Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trail Offense Too Much for TVS



Trail Offense Too Much for TVS

National Trail's spread offense made several big plays on Friday night against TVS.  South would seem to have Trail pinned back and then Trail would make a big play and put South on their heels.  And the Trail play calling was good - work the edges, then do a middle screen.  Work the short pass, then go deep.  But South showed their resiliency and fought back. The game was hard hitting, there were several stoppages for players who were shook up.  South kept the game close all night and had their chance at a comeback until late in the 4th quarter when South failed to convert on a 4th down and gave the ball up with about 3 minutes left.

South's game plan seemed to be to use their experienced line to churn out yardage on the ground, use the clock, and keep the ball away from the Trail offense.  And they were able to move the ball, but penalties stalled some drives and Trail made some good plays on defense to stop others.  Trail used every page in their playbook - half back option pass, onsides kicks (worked once, failed the second time), and several other inventive plays to keep South guessing.  South's defense, which had not allowed a score in 6 quarters, gave up 35 points to the Blazers.

It was South who scored first. After stopping Trail on 4th down, they marched the ball down the field and Wes Cole ran it in from about 35 yards out late in the first quarter.  But any momentum from the defensive stand and offensive success was shortlived as Trail took the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the house to even up the score.  Then holding South to a 3 and out, they quickly positioned themselves for a second touchdown.  In the space of about 3 minutes, Trail had scored twice and created a lead that they would not give up.

And luck was with the Trail ball club as well.  Trails next TD before the half was set up by a tipped ball. Receivers ran deep and a South defender got a hand on the pass, deflecting it into the air.  An alert Trail receiver, Josh Lee, snagged the ball and ran it to the one yard line where Wes Cole tackled him.  But one quarterback carry later and Trail scored anyway.  South threatened just before the half and were on the Trail 26 with 12 seconds left but a Trail sack ended South's scoring chances.

After Trails second onsides kick failed, South took advantage of the short field and scored on a Joe Webb 9 yard run to make it a one score game 21 - 14.  But Trail scored again after using the half back option pass and a gutsy 4th down play to reach the endzone.   After exchanging the ball a few times.  South got the ball back at midfield due to a shanked punt. Josh Cottingim caught a Wes Cole pass to again make it a one score game 28-21.  Josh Lee caught a Garret Griffen pass for Trails last score of the night around the 4 minute mark.  And that was a critical touchdown as it now made it a 2 score game for South to pull even. South ran the two minute drill since they needed 2 scores. But Trails defense stepped it up and a quarterback sack put South into a 3rd and forever and that put the first down out of reach and South gave the ball up on downs.  Trail was the victor 35-21.

All in all it was a hard fought game - and an exciting game from a fans perspective. Lots of offense, a lot of big plays from both teams. Next week South travels to Ansonia and Trail travels to Bradford.