September 20, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Punt returners play key roles for football teams

By Bill Stewart
Staff Writer

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LOOK IT IN: Oak Hill’s Alex Mace has a difficult job — to catch a kicked football and make a play. Mace is just one of several area players dealing with the same task every Friday night or Saturday afternoon.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Carrier is one of several wide receivers on a potent Cony offense. He is coming off a strong showing against Brewer, catching five balls for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Still, Carrier said there's nothing like breaking a punt return for a sizable gain.

"It gets everyone fired up," he said. "I haven't broken one for a touchdown yet but hopefully that will happen soon. It'd be a big boost for the team."

Drew Stratton is the primary punt returner for the Winthrop/Monmouth co-operative team. Stratton, like Carrier and Mace, has big-play ability and is rarely held back.

While coach Joel Stoneton said the team stresses ball security, he, too, acknowledges a thirst for a game-altering return.

"We're looking to make a return," he said. "We're looking to make something big happen. The punt return is huge. You can be in a stalemate and suddenly you get a seam and it changes everything. We spend a lot of time during the week setting up our special teams. We know what kind of effect it can have on a football game, and if we have an opportunity to change a game, we're going to try and take it."

Bill Stewart -- 621-5640

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