Bartlett defense shines in shutout of Lake Park
Updated: September 24, 2011 12:11AM
ROSELLE — A week after giving up 35 points in a loss to Batavia, the Bartlett defense not only got stingy with the scoreboard, but also with the football.
Bartlett’s defense took the ball away from Lake Park six times and pitched a shutout Friday in a 42-0 Upstate Eight Valley victory.
“Our coach pushed us really hard over the week,” said Hawks junior defensive back Kyle Garcia, who made two first-half interceptions. “They expect a lot more out of us. Last week we weren’t on top of our game and they made sure we were on top of it this week.”
Besides Garcia’s two interceptions, linebackers Mike Partyka and Kevin Kirchoff made picks, linebacker Tyler Hess recovered a fumble in the end zone at the outset of the second half, and defensive back Mitch Reid had a fumble recovery.
“They still gained some yards on us (169 yards), but we get kind of stingy when it gets close to the goal line,” Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said.
“Our defense buckled down and made some plays when we had to.
“We’ve got a couple inside linebackers who are pretty tough kids. Our other kids are learning from them and we’re getting better every week.”
Partyka not only had an interception of Lake Park junior quarterback Zack Gehant (11 of 22, 116 yards), but bulled his way in a crowd 19 yards to a touchdown to start a running clock with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.
Three times in the first half Bartlett (3-2, 2-0) converted turnovers into touchdowns. Running back Aaron Everson, subbing for injured Nate Massey, scored four touchdowns, including three rushing, and ran for 60 yards, while James Butler ran for a team-high 89 yards on 14 carries.
“I thought Butler ran the ball extremely hard,” Meaney said. “He didn’t get the chance Everson did to score touchdowns, but had some big yards.
“Everson got Massey’s carries tonight and he performed real well.”
Everson scored on a 17-yard run with 3:29 left in the first quarter, then took a short pass from quarterback A.J. Bilyeu (7 of 14, 134 yards) 9 yards for a TD with 13 seconds left in the quarter.
Everson scored on a 27-yard run with a draw 34 seconds before halftime and on a 1-yard run with 1:11 left in the third quarter.
Eric Ryan had Bartlett’s other offensive TD on a 3-yard run in the second quarter.
Lake Park (1-4, 0-3) had two long drives against the Hawks, including a 73-yard march to start the second half that ended in a fumble at the Bartlett 1.
The Lancers were hurt by 11 penalties for 95 yards.
“Penalties and turnovers and missed assignments,” Lancers coach Chris Roll said. “This is an outstanding Bartlett team and I’d say we were able to take things to them in all the quarters but I think a lot of the errors we made the last couple weeks have caused our players to step out of their assignments and try to make something extra beyond what they should be doing, and it’s leading to more mistakes.”