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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greyhounds Race Past Panthers

With Dixie graduating a good crop of seniors last season there was some question if they could reload or would they need to rebuild? They have Junior quarterback Luke Bowling back at the helm but they lost two of his favorite receivers and on the defensive side of the ball they lost a premier linebacker, finally they lost linemen on both sides of the ball. Well the answer this last Friday night was that Dixie is in reload mode. They scored first and allowed South to tie it 7 -7. But that was the high water mark for the South offense as they were smothered from that point on by a stout Dixie defense. On the other side of the ball, the spread offense of Dixie was keeping South off balance with both the run and pass.

Bowling showed that he had some wheels as well as an arm as he carried the ball in twice for scores. He also connected with Doogie Hauser for a 30 yard TD pass, this play was set by a Jordan screen pass a play prior. And Jordan scored himself on runs of 43 and 80 yards. The 43 yard run was set up a Zack Grubb kick off return to the TVS 46 yard line. Trent Cummings scored on a one yard carry. But this score was set up by a Panther miscue – a bad snap on a punt resulted in the ball going to Dixie on the one yard line.

The lone Panther score was set up by freshman Anthony Augspurger’s interception. He was playing outside linebacker and jumped a route for the pickoff. Then he ran about 36 yards until he was tackled at the 23 yard line of Dixie. Three plays later the ball was given to Augspurger from 6 yards out where he finished the deal by running in for the score.

Both teams had their of share penalties – even for a first game. In a close game this can come back to bite these two teams. So I am sure both teams will be working on minimizing the illegal procedures and holding calls for next week. Although there was a good night for football, the turnout in West Alexandria seemed a little light as compared to years past. Hopefully this will improve too as the season goes on.

But Coach Tarpley from Dixie was more than pleased with his defense, “They are doing really well, this is the fastest defense that we have had and it showed on the field. It was lead by linebacker Matt Isaacs, who had 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. We played well in all aspects of the game, the defense, the offense, special teams – our kicking game was outstanding. Ryan Jordan had 165 yards rushing in the first half alone. “

He was gracious to the host team, “They are a well coached team, I see them getting much better once they learn the spread offense. It is a hard offense to pick up the first year. Also I appreciate the good sportsmanship that I saw on the field. Lance [Engleka] will do well at South, I see him doing good things in the CCC. ”

On next weeks game, “Well they are Valley View for one – they dropped us from the schedule years ago because they didn’t think we offered the completion, but I want to see the rivalry we once had come back. They have a good running back that their offense is centered around and they run a 5-2 defense. It will be a tough game, but I hope to surprise them. We had a good fan turnout Friday against South, but I really want to see the Dixie fans come out in full force and support us at Valley View.”

Coach Engleka acknowledged that Dixie was potent after the game, “We knew their offense was explosive, they put 35 points against Division 2 Greenville and scored 49 points in 3 quarters against Tri-County North. So we knew that they could put points on the board in a hurry. So we told the players before the game that we could not allow any big plays. We did that in the first quarter – although they scored, they had to drive the ball down the field. And we stopped them a few possessions. Then we had the break down on special teams early in the second quarter and turned the ball over to Dixie on the one yard line. Then we gave up another big play and so that 14 point swing at the start of the 2nd quarter really broke our backs.”

I asked him about the South score, “We had told our outside line backers where the Dixie receivers hit their marks, and Anthony hit the mark at right time and was able to make the play. We’ve been teaching the kids to listen and get to where they need to be on each play. He then had a nice return to the redzone and we were able to score three plays later.”

Finally, what positives they could find from the game? “We watched the game film and found that defensive linemen Cody Clayton and Kole Maggard did a great job clogging up the ‘A’ (inside) gaps. Kole was generally double teamed and still had 7 tackles including 2 for loss. They were both in their backfield more often than not. We also liked what we saw in Brad Wagers at Defensive End. He is a bit undersized, but compensates with quickness. And that quickness caused problems for the Dixie offense.

Next week South will play National Trail at home – both teams run the same offense and the same defense – according to coach Engleka this game will come down to which team executes the spread offense and 4-4 defense the best, and Dixie stays on the road and will travel to always tough Valley View.

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