smith. Bloomingdale responded with a 10-yard touchdown connection from McIntyre to Tommy McLaughlin to tie the game, and took a 13-7 lead on McIntyre’s pass to Wiedrich. The extra point was blocked after Wiedrich’s touchdown catch, but senior kicker Shane Nesmith gave the Bulls a six-point lead on a 33 yard field goal at time expired to end the first half.
“This was a hard-fought game,” Surcy said. “It was a hellacious performance from the defense; our offense made improvement and made strides this week and we just want to keep working on it.”
Though Bloomingdale turned the ball over three times, each time the Chargers attempted a rally, it was stifled by penalties. To add, the Chargers missed three field goal attempts.
“They made a lot less mistakes than we did,” said Chargers coach John Kelly. “Not to take anything from Bloomingdale, they’re a program on the rise and coach Surcy is doing great things over there, but Strawberry Crest beat Strawberry Crest tonight. If you look at the total yardage, in the second half we got fatigued and that’s on me.”
Bloomingdale 7 9 0 0 — 16
Strawberry Crest 7 0 0 0 — 7
B – FG Nesmith 33
B – Wiedrich 37 pass from McIntyre (kick blocked)
B – McLaughlin 10 pass from McIntyre (Nesmith kick)
S – Smith 4 run (Lehtola kick)