THAYER 41, MALDEN 0
Typically after a big game, a coach will pass out game balls in the locker room, giving one to the players' whose efforts really stood out on the gridiron that night.
However, after the Thayer Bobcats' 41-0 annihilation of the Class 3 Malden Greenwave Sept. 14, there was probably not enough game balls on hand for Thayer Head Coach Billy Webber to hand out to every player on his squad who deserved one.
That's how complete a team-effort the Cats' 41-point blowout of Malden was. All this after the Greenwave had hammered Thayer in week three last year, running up 54 points on the Bobcats at Malden.
Not so this time around.
This time, it was the Bobcats who took Malden out behind the woodshed, or more appropriately, out behind the new Thayer Community Fieldhouse at Louis Bozman Stadium, for a good, old-fashioned whipping.
As for those game balls, Thayer's dynamic senior running back, Michael Lowther, sure gets one. Lowther carved up the Greenwave defense for 133 yards rushing, along with four touchdowns, on 20 carries, as he outgained Malden's offensive output (103 yards total) all by himself.
How about a game ball for those big guys up front that opened the running lanes for Lowther? Ryan Veatch, Luke Martin, Eli Martin, Scott Hargus, Nathan Arsenault, Justin Carter, Kris Frillman -- they all get one for overpowering the Greenwave at the point of attack.
And on defense, Tyler Bonds, Ryan Tate and Jacob Eckman were in Malden's backfield more than the Greenwave were, as Thayer's defense held Malden's deadly-quick Delmour Moncrief to just 78 yards rushing on the evening. And the Cats' defensive secondary also came up huge, picking off Malden quarterback Tim Gage four times, two picks by Lance Schneider in the first quarter, along with one each by Zack Ary and Patrick Sims.
And on special teams, the licks laid out by freshman Cameron Carey on kickoff returns could probably be heard, and felt, all the way back in the Greenwave's hometown of Malden.
That folks, is a total team effort.
Things didn't start out so positive for the Cats (3-0), as Thayer drove all the way to the Malden (0-3) 14 before turning the ball over on a fumble on the first series of the night.
However, four plays later, turnabout was fair play as Eckman stripped Moncrief of the ball and Bonds recovered it for Thayer.
The Bobcats cashed that turnover in for points as Lowther followed good lead blocking from Frillman and Arsenault for a 20-yard TD carry at the 6:51 mark of the first quarter. The PAT was blocked, but after scoring 94 points in its first two games of the year, Thayer was at it again, jumping in front 6-0.
Before the dust had settled on the first points of the game, the Bobcats tacked onto their lead via the Thayer defense.
Schneider jumped in front of a pass from Gage that was headed for Andy Matthews, intercepting the pigskin and running it back to the Greenwave 3-yard line.
One play later, Lowther had his second score of the first quarter, a 3-yard dance into the end zone with 5:55 on the clock. Ethan Leisenring's point-after kick made it 14-0 Thayer.
It was deja vu all over again on Malden's next series.
Once again, Schneider picked off Gage to stall any plans the Greenwave had of answering Thayer's two-TD lead.
Two snaps into the second quarter, Thayer went up by three touchdowns.
On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Lowther blasted in for his third touchdown of the game, less than seven seconds into the frame. Leisenring's PAT stretched the Bobcats' advantage to 21-0 over the stunned Greenwave.
Then Thayer put together a 12-play, 53-yard scoring drive on its next possession, a long march aided by a pair of big-time plays on fourth down.
Faced with a fourth-and-2 at the Thayer 45, the Cats lined up in punt formation, but Lowther took the snap and sprinted 14 yards down the right boundary into Malden's side of the field, giving his squad a fresh set of downs.
Then on a fourth-and-4 at the Greenwave 25, Eckman used a quarterback keeper to peel off 11 yards to convert another fourth down for the Cats.
Bonds finished off the drive by plowing into the end zone from three yards out with 2:24 left until intermission. The point-after was wide of the mark, but Thayer took a commanding 27-zip lead into the half. For the first two quarters of play, Malden could manage just one first down, as the Bobcats held a firm grip on both sides of the football in the first half.
The theme of three-and-out continued into the third quarter for the Greenwave.
On Malden's first series of the second half, Hargus and Ryan Tate smashed through the Greenwave offensive line to throw Gage for a huge loss on third down, setting up a fourth-and-17 at the Malden 25.
Wanting to punt, the snap went over the head of the Malden punter, and when he did get his hands on the ball, Eckman drug him down at the Thayer 1-yard line.
One play later, Lowther had his 11th touchdown of the year, this one from a yard out at the 9:53 mark of the third. The PAT made it Thayer 34, Malden 0.
On Malden's next series, the Greenwave proved that bad things do happen when they have to throw the football.
Zack Ary intercepted a Gage pass and rambled all the way to the Greenwave 6-yard line, setting up Thayer's final score in the rout. Bonds crashed through for his second TD of the evening, and Leisenring knocked down the extra-point to cap Thayer's 41-point blowout of the mighty Greenwave.
For good measure, Sims picked off gage one last time, this on the last play of the game, to make things official.