Tuesday, October 28, 2014

North Defense Stands Tall





The adage is that defense wins championships. And if you follow sports for very long you see that this is true. In a second battle of unbeatens, the North defense stood tall in a CCC showdown against South. South threw everything they had at North but had problems even getting a first down in the early going.  And on the other side of the ball, the North backfield is loaded with good running backs - any one of which could be feature back on another CCC team.  But senior night was Austin Green’s night to shine as he scored 4 times for North. South just couldn’t stop the North offensive juggernaut and in another spotlighted game, North rose to the occasion with a resounding 42-15 win.

It was a playoff atmosphere for this critical game – both the upper and lower parking lots were filled so late arrivals had to scramble for parking spots.  If not the biggest crowd ever, it had to be in the top 5. And again there were TV cameras on the sidelines. South wanted get the ball early, establish the run, and get a first score to take the crowd out of the game.  So they won the toss and went into a wishbone formation, but North held them to 3 and outs on their first few possessions.  South went to their play book and spread out their offense, but yardage was hard to earn.

North on the other hand sliced thru the South defense.  The line push got North running backs into the secondary of South’s defense and it generally takes more than one tackler to bring down a North running back.  By that time, they had already gained 7-8 yards.  So North was able to go out to a 28-0 lead in the 2nd quarter.  To their credit, South put together a scoring drive late in the first half.  After a Jordan Overcash sack put South into long yardage, on 4th and 14 Wes Cole scrambled then connected with Jared Rivers for a 30 yard touchdown pass.

North received the ball in the second half and there was a flicker of hope when JJ Utz intercepted a Colton Booth pass on that first drive.  But the stalwart North defense forced a punt and North did what North does best – drive the ball to the goal line.  South pulled out all of the stops – faked a punt on 4th and 7 and kept that drive alive when Josh Cottingim caught a Jacob Bassler for a first down.  But they would not cross the goal line again until late in the game when Wes Cole scored and in a final act of defiance, South went for 2 on the PAT and made it.

With the win, North guarantee’s at least a share of the CCC title and are assured of a playoff slot. Will they take a night off next Friday against Trail? Not a chance - this year’s seniors remembered how last season spiraled out of control and towards the end Trail upset North 15-13. They have exorcised all of the ghosts of last year’s losses this season with the exception of Trail.  Finally,  North has only had one other undefeated team – the 77-78 school year. So that is another goal that the team now has in its sights.  So the team will be hungry going into the game.

On the other hand, South will play at Miami East next Friday. Both teams need to win to get into the playoffs and have a possible shot at sharing the league title.  It is hard to get up emotionally two weeks in a row, but South will have to steel themselves to play away against another tough league opponent. 

Coach Derringer on the game, “The team worked very hard this year, and they had a vision of where they wanted to be – and they have just done an outstanding job.  Our defense has played well all year and we stepped up to take away their power game.  We set the tempo on that first drive, Colton Booth made a big 3rd down play and we did that all night.  We bent a little bit – they were able to bounce outside and get some yardage, but overall I was very pleased. Offensively, I don’t think we punted at all.  Sometimes the best defense is keeping the ball in our hands and keeping it out of theirs.”
On Austin Green, “He is very big on the inside.  We have others that are good on the outside.  We do whatever we have to do – we have had 5 different backs score this season.  But it is wonderful that Austin had a good night tonight. “


On the Conference, “It has been since 1994 that we have won a conference title.  And that is our goal – it has been our goal since the beginning of the year.” On the chance for being undefeated, “That is a goal for every team that we have. It is hard to do – injuries can be a factor.  You have to play well against schools our size. Now we have had some injuries, but we had some kids step up and contribute.” Trail: “We have thought about that game since last year. We are going to work very hard this week and be prepared.  We still have a lot to work for and we want to win the championship outright.” 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

North Crushes Miami East


At the start of Friday night there were 3 unbeaten teams in the CCC, but by nights end that number was whittled down to 2.  Most followers of the CCC were expecting a slim margin of victory when undefeated Miami East met undefeated Tri-County North.  And how would a bye week affect Tri-County North?  Last season Miami East beat North twice, how would North respond this season? This years game was at Miami East – how would North respond to a big game away from home. Those were a few of the questions going into Friday nights game, but North answered them with a resounding roar as they blasted past the Vikings 42-14.

Field position, turnovers, and distributed scoring were all factors in North’s success.  5 different players crossed the goal line for North – you can stop one player, but it is hard to stop a team.  It took a few series for North to get their motor in gear.  They were 3 and out on offense their first two series and although the defense kept East scoreless in the first half, they gave up some yardage. So the bye week seemed to have an effect, at least in the early going.  But as the game progressed, North got their mojo back and gained the early momentum.

Despite the windy conditions, North was getting good coverage and a good roll on their punts – putting East deep into their own territory to start drives.  On the other hand, North was getting good field position and their first score was from a drive that started at midfield.  Colton Booth connected with Kody Cordes for a touchdown pass. And Miami East did not help their cause during the night as they coughed up the ball 4 times.  And this season North has been able to capitalize on gifts from the other team.  So after scoring North kicked off and East promptly fumbled on the return.  It was not easy, but North answered with a touchdown by Booth and now East was down by 2 scores.

So a lethargic North team had come alive.  But they were not done yet.  Their next scoring drive was a 95 yard drive capped with a Garret Woodyard run for a touchdown.  East tried to put some points on the board right before halftime, but after driving to the North 15, Trey Summers sacked the East quarterback to put them in long yardage.  They could not convert on 4th down and South entered the locker room with a 21-0 lead and equally as important - the momentum.

North continued where they left off in the 3rd quarter. Blake Lawson caught a touchdown pass and Dustin Green scored on 14 yard run.  East made a last gasp effort in the 4th quarter where they had some success running in between the tackles and were able to score a couple of touchdowns. But it was too little, too late as North coasted to an anti-climactic 42-14 win. Setting up a huge rivalry game with South next week as the last two unbeaten teams in the CCC clash.

