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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Twin Valley South and Arcanum played a hard fought game on Friday night. By nights end, the winner would be decided by a single point. Each team sported a 0-2 record coming into the game. And each team featured their running attack on offense. Both teams are known for using a double wing offense although South would lean to a wishbone formation. In a lot of respects the teams were mirror images of one another, which made for such a close game. Scoring was lean for the first part of the game, with the fireworks occurring from the third quarter on.

The first half saw Arcanum dominate everywhere except for the scoreboard. They had the ball for almost the entire first quarter. But to South’s credit, Arcanum made three trips into the TVS red zone and came back empty handed each time. South made some big plays on 4th down. Steve Balthis had an interception to end one drive, another drive ended one foot short of first down on the 1 ½ yard line of TVS, the last ended at about the 20. So the South defense was bending, but showed no signs of breaking. In the first half, Arcanum had 3 pass attempts – one complete, one incomplete, and one interception. So I could see why they were leery of the pass. The rest of their yardage, they ground out with the run.

While the Trojans were racking up the yardage, the Panthers were having problems moving the ball. About midway thru the second quarter, the team did put together a drive into Arcanum territory. But the South could not stand good fortune – they fumbled on two consecutive plays, recovering the first one, but giving it up the second time. It was looking like a good old fashioned slugfest as the teams stood at 0-0 at half time.

But the game opened up in the second half. South came roaring back in their first posession when quarterback Michael Burke burst thru the center of the Arcanum line and sprinted 63 yards for a TD. The next score was set up by an Arcanum miscue. A high snap on a punt gave the ball back to the Panthers. A pass interference call on Arcanum gave the ball to TVS on the 10. From there Dillon Ashley plunged thru the line and scored. But South had problems with extra points – they whiffed on their first two attempts on way to a 12-0 lead.

But big plays would be the bane of the Panthers. Arcanum bounced back with a 67 yard TD run and nailed the extra point. South’s next score was set up in part by a Arcanum penalty for knocking over the returner on a fair catch during a punt. This put the Panthers at midfield. Again they took advantage of a short field, capping their drive with a Dillon Ashley carry for his second TD of the night. This time South went for two and got it.

Arcanum mixed the pass and run on their next drive with effectiveness. Capping the drive with a touchdown pass. Then late in the fourth quarter, South gave up another big play. Allowing a punt return to be carried all the way to the 4 yard line where Trojan quarterback Derrick Baker punched it in. They made good on their extra point attempt. With 2:26 left in the game, Arcanum had their first lead of the night up 21-20. South finally had to give up the ball on downs on their next possession and Arcanum would win a close one, taking a knee to run out the clock. Next week South will play against winless Mississinnewa Valley.

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