Saturday, September 08, 2007

TVS defeats Mississinnewa Valley in OT 34-33. A whale of a ball game. Both offenses were churning up yardage, the Blackhawks in big chunks, the Panthers in a methodical Woody Hayes style. South did not pass that much, I think because they wanted to control the ball and keep the Blackhawks off the field. It ended up tied in regulation when the Blackhawks scored in the last minute of the 4th quarter. They won the toss, scored, and elected to go for the kick and made. South scored on their possession and went for two and Josh Flynn crossed the goal line on a quarterback keeper.

I jokingly remarked after the game that the Blackhawk ball carriers must have lathered themselves up with soap before the game. They were elusive and we just couldn't seem to tackle them. They had several gains of 30, 40, 50 yards. We just couldn't contain their running attack. They also had a decent sized line that opened some nice holes for the runners.

Next up for the Panthers is Bethel, Mays will be another slippery running back. Miami East and Bethel are also shaping up as teams to beat in the CCC. ME may be the real deal this season narrowly beating Bethel by a point. Ansonia could be in the mix. But Bradford and National Trial will be battling to stay out of the basement this fall.

Monday, September 03, 2007

TVS 32 Arcanum 20. A quality win for South. The Trojans have been in the upper echelon of the conference for many years now. A big first quarter put TVS up 18-0. And early in the second quarter South was up 25-0. But they could not nail the coffin closed. Arcanum would outscore TVS the remainder of the game. But South was opportunistic - twice in the second half Arcanum was knocking at the door only to fumble and South recovered both times. Converting one into a second half touchdown to give a little cushion. Still the team seemed to let their foot off the pedal a little bit, the next time they may not be able to hold off a comeback. But as Coach Cottingim stated the players are still learning to win and now need to learn how to hold onto a lead and not let the other team back into the game.

Maleski showed what he can when he gets past the line of scrimmage. On so many carries he only gets a yard or two, but when he gets green grass in front of him, he is gone. His 44 yard TD run was an example of that. He found a crease to the secondary and he zipped by them like they were standing still. If he gets some lateral moves to get around people or gets better at shedding tacklers he will be formidable. Flynn did well on both sides of the ball. Stone and Wentlender did well on defense. Michael Williams was shook up and a sophomore had to take his place. So at one point, 4 sophomores were on the offensive line - and the team still moved the ball. So that bodes well for the future. Freshman Balthis scored on both sides of the ball - caught a TD pass and intercepted a pass and ran it in too.

Special teams was a concern this game. Three missed extra point opportunities and the coverage on kickoffs seemed to decline as the game went on. There were some good kicks from Koeller and we tackled them back deep the first time. But despite the good kicks we let them get some decent returns. When you let the other team start at midfield, you make it easy for them. Wentlender seems to be consistent at punter - so having two good kickers is a plus on the special teams ledger.

Missinnewa Valley will be an interesting team to play. Won their opener, but Miami East seemed to win fairly handily - judging from the box score. My sources tell me that they have some size on the line this year. Did they think that ME were going to be pushovers and weren't up enough for the game? I imagine that this is a tough week for the Blackhawks - Graher will be getting them focused and ready the visiting Panthers. It will be a big game for both teams - South will want to keep their momentum while the BlackHawks will want to redeem themselves and get back to a winning record.

Covington won big over rival Bradford. Trail got knocked around by Ansonia as did TCN by Bethel. Looks like there will be a big gap between the teams at the top of conference and those at the bottom.