“The effort from our kids was just outstanding”, stated Coach Derringer after the game, “but we have a big game ahead of us next week in Twin Valley South.  It’s going to be a big game for us. Colton Booth had another good game and he made some good decisions at the quarterback position. We worked on his passing game this week  and I think it showed tonight in the first half. But I give East a lot of credit, we had a running clock on them – but they responded.   They went down the field and stuck it in. Then got an onsides kick and scored again.  And it showed us that we still have things we need to work on.  South has a good running game and our defense has to show up.”

Is this the best team coach you coached?  “I don’t like to compare one team against the other, we have had some great athletes here the last 3-4 years and we have a great group this year too.”

At the end of the interview coach Derringer flatly stated that, “I want to be other there with my guys” – referring to the team. You could tell that he would rather be celebrating with his players than speaking with a cluster of sports reporters. And I couldn’t blame him -  last years losses against Miami East(one regular season and one playoff loss) have been avenged and it was time for North to bask in the afterglow of a job well done.


Will this be the last time that East and North play this season?  Maybe not as both teams are in the same playoff district.  So there is a chance that the two foes will meet again. But North has to prepare for another big game against unbeaten South next Friday. The CCC title and the playoff’s are factors dependent on the outcome of this game.

South Dominates Covington

1999 was the last time that South beat Covington.  And although it has been a down year by Covington standards, they are still well coached and play hard.  But South’s size and athleticism allowed them to dominate Covington.  They scored first and took advantage when Covington turned over the ball.  Covington was able to score in the third quarter and make things a little interesting, but South would not let them get a whiff of a comeback by scoring 3 second half touchdowns themselves for a 41-14 victory.

Anthony Augspurger scored all 3 of South’s first half touchdowns. In the second half the scoring was more distributed with Joe Webb, Sammy Shockey, and Wes Cole all making touchdowns.  Worrisome for South was that they did not get any PAT’s in the first half.  In a close game, those PAT’s can be the difference.  South turned over the ball themselves, also something that is uncharacteristic for them.

“We came out hard right from the get-go”, stated Coach Cates, “we scored fast and that is huge against an option/ball control team like Covington.   We were up 14-0 right out of the gate.  Our defense was aggressive and played soundly the whole night. Offensively we just dominated the line of scrimmage – our line just did a great job.  We ran right at them and used our size advantage. Defensively they read the option and defended it well.”

He continued, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for their coach, Dave Miller.  They play  extremely hard.  But I was disappointed that we had more turnovers in this game than we had all year. “

Next week’s showdown with North, “It’s awesome that both teams are undefeated.  We focus on one game at time, but we have been watching what they have done. But now it’s here – how can this game get any bigger in Preble County.  Both teams undefeated this late in the season with the CCC championship and the playoffs on the line. “

“We are really excited about it and it is going to be a huge test.  They have a huge senior class, we have a big senior class.  Which made both teams successful – all of that game experience.  It’s going to be a dog fight, their backs are pretty big and hard to bring down.  Their defense has been lights out all year and every week our defense has been getting better. This game could really come down to who makes the less mistakes – who is going to protect the ball better.  I think it is going to be a close game and won’t be decided until the 4th quarter.”


This year’s North – South game will be in Lewisburg so North will have the home field advantage. North has dominated the matchup in recent history. But for the first time in a long time, this game has significance.  The winner will control their destiny in the playoff positioning, the loser will have to wait and watch how the numbers play out after that last game of the season. The winning team will also have at least a share of the league title.  Not mention it is a rivalry and you play hard in every game – but in a rivalry you reach a little deeper to give a little more during the game.  There have been several epic battles over years, this game should not disappoint, so get there early to get a good seat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shawnee Drops Dixie




Dixie hung tough with the Shawnee Arrows for about 2 and half quarters on Friday night.  Both teams run a spread offense and the slick conditions in the drizzling rain made it tough for either team to get their offenses in gear during the early going.  And at half time it was almost a stalemate with Shawnee holding a narrow 6-0 lead.  But a young Dixie team with a lot of players going both ways on offense and defense gradually wore down, allowing Shawnee to overwhelm the Greyhounds in the second half.

Dixie actually had good field position in the first half. Their defense was stingy and their special teams were more effective on punts – as both teams had many 3 and outs in the early going.  Shawnee started most of their first half drives in their own territory, while Dixie had a short field.  Dixie gained the Shawnee 30 yard line twice in the first half and thanks to a Devin Worley to Justin Leonard pass – they were in scoring position at the 8 yard line of Shawnee.  But in all three cases, Shawnee’s defense held firm and denied Dixie the end zone.

Shawnee finally made the decision to keep things simple in the poor conditions.  They began running the ball in between the tackles. Mixing in an occasional pass to keep the Dixie defense honest. And their offense is a no huddle offense, meaning that Dixie’s defense was not getting much of a breather in between plays.  Dixie’s offense was not moving the ball well, so the defensive players didn’t have much recovery time on the sidelines before they were back to the grind.  This paid dividends when at the 7:26 mark of the second quarter they scored to capture the lead.  And this would continue to be their strategy in the second half.

Surprisingly there were no turnovers in the first half. Sometimes weather can be an equalizer – the underdog team gets a fumble or mishandled pass and momentum can change.  But fate was not kind to the Greyhounds.  After holding Shawnee and forcing a punt – it was muffed deep in Dixie territory.  A few plays later, Shawnee scored and the air seemed to go out of Dixie’s sails.  Two scores down and under dismal conditions.  When it rains, it pours – with the running game almost non-existent, Dixie was forced to take to the air.  Luke Lovely had two interceptions including a pick six.  The turnovers gave Shawnee great field advantage. What had been a close game turned into a rout as Shawnee rolled in the second half for a 38-0 victory. 

