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Sunday, August 23, 2009

North – Getting Stronger
J. C. Tilton

Last season the team seemed to be young and the big players lacked stamina. This season the team returns experience and seemed to be in fair condition – although they did have some big bodies on the sidelines with injuries in the scrimmage that I watched. Two of their big linemen had to sit out due to illness and injury. But North was able to score first in their first scrimmage which was against Dixie. And they initially held Dixie to a single score. Although they did allow Dixie to come back late in their scrimmage.

With the big line, you can see that North will be trying to move the ball inside the tackles. But with Overholtz at quarterback, his arm will be able to stretch the field. Two of the North scores were from deep passes. And Booth scampered about 60 yards to score on the ground. I can see that the North strategy will be in part to establish the run inside and then when the defense focuses on stopping that, they will do a play action fake and go long. In the last part of the scrimmage, I thought that Dixie’s spread offense was being effective against North. They had an overall advantage in team speed and were able to beat North to the point of attack on several plays. So getting to the ball faster and better open field tackling will need to improve before next Friday.

Second year coach Jason Hart was asked to discuss the scrimmage, “A definite positive was our passing game, we haven’t had that the past couple of years. The quarterback threw well, the receivers were catching the ball, and we had decent pass protection from the line. We do need to work on our running game, up front we need to get better – we need to control the line of scrimmage. And defense we just need to tackle better. We are in position, but we are just not making tackles. Also I would like to see the team be more physical on defense.

On Dalton Overholtz, “We still have our underneath stuff, but with his arm we can go downfield. He has improved in the off season.” The team returns a lot of players in the skill positions, “All of our backs and receivers have 2 and 3 years experience. And our line returns several players who have been playing varsity level football. We expect a lot out of these guys this year. We have a new defensive end that we are expecting big things from.”

On the CCC competition, “Covington is tough to beat and they will be at the top of the league until someone knocks them off. And Ansonsia – they are bringing everyone back from last years playoff team. But you have to be on top of your game every week, because this is a year where anybody can beat any one. The league is much more balanced than it has been in the past. Even the bottom teams are pushing to get up in the middle.” North will open this Friday night against a tough Brookville team that was undefeated in the regular season and went to the playoffs.

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