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FOOTBALL: Blazin’ Blaysin: Healthier Fernandez not stopped; Bulldogs now 6-0

Nederland 49, Dayton 20

Nederland’s Rene Cunningham (27) caches a deep pass to the 2-yard line during the first half against Dayton on Friday at Bulldog Stadium. (Brian Vincent/Special to The News)

Nederland’s Blaysin Fernandez (11) caps of a long first-half run against the Dayton defense Friday at Bulldog Stadium. (Brian Vincent/Special to The News)

Nederland’s Kade Scott (20) makes a long first-half run against the Dayton defense Friday at Bulldog Stadium. (Brian Vincent/Special to The News)

NEDERLAND — Blaysin Fernandez was not going to be sidelined … not by injury, anyway.

Healthy enough to finish a game for the first time this season, the senior who has started every game at quarterback for Nederland ran for three touchdowns and totaled 231 yards of offense, as the Bulldogs went on to a 49-20 win over Dayton on Friday night.

One injury or another had forced Fernandez out of each of the first five games this season. But on Friday night, a comfortable 35-0 lead was all it took to give him the rest of the night off.

Oh, what a relief it was for Fernandez to avoid injury.

“It’s probably one of my best games I played, just because it was homecoming,” Fernandez said. “I knew it was a special night. I knew I had to lead my team.”

Bulldogs coach Monte Barrow might have been most relieved Fernandez came out healthy. The quarterback had dealt with blows to his shoulder, knees and feet this season, some injuries not even a result of contact.

“There were a couple of times he went down when you thought, OK, is he getting up?” Barrow said. “Not anything but the fact that has a couple of different things that he can get hit on, but I thought he played well tonight.”

Fernandez rushed nine times for 111 yards, all in the first half. He scampered down the Dayton sideline 47 yards for his third touchdown of the night late in the first half.

“It just happened. I had seen a cut and I just had to hit the lane hard and get into the end zone for my third one of the night,” he said.

Fernandez also had scoring runs of 1 and 4 yards. He completed 6 of 14 passes for 120 yards.

The one play in the first half Fernandez did not take a snap, junior Bryce McMorris fired a 31-yard completion to Rene Cunningham down to the Dayton 3. Fernandez scored from the 4 two plays later.

McMorris went 3 for 3 for 70 yards, including a 33-yard TD toss to Kamden Grant.

“It’s a great blessing to have him,” Fernandez said of McMorris. “He’s my step-brother. So, looking down to him, he can look up to me and ask me whatever. I look forward to watching him play. He’s going to be something special next year.”

Kade Scott rushed six times for 102 yards and a touchdown for Nederland (6-0, 3-0 in 12-5A-II). Josh Mazyck rushed eight times for 88 yards and two TDs, his longest going for 61 yards in the second half, and Burnett caught four passes for 80 yards.

The Bulldogs hadn’t started 5-0 since 2007, but the “brotherhood” within their locker room has been the glue that holds this team together in a quest for their first district championship since winning five straight from 2011-15.

“They believe in what we’re doing,” Barrow said. “They believe in what we started back in January about being all in. I think that goes a long way in a football game for four quarters. … There’s a brotherhood among them that coaches have nothing to do with. There’s part of it we try to fester in all offseason.”

A.J. Nail completed 26 of 38 passes for 333 yards and two touchdown passes, one a 52-yard strike to Jermond Lovely (13 catches for 229 yards) and another a 59-yarder to Justin Santee.


The game changed when …

Nederland avoided an early deficit following a missed field goal on Dayton’s opening possession and capitalized. Scott’s second carry went for 76 yards down to the Broncos’ 8. Josh Mazyck then carried the ball twice for 4 yards each, scoring on the second run.


The game ball goes to …

Fernandez for his three touchdown runs.


Next up …

Nederland hosts Baytown Lee (2-4, 0-3) next Friday. Dayton will host Port Neches-Groves (6-0, 3-0) then.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews


Bulldogs 49, Broncos 20

Dayton            0          0          13       7          —        20

Nederland      14       21       14       0          —        49

First quarter

Ned — Josh Mazyck 4 run (Payne Barrow kick), 8:39

Ned — Kade Scott 1 run (Barrow kick), 3:49

Second quarter

Ned — Blaysin Fernandez 4 run (Barrow kick), 9:42

Ned — Fernandez 1 run (Barrow kick), 7:37

Ned — Fernandez 47 run (Barrow kick), 1:17

Third quarter

Day — Justin Santee 11 run (kick failed), 6:59

Ned — Mazyck 61 run (Barrow kick), 6:46

Day — Jermond Lovely 52 pass from A.J. Nail (Jaime Pineda kick), 5:39

Ned — Kamden Grant 33 pass from Bryce McMorris (Barrow kick), 1:28

Fourth quarter

Day — Santee 59 pass from Nail (Pineda kick), 7:00


                                    Day                 Ned

First downs                14                   17

Rushes-yards             22-108           38-359

Passing yards            333                 190

Total yards                 441                 549

Comp-Att-Int             26-38-0          9-17-0

Fumbles-lost              2-2                  0-0

Penalties-yards         2-25                11-95


Individual statistics

RUSHING — Dayton: Justin Santee 13-62, Tyres Brooks 8-39, Nail 1-7. Nederland: Fernandez 9-111, Scott 6-102, Mazyck 8-88, Kyndon Fuselier 5-25, Armani Douglas 2-8.

PASSING — Dayton: Nail 26-38-0, 333. Nederland: Fernandez 6-14-0, 120; McMorris 3-3-0, 37.

RECEIVING — Dayton: Lovely 13-229, Jez Thomas 5-51, Christian Olige 5-44, Brent Monceaux 2-7, Santee 1-2. Nederland: Blayne Burnett 4-86, Grant 1-33, Rene Cunningham 1-31, Douglas 2-26, Carsen Arline 1-14.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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