Coach Watson commented after the game, “We played well with them in the first half.  And I told them at halftime that in a close game like this that the team that makes a mistake can lose this game. Unfortunately we were the ones that made a mistake and Shawnee took advantage.  We are a young team – starting a lot of freshmen and sophomores.  So when we got down, the wheels seemed to fall off and we couldn’t get our momentum back. Their hurry up offense was a factor to a degree. We wore down in the second half.”

Justin Leonard:  “He had some good catches tonight that gave our offense a little spark. He is generally a possession type receiver, so he gets short yardage passes.  But tonight he gave us some yardage that helped move the ball. “

South Keeps Rolling

The South season keeps rolling along in winning fashion.  This week the opponent was the Bethel Bee’s who feature an option offense.  But the Panther defense pounced on the Bee’s and held them scoreless.  The offense was slow to get going in the wet weather but by games end the score was 31 -0 in favor of the Panthers.  This makes South 6-0 on the year.

Sammy Shockey got the first score of the night when he ripped loose a 20 yard run in the first quarter. Then Jacob Bassler ran in a blocked punt for a second score.  JJ Utz pulled in a 40 yard TD pass from Wes Cole to end the first half scoring.  Cole would be 5 for 6 passing on the night.  Wes Cole ran for a 4 yard touchdown and JJ Utz put the last points on the board for the Panthers with a respectable 28 yard field goal – keeping his perfect record on field goals intact.

Coach Cates on the game, “We came out playing our brand of defense and they played lights out.  Everyone is flying to the football and that is important on an option team. We got good field postion on special teams.   Our kicker, JJ Utz, helped give us that good field postion and he has also done well on extra points and field goals this season.  The offense moved the ball well on the ground and were very efficient when we passed.  But Bethel played pretty hard, they fought all the way – I am glad to be able to come out on top.”

Covington:  “I am glad we played two option teams going in to play Covington because they run the option very well.  They also run it out of some different formations, so we have to prepare for that as well.  Those kids play very hard, and they go into every game believing that they are going to win.  They are a younger team this year, but they are still very sound and play extremely hard.  We have not beat them since 1999, so that gives us some motivation. “

Three teams undefeated in the CCC:  “It is great for the conference that we did so well in our out of conference games – it makes our conference look that much better.  We are aware of what the other teams are doing, but we haven’t focused on them as we keep our focus on next week’s game.  But we have seen them on film and have seen the scores and are aware that they are really good teams.  We know that North has a strong senior class like we do and both North and Miami East have winning traditions.  They have had more success lately and South just doesn’t have that winning tradition like they do.


“We have to keep our kids believing, they have to be hungry and want to win.  I want to see these last 3 games across the conference – the league title and playoff hopes are on the line.  But we have to take games one game at a time – South can’t even begin to look at a conference championship or playoff’s without beating Covington.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunsite RC racing video

Here is a change of pace from the norm.  They had the last race of the season for rc boats last weekend, watch this video of one of the races: sunsite racing

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Big Game in a Small Town



For one Friday night the football spotlight of the Miami Valley was on Lewisburg.  The Covington – North game was chosen as game of the week by Channel 2.  A win would give the winning team a step up in the conference title race and a boatload of computer points for the playoffs.  There was not one, not two, but three camera’s shooting film clips for their respective TV stations. Being featured as game of the week meant that Channel 2 and some of their sponsors were set up in the parking lot during the pre-game. With the spotlight on, the North Panthers did not disappoint as for the first time in 15 years, they beat the Covington Buccaneer’s.  Additionally, this was the first regular season conference loss by Covington since 2009.

The North defense was very domineering early on.  Covington must have felt like the field was only 50 yards long, as most of the first half was played in the Covington half of the field.  Covington did mount a drive late in the second quarter after an interception. But opted to go for a field goal on 4th down with seconds left and the kick went wide.  But otherwise the team was held to 3 and outs on many of their possessions.

The North offense was on a mission during their first drive.  They sliced through the Bucc defense and Garrett Woodyard scored from 4 yards out to put North on the board.  North drew paydirt again the second quarter thanks to an improbable pass on 4th and 13 to Kody Cordes that kept a drive alive.  Again it was Garrett that lugged the ball across the goal from a yard out for the score.  So at the half the score was 14-0.

Late in the third quarter North put together another nice drive that began at their own 21 and ended with Blake Lawson catching a 27 yard TD pass.  On Covingtons next drive they switched from their triple option - using  misdirection and the speed option to get decent yardage.  They were able to score, but didn’t convert the point after.

But this was as close as Covington would get as North’s Garrett Woodyard scored on a 10 yard run and then Trey Summers made the last score of the night as he gathered in a Covington fumble and sprinted about 35 yards for the touchdown.  North had responded to a big game in a big way, with a 36-6 win.

An understandably elated coach Derringer commented after the game, “We spread the ball around quite a bit, we are an unselfish team.  We have great senior leadership and they don’t care who gets credit. Defensively we played very, very well tonight.  To Covington’s credit they made some adjustments when we pulled our secondary back to not give up the big play.  They began to run the speed option and that is how they got their touchdown.  But it’s a great feeling to get this win.“

Colton Booth: “We knew that he would be more of a running quarterback.  He’s made some good decisions when he has had to.   He is a threat on the edge and really anywhere on the field.  If we are passing, he can tuck the ball and take off.  He has worked really hard to get where he is at. “

Next week’s bye: “I have mixed feelings, we would like to keep the momentum going. We didn’t want to take the bye week, we wanted to play all 10 games.  But in two weeks we play Miami East and that will be the next big game of year.  We have two weeks to prepare for them. There is still a lot of good football to be played.  South is having a great year – I said at the beginning of the season that they could be an underdog team that will surprise a lot of people.  And National Trail – they beat us last year.  So we have 3 big ball games that we will take one game at time, and hope to make the playoffs. North still does not have a playoff win – it’s been a long time coming.”


Stats:  Rushing – Booth 8/48; Woodyard 11/43; Dustin Green 12/91; Kody Cordes 6/7; Passing – Booth 4/13 82 yds; Receiving – Woodyard 1/8, Lawson 1/28, Cordes 2/46; Tackles – Jordan Overcash 14, Josh Mcintosh 15, Trey Summers 11, Booth 10, Lawson 11. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

South Overwhelms Arcanum

South used a gritty defense and a grind it out offense to overwhelm Arcanum in week 5 CCC action.  Arcanum desperately tried to convert 4th down’s several times during the game to keep drives alive, but South denied Arcanum the conversion each time and took over on downs.  Their grind it out offense got stronger as the game went on.  And those carries that went for 3-4 yards a pop in the first quarter lengthened to 7-8 yards per carry in the second half.

Arcanum also uses a ball possession offense, and to keep their drives alive they tried to convert 4th and short yardage several times during the game.  When the run got stuffed by the hungry South defense on their first attempt, they next tried to use a fake punt at midfield.  But Aaron Deaton made a big play and hit the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage to give the Panthers the ball at midfield.  Later in the game Arcanum tried to dump a short pass on 4th and 3, but again the South defense held firm and stopped yet another Arcanum drive.

Both JJ Utz and Anthony Augspurger had interceptions.  Utz’s helped set up South’s first score of the night and Augspurger stopped a second drive where Arcanum was moving the ball into scoring range with the short pass.  He snagged a pass in the middle of the field and ended the Trojans hopes of scoring a second touchdown.

Offensively South did pass the ball, but their running game kept Arcanum’s offense on the sidelines most of the game.  After Utz’s interception, Augspurger capped the ensuing South drive with a 1 yard touchdown plunge.  After having a touchdown called back by a hold, South scored again in their next drive when Joe Webb had a nice carry to the Arcanum 2, then scored on the next play.  South’s last score of the first half was set up by a Sammy Shockey catch, then Wes Cole ran straight up the middle to score and put South up 21-0.

After stopping Arcanum on a 4th and 1 play on their opening drive of the second half, South marched downfield and Shockey scored on a 6 yard run.   At this point, Arcanum changed up tactics and went to the short pass - running mainly short out patterns that are hard to defend.  They scored and then did a onsides kick that worked.  The Trojan stands came alive as the momentum seemed to be all Trojans.  Arcanum threatened to make it a 2 touchdown game.  But on a 4th and 3 play in South territory, Arcanum’s pass fell incomplete and South took over on downs.

South went back to work, they moved the ball to midfield and South’s Wes Cole broke loose for 46 yards and a touchdown.  On South’s next series there was a rare play where Cole was back to pass and the ball bounced off of a defender – the ball came right back to quarterback Cole who pulled it in and even got a few yards out of the deal. Shockey would score again in the final stanza and  Jared Cottingim ended South’s scoring with a Jacob Bassler touchdown pass where he had to fight thru a defender to catch a pass in the endzone.  It was a 49-7 South victory.

“That’s the best that we’ve played all year,”  stated Coach Cates, “our earlier games we played 2 good quarters or 3 quarters.  But this game we played well all 4 quarters – particularly defensively.  We held them on 4th and short on several different occasions.  Our defensive line and in particular Aaron Deaton and Tristen Sizemore had an awesome game. "
  
Offense: “Our offensive line had a good night too – one of our starters went down and his back up came in and did a great job.  Wes  Cole made a lot of good decisions for us at quarterback.  Anthony Augspurger had a great game.  Sammy Shockey used his speed to spark our offense. “
Strong second half’s this season: “A lot of that is our conditioning.  We condition every day – but they hate Mondays.  That is the day that we work we hardest, but it pays off on Friday nights.  We push that in a close game, the team that is in better shape is going to win.  We also have some big physical kids, and when you keep bringing it and bringing it every down – it wears the other team down and they start to wilt.”


Mississinewa Valley:  “Coach Graher has been there for a long time.  They have an offense similar to Ansonia.  He coaches them up very well, the team will be disciplined.  We need to keep from biting on their misdirection and be disciplined as well on defense.  On offense we need to spread them out do to them like we did to Ansonia on offense.  We need to get off to a fast start and not let them hang around, or they can be dangerous and we will find ourselves in a dog fight. “

North Victorious, Dixie Falls


North again made short work of a CCC opponent, knocking off the Bethel Bee’s by a score of 48-7. Once again North used a dominating run game and a choking defense to beat down their opponent and cruise to victory.  They held a 28-0 halftime lead and scored thrice more in the second half while allowing just the one touchdown by Bethel.

Senior Trey Summers resumed his kicking duties after a week off – he was injured in practice over a week ago and was rushed to the emergency room, but fortunately his injuries were not serious and he was able to resume play after a week off to recuperate.  He had a good night overall, delivering deep kickoff’s and making all but his last PAT. 

Next week North plays against Covington.  Last year, North was having a good year, but after playing Covington better than any other team in the conference, they lost that game.  Then their season seemed to go off kilter and didn’t seem like the same team after that. So this season the Covington game will be an even bigger as North fights to establish themselves at the top of the league.

Stats for North: Rushing – Booth 5/132;Overholtz 2/-2;Kerby 2/17; Woodyard 5/23; Gunder 1/10;Morrow 6/36; Green 8/48; Cordes 4/135. Passing – Booth 4/9 74yds.  Receiving – Cordes 4/74.
Tackles – Booth 10; Overcash 11;McIntosh 8; Woodyard 9; Miller 7.

No doubt about it Dixie has had a tough first half of the season.  They opened league play against perennial league favorite Waynesville.  Dixie hung tough with them for a quarter or so – it was 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, but Waynesville was able to wear down Dixie and gradually grow a lead that would expand to a 51-13 win.

Coach Watson was asked for comment after the game, “Our kids played hard every single down all the way to the end.   We did jump out to an early 6-0 lead, but we did miss some opportunities during the game.  But it was tough on us with 30 something kids to go against a team with 60-70 kids.  They were 2 platooning, and we pretty much played the same kids.  The numbers got the better of us, we were worn out.”


Northridge: “Our first half season games have been a buzz saw. All but one of those teams has a winning record right now. But now we are playing teams that are more our size.  I feel really good about our chances with Northridge, Milton Union, Madison, Shawee, and Carlisle.  I told our kids after the end of the game on Friday that now starts a brand new season – we can get back to 5-5.  We will have to work for it and go after it.  Northridge has got a lot of good athletes and coach Smith has been there for awhile, so they know his system. “

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

South off to 3-0 Start with win over Ansonia


South got off to a fast start against Ansonia, striking for two touchdowns early in the first quarter which forced the Tigers to play catch up all night long.  With a grind it out type of offense, it makes it tough for a team like Ansonia to overcome a deficit.  Last week against Trail, South got out of gate slowly and had to rely on a second half rally to come from behind for the win. But Coach Cates has made it clear that the team needed to focus on getting that early lead and then sit on the ball by running their own brand of grind it out offense.

But South’s first scores came via the air. Wes Cole aired it out on a roll out pass and found Jared Rivers for the Panthers first score  - a 31 yard touchdown catch. And then after Ansonia fumbled on their next possession, South again went for a quick strike and Cole connected with Josh Cottingim for a 40 yard touchdown catch.  South had barely broken a sweat and 3 minutes into the game they had a 14 point lead.

In the second quarter, both teams settled down and Ansonia was able to close the gap by capping a drive with a 2 yard touchdown pass to bring the game back into reach – it was now a one score difference.  But Wes Cole responded with a 60 yard touchdown run and again gave South a comfortable lead going into half time.  

South had a critical moment in the 3rd quarter where Ansonia had ground out the yardage and pushed  to the South 23 yard line.  A score here would have put the Tigers to within a touchdown and could have changed the momentum of the ball game.  But the tenacious South defense held firm and forced Ansonia to give up the ball on downs when they failed to complete a 4th and 9 pass.

Now South needed to put Ansonia away. And in the 4th quarter, Ansonia muffed a punt and Anthony Augspurger fell on the loose ball to give the Panthers great field position on the Ansonia 43 yard line.   Joe Webb and Cole had a couple of nice carries on this drive.  Augspurger was able to finish with a 2 yard plunge and extend the Panther lead.

Ansonia was able to come back somewhat with a touchdown, but it was scored with a little over 2 minutes on the clock.  An onsides kick failed, and now South needed to run out the clock.  Sammy Shockey got a much needed first down and Ansonia started to use their time outs.  Jacob Bassler put an exclamation mark on the Panther victory by passing to Cottingim for the last score of the night. South was off to a fast start for the season with their third win in a row by a score of 35-15.

Coach Cates, “We made some big plays right away and got a 2 touchdown lead.  We did miss some more opportunities in the first half to make some plays.  But Ansonia was getting their grind it out offense in gear.  So we made some half time adjustments with the defense and make it tough on them in the second half.   They had a good game plan and they executed it fairly well, but we were able to make some more big plays in the second half and come out with the victory.”

The Third Quarter Defensive Stand, “This year’s defense has been of the bend but do not break variety.  We have had teams drive to the red zone, but then our kids step it with their backs against the wall and make some plays.  We got Ansonia into a long situation and with their grind it out offense, it’s hard to make a first down.  They can convert a 3rd and 3 into a first down every time.  But when they have long yardage – it’s hard for them to make it. “

Arcanum, “They are similar to Ansonia in that they want to do ball control. Last year we lost a heart breaker to them – I think it was 18 to 16.  Our kids are pretty excited about getting a chance to redeem themselves against them.  They run the option and we have to have discipline on our assignments.  Our players need to focus on their job and not worry about someone else’s job – when that happens they miss their assignment and now someone is left wide open. They are pretty big up front and we have to get a big surge out of our offensive line.”

Defensive Stats -  Tackles: Augspurger 14; Bassler & Aaron Deaton 9; Tristen Sizemore 11; Shockey & Gunter Lautensleger 8.  Int: Augspurger 1

Offensive Stats - Rushing: Cole 8-111; 14-96; Shockey 2-10; Webb 5-13. Passing: Cole 3-8 76yds 2 TD’s; Bassler 1-1 29yds 1 TD.  Receiving: Shockey 1-4; Cottingim 2-69 2TD’s; Rivers 1-32 1 TD.

Tri-County North Blanks Black Hawks





Tri-County North extended their winning streak with a decisive victory over the Mississinawa Valley BlackHawks on Friday. Making Homecoming weekend all the better.  But the BlackHawks did not help their cause as mistakes were converted into points by North.   Two fumbles were converted into touchdowns by the opportunistic Panthers. Their stubborn defense recorded their second shutout of the season.

After fullback Dustin Green scored on North’s open drive, the BlackHawks fumbled on their first play from scrimmage.  Garret Woodyard took care of business from there, exploding 32 yards to put North up by two scores at the 7 minute mark.  Later in the second quarter a bad snap on a punt lead to a poor kick and North got the ball on the BlackHawk 19 and Colton Booth connected with Woodyard for a touchdown pass.  Then just before halftime, Austin Johnson had a Black Hawk fumble roll into his hands and he ran it in for a touchdown  from about 25 yards out. 


North had a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised through the second half for a 41-0 win. Next week North journeys to Bethel.

Stats:
Passing: Colton Booth 4-8 88yds.  Austin Elmore 1-1 5yds.  Rushing: 

Colton Booth (Sr)3258.319
2Austin Elmore (Sr)2178.513
21Gavin Overholtz (So)100.00
32G. Woodyard (Jr)35919.7312
38Drake Coleman (So)231.54
42Wesley Morrow (Sr)4-1-0.32
5Dustin Green (Sr)12978.1251
7Kody Cordes (Sr)45814.5501

Receiving:

20C. Overholtz (Sr)14646.046
32G. Woodyard (Jr)12525.0251
38Drake Coleman (So)155.05
44Austin Johnson (Sr)133.03
7Kody Cordes (Sr)11414.014


Tackles: Colton Booth 9; Tanner Booth 8; Logan Elmore 5; Josh McIntosh 5.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

North Win/Dixie Loss

Tri-County North proved that they could be road warriors, easily defeating the Arcanum Trojans, 40-13. It was a matchup that was expected to be closer, but the North Panthers exploded for 22 points in the second quarter and the game was not close after that.  Most of the damage was done by the running game as North would pound out 294 yards on the ground.  And in typical fashion, North’s defense swarmed to the ball and Arcanum had a tough time being consistent on offense. Next week North will be playing Mississinewa Valley in Lewisburg.

Stat’s for North: Rushing – Colton Booth 81; Garrison Woodyard 59; Wesley Morrow 12; Dustin Green 58; Kody Cordes 84. Passing - Colton Booth 2/9. Leading the team in tackles were Jordan Overcash, Blake Lawson, Austin Elmore who all had 7.  Austin Johnson and Colton Booth had 6.


Dixie on the other hand played against Brookville a team from SWBL’s big school division.  Brookville dominated the game while amassing 49 points.   Held scoreless at halftime,  Dixie did score in the third quarter to evade the shutout.  Clayton Washington broke loose and ran for over 60 yards on the score. 

Second Half is South's Half



National Trail matched up with TVS in a critical game where both teams had questions to answer.  South had an extra week off due to Bradford cancelling their varsity schedule.  So would this be like another week one game or would they be able to keep their momentum from their opening win.  Trail is coming off of an 0-2 start and needed to get a win to have any kind of shot at a league title. They also needed to prove that last season’s 8-2 record and playoff appearance was not an aberration.
But this game would turn out to be a tale of two halves as Trail seemed to do no wrong in the first half and South would have to battle their way back from a two touchdown deficit.  And in a way South would have to battle themselves as costly penalties cost them a touchdown – Brandon Simpson took a kickoff to the house, only to have it called back; and defensive penalties kept National Trail drives alive. 

Trail scored on their 3 first half possessions.  Their punter did not see the field in the first half. They used their spread offense and  dinked and dunked short passes, mixed with the occasional run to keep the ball moving.   South’s game plan involved keeping the ball on the ground and grinding out yardage. The clock eating drives were designed to keep Trail’s quarterback, Garret Griffen, on the sidelines.  South maybe threw the ball a handful of times the entire night.

Trail’s first half scores were from a quarterback keeper at the one yard line and two long pass plays. South’s Anthony Augspurger responded with a 2 yard touchdown carry.  South squandered another opportunity right before the half.  They had driven down to the Trail 23 and from there they threw two passes on 3rd and 4th down, but didn’t complete either of them.  So at halftime Trail had a comfortable 21-7 lead.

Woody Hayes would have been proud of the Panthers in the second half. The offensive line surged back the Trail defenders and the backs ran downhill – hitting their holes hard.  They received the ball to start the second half and even though they had to convert several 4th downs,  Joe Webb was able to complete the 60 yard drive with a 7 yard TD run to pull South to within a touchdown.   When Trail got the ball back, it looked like they would march the ball right back down the field and make it a two touchdown lead once again. But on 4th and 2 in the redzone, Augspurger drove Griffen out of bounds and ended that drive.

So South got the ball on their own 5 yard line. And again it was another grind it out drive where they drove the length of the field.  Augspurger would tie the ball game with a 9 yard carry. On Trail’s next possession there was a controversial play where Trail threw a long pass on 4th down. There was contact between the receiver and the defender – but no flag was thrown. The Trail coach was livid and stormed out onto the field. Not sure what was said – but it was enough for the referee to throw a flag. So the Panthers were gifted an extra 15 yards.

The ensuing South drive went about 50 yards, starting at the 5 minute mark of the 4th quarter. And both Wes Cole and Webb had some good carries to move the ball close to the redzone, but it was Augspurger who finished with a carry of about 20 hard earned yards to given the Panthers the lead at about the 2 minute mark.

Trail went to work and moved the ball to midfield, thanks in part to a roughing the passer call. But Trails hopes of a comeback ended on the next snap.  The ball went high and to the side, so Griffen mishandled it and then got control of the ball and tried to make a play.  He threw to the middle where who else but Augspurger was waiting.  He intercepted the ball and that put an end to Trails chances. With a little over a minute left South was able to run out the clock for a 28-21 come from behind win.

Coach Cates commented after the game, “It was part of our strategy to use our offense to run 16 to 18 play drives wear them down, and keep their offense off the field.  The first half everything went their way and they took advantage of that.   We really didn’t make that many half time adjustments.  We got more pressure on their quarterback and made adjustments to coverage. But I was really proud of our senior class they went into halftime saying come on guys, we can win this game – and they showed how resilient that they can be. And I thought that our conditioning really showed in the 4th quarter. We really wore them down.  When you win the line of scrimmage you typically win games. “
The week off, “It is hard to say if it was a factor or not. We did get to a slow start, it was not a fast start like we did against Dixie. But we do have to get out early, that is something that we are trying to change from last year.  But as far as handling adversity – that is the best that I have seen kids handle adversity since I have been here.  We don’t have a tradition of playing winning football and it was great to see these kids bounce back after halftime.


Next week South hosts Ansonia, “I have tremendous respect for coach Hoening.  They hide the ball well and use misdirection. They will run the ball and lull your defensive backs to sleep, then slip in the play action pass.  They are disciplined on defense.   We have to remember our keys on defense and win the line of scrimmage on offense to be successful.   Coach Hoening does extremely well with the kids he has, and he will get the most of them. “

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

North Routs Ansonia





Tri-County North scored 38 first half points and that was all that they would need as they put on the cruise control in the second half and coasted to a 38-0 victory.  North used their running game  effectively racking up huge gains both on the edge and in the middle.   The defense swarmed to the ball and generated turnovers.  North dominated all facets of the game as their special teams likewise performed exceptionally well.

The defense gang tackled Ansonia and kept the Ansonia ball carriers from generating very much yardage.  When Ansonia tried to create some offense with the pass they did hit their receivers a few times for yardage.  But just when they started to move the ball, turnovers stopped their drives.  On a pass play the ball was thrown backwards and went to the ground.  Austin Elmore alertly scooped up the ball and ran about 40 yards for a touchdown.  Next series an Ansonia fumble was pounced on by North and that too became a touchdown a few plays later.  So North made the most of Ansonia mistakes.  North’s Blake Lawson and Kyle Miller both got a quarterback sack.

Special teams also shone in this game – Ansonia started most of their drives in the vicinity of the 20 yard line.  Deep kick’s and good coverage kept Ansonia from getting decent returns.  Although North did not punt much, the times they punted were deep into Ansonia territory.  And North’s Trey Summers easily made a 32 yard field goal , so that is another weapon that the North team can utilize down the road.
Offensive scoring for TCN: Dustin Green 2 TD’s (10 and 55 yard runs), Cody Cordez 11 yard run, Austin Johnson 19 yard pass.


Next week North plays at Arcanum a team that is 1-1.  Their win was against the SWBL’s Northridge and their loss was against Covington.  But that loss was a closely contested game where the Bucc’s escaped with a 14-7 victory.  So this should be a close game for the Panthers.  The other Panther team resumes varsity play after a week off.  They will likewise be road warriors, South will be making a trip to play a 0-2 National Trail squad that is coming off of a 48-32 loss to Miami East.  Trail also scored a lot of points in their first week loss to Shawnee, but their defense is pourous.  So look for a lot of points to be scored at Trail on Friday night. 

Hounds Upended by Ross

An overmatched Dixie team fell to Hamilton Ross 57-13.  Division 6 Dixie simply gave up to much size to Division 3 Ross.  The Ross line was much larger and more physical so it was a simple matter to run the ball almost at will against a smaller Dixie squad.  Still Dixie acquitted themselves somewhat in the second half by airing out the ball and scoring 3 touchdowns after being shutout in the first half. But Dixie has a tough schedule.  9 out their 10 games are against schools that are at least one division larger.  So almost every Friday night they are going against teams that are bigger and deeper.

Dixie’s running game was pretty much non-existent.  They would end up with negative yardage for the night.  And so with quarterback Cody Grubb out with injury, it fell upon the arm of Ethan Arnett to generate some offense.    He responded well in the second half with two touchdowns, Arnett threw for 176 yards and for the night, Dixie would have a respectable 227 yards in the air. One of those touchdowns was a 72 yard strike. Clayton Washington would throw the third Dixie touchdown – a 10 yarder to cap a drive. Shane Hale, Justin Funkhouser,and Nick Adams all scored as receivers for Dixie.  Zach Rader lead the defense in tackles.

Coach Watson, “We were shutout at halftime by a bigger Ross team.  But I challenged the kids at half time to play hard and to play with pride.  To win at the one one game at your position. They responded, we did a better job on defense and our varsity scored two touchdowns – one was a 72 yard pass play.  Grubb was out with a concussion and Arnett stepped up and did well for us.  Although we lost, the yards that we got passing is the most that we have had since I have been here. “

Brookville, “Coach Hetrich has done a great job with their program.  We know that they are going to run the ball and that we are going to have to stop that. They run a disciplined offense and we will have our hands full. We will have Grub back for the Brookville game and we will move him around in our offense.  He is a good athlete and can play running back or receiver.  We have 5 good receivers so we will have plenty of options.“

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Big Plays Put North on Top

Tri-County North earned a hard fought victory over Brookville.  There were a few miscues on the way and Brookville had an early lead over North thanks to a muffed punt.  But North was able to get on track and fight their way back on top for a win.  One big question was who would handle the quarterback duties.  The previous 4 years Austin Hutchins had the helm.  Quarterbacking for the Panthers for the first time was Colton Booth who took the reins and calmly took the team to victory.

After giving up the early touchdown to Brookville on a 33 yard pass, North needed to answer.  And when they got the ball in their hands for the second time North would score – it was set up in part by a carry by fullback Dustin Green, where he burst through the middle, found some open space and ran for 47 yards.  Booth would then score on a 10 yard run and a Trey Summers kick tied the game at 7 all.

 In the second quarter another big play set up a score for North.  Reciever Kody Cordes caught a Booth pass on a screen play and scampered 45 yards before being pushed out of bounds to put the ball on the Blue Devil 2 yard line.  Booth called his own number and a quarterback sneak put North on top 14-7 after a Summers kick.

The third quarter was pretty much a dog fight with neither team seeming to gain an advantage.  North was able to get some insurance in the 4th quarter.  Austin Johnson caught a screen pass on a critical 3rd and 10 play  and got the first down and then some, gaining 37 yards and giving the North sidelines a boost.  The crowd came alive as once again a big play by North put them into a position to score.  Kody Cordes took a toss 36 yards and this gave North their final margin of victory.  Brookville went into a passing mode on their last few possessions, but although North gave away yardage underneath, they did not get beat deep and more importantly kept Brookville out of the endzone.  When the clock wound down, North had a 21-7 win.

Coach Derringer, “I thought our defense did a really nice job of knocking the ball down in the fourth quarter and didn’t give up anything deep.  It was a nice victory for the Panthers, but we did make an awful lot of mistakes.  We had two costly fumbles.  There were a couple of breakdowns on defense but they played very, very well.  Brookville was held to 79 yards rushing and threw for 109 yards – but a lot of that was from their short passing game in the 4th quarter.”

Reilly Libinski: “Our happiness with the victory is tempered by our sadness at losing Reilly Linbinski.  He was a senior offensive and defensive lineman and on the first play from scrimmage he broke his leg.  Last year he had over 20 tackles for negative yardage.  He is going to miss most of the rest of the season, we may get him back towards the end.”

Colton Booth: “I know that folks were worried how we would do with Hutchins graduating and a new player at quarterback. He was 6 for 10 passing for 114 yards.  He didn’t throw any interceptions, he made some good decisions.  It was a big question mark for people looking at North this year, but his receiver selection and progressions were great for his first varsity game at quarterback. And our offensive line did a great job against Brookville – that certainly helped.”

This was the first time in school history that North had back to back wins against Brookville.  Overall the teams are 4-3 against each other with Brookville having the edge.

Next week North plays at home against Ansonia, “They were beat last week at Welcome Stadium by Belmont.  They will try to play a power football game where they control the ball.   They will try to control the clock and are happy to grind out 3-4 yards a carry. Their defense - we expect them to load up the box and take away the run.”


Stats for North:  Rushing - Booth 11 carries 30 yds; Garrett Woodyard 6 carries 18 yds; Dustin Green 11 carries 74 yds; Kody Cordes 9 carries 54 yds. Receiving – Logan Elmore 1/7; Austin Johnson 4/56; Kody Cordy 2/59. Top Tacklers – Booth 9;Colton Overholtz 7; Logan Elmore 7; Woodyard 7; Johnson 6; Summers 6.

TVS Over Dixie





South used a solid running game, a stingy defense, and field position to build on a 14-0 halftime lead and defeat the Dixie Greyhounds to start the 2014 season.  South would lead the game the entire way and although Dixie put together some decent drives, the Greyhounds would not find paydirt until the end of the 4th quarter.

South’s offense got most of their yardage in-between the tackles.  They opened in a wishbone offense and shifted to a spread offense when needed to keep Dixie off-balance.  South did pass when needed and although there were a few dropped balls, Wes Cole was able to hit his mark when called upon to do so.   The defense bent, but did not break – making several key plays.  There were a couple of critical 4th down plays in Panther territory where the defense stood their ground and made Dixie give up the ball on downs.  Another drive was ended with South’s Jordan Peterson intercepting the ball on the 1 yard line, he would snag another interception in the second half.

Dixie stayed in their spread offense and mixed the run and pass.  Quarterback Cody Grubb both ran and passed well – accounting for several Dixie first downs.  Clayton Washington was able to peel off some good runs against a hard hitting South defense.   Nick Adams was able to pick off a Cole pass in Dixie territory to end a South drive.  But the defense had a tough time thwarting the South ground game.

South took their opening drive into the endzone.  Anthony Augspurger, who was a workhorse in the backfield all night, got several first down carries and took it to the house about midway through the first quarter.  Wes Cole connected with Josh Cottingim on a critical 4th and 5 play to keep the opening drive alive.  Dixie tried to answer and despite converting several 4th downs they finally fell short at the South 11.   South’s Sammy Shockey had a potential score called back due to an illegal block, he ran again and got the ball to the Dixie 9.  And a few plays later Joe Webb  finished the deal and scored.

South had a most curious drive late in the second quarter.  Already up by 2 scores, they seemed poised to make it a 3 score ball game when Shockey returned a Dixie punt back to the 25 yard line. But the Panthers proceeded to take off their spikes and begin shooting off their toes.  They proceeded to march backward as they got not one, not two, but three penalties on successive plays.  They were backed up to midfield.  I seem to recall at one point that it was 3rd and 43.  Coach Cates took a time out to get the team refocused.  Amazingly, the team fell just short of a first down and gave up the ball on downs at the Dixie 9.

Field position helped to give South a short field to work with in the second half.  Place kicker JJ Utz and good coverage by special teams made Dixie start their drives deep in their own territory, their own 20, 25, and 32.  And South’s defense must have adjusted at halftime as Dixie was held to several 3 and out’s on offense.  South was starting their second half drives at midfield and drove the ball home.  Wes Cole started scoring in the second half with a 25 yard carry. Sammy Shockey finished another drive with a 1 yard TD run.   Anthony Augspurger, who began South’s scoring, finished it with the last South TD – a 5 yard run.  Dixie’s Clayton Washington put Dixie on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter with a 4 yard run.  South won the field with a 35-6 victory.

Dixie’s coach Watson commented after the game, “We knew going in that we would be outsized and not as deep as South. They did a good job of running the ball – we had a tough time stopping them.  On top of that we had some key injuries and that exposed our lack of depth. But South did execute their game plan well.   Clayton Washington carried for about 75 yards and Cody Grubb passed for about 80 yards and carried for over 30 yards.   We had to gang tackle a lot on defense, but Isiah Pritchard and Zach Rader led the defense in tackles.” Next week Dixie faces Hamilton Ross, “They are a big team with an all senior line – one of them has committed to Indiana.  So I am sure they saw what South did and are going to try and pound the ball right at us – we have to prepare our team to stop them.”

South’s coach Cate was pleased with the team’s performance, “I thought we came out ready to go from the first play.  That is a huge improvement from last year – we seemed to be slow starters.  We came out playing hard and fast and smart.  That is the best that our offensive line has looked.  I was really proud of our effort we had a lot of guys flying around on defense and on offense we were pretty sound on executing our plays.  We had a lot of penalties and in a close game that can be the difference – so that is something that we have to fix.”

He continued, “We spent a lot of time in the offseason working on special teams.  JJ Utz came out for the team this season, and he does a really nice job of kicking the ball.  He can kick it high and put it where we want it.  We have some key players that we can trust on special teams and it is making a difference.    I was really happy with our field position for this game.”

Finally, “But overall I was really impressed with the way that we played on Friday night.  But it’s just one game, we have to focus on one game at a time.   It is too bad that Bradford is not playing us this year, we really would like to keep our momentum going.” National Trail in two weeks, “The kids are really excited about playing them.  Last year we just didn’t get it done.  They did a nice job and had a nice team.  The seniors are really wanting to have another shot at them.  We have two weeks to prepare against their spread offense that has proven to be tough to defend. “

Stats for TVS: Anthony Augspurger 18 carries 164 yards;  Sammy Shocky 6 carries for 72 yards; Wes Cole 6 carries 66 yards;  Joe Webb 9 carries 31 yards;  Leading Tacklers: Jacob Bassler 10;Gunter Lautensleger 7; Anthony Augspurger 7; Todd French 6.