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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

TVS Over Dixie

South used a solid running game, a stingy defense, and field position to build on a 14-0 halftime lead and defeat the Dixie Greyhounds to start the 2014 season.  South would lead the game the entire way and although Dixie put together some decent drives, the Greyhounds would not find paydirt until the end of the 4th quarter.

South’s offense got most of their yardage in-between the tackles.  They opened in a wishbone offense and shifted to a spread offense when needed to keep Dixie off-balance.  South did pass when needed and although there were a few dropped balls, Wes Cole was able to hit his mark when called upon to do so.   The defense bent, but did not break – making several key plays.  There were a couple of critical 4th down plays in Panther territory where the defense stood their ground and made Dixie give up the ball on downs.  Another drive was ended with South’s Jordan Peterson intercepting the ball on the 1 yard line, he would snag another interception in the second half.

Dixie stayed in their spread offense and mixed the run and pass.  Quarterback Cody Grubb both ran and passed well – accounting for several Dixie first downs.  Clayton Washington was able to peel off some good runs against a hard hitting South defense.   Nick Adams was able to pick off a Cole pass in Dixie territory to end a South drive.  But the defense had a tough time thwarting the South ground game.

South took their opening drive into the endzone.  Anthony Augspurger, who was a workhorse in the backfield all night, got several first down carries and took it to the house about midway through the first quarter.  Wes Cole connected with Josh Cottingim on a critical 4th and 5 play to keep the opening drive alive.  Dixie tried to answer and despite converting several 4th downs they finally fell short at the South 11.   South’s Sammy Shockey had a potential score called back due to an illegal block, he ran again and got the ball to the Dixie 9.  And a few plays later Joe Webb  finished the deal and scored.

South had a most curious drive late in the second quarter.  Already up by 2 scores, they seemed poised to make it a 3 score ball game when Shockey returned a Dixie punt back to the 25 yard line. But the Panthers proceeded to take off their spikes and begin shooting off their toes.  They proceeded to march backward as they got not one, not two, but three penalties on successive plays.  They were backed up to midfield.  I seem to recall at one point that it was 3rd and 43.  Coach Cates took a time out to get the team refocused.  Amazingly, the team fell just short of a first down and gave up the ball on downs at the Dixie 9.

Field position helped to give South a short field to work with in the second half.  Place kicker JJ Utz and good coverage by special teams made Dixie start their drives deep in their own territory, their own 20, 25, and 32.  And South’s defense must have adjusted at halftime as Dixie was held to several 3 and out’s on offense.  South was starting their second half drives at midfield and drove the ball home.  Wes Cole started scoring in the second half with a 25 yard carry. Sammy Shockey finished another drive with a 1 yard TD run.   Anthony Augspurger, who began South’s scoring, finished it with the last South TD – a 5 yard run.  Dixie’s Clayton Washington put Dixie on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter with a 4 yard run.  South won the field with a 35-6 victory.

Dixie’s coach Watson commented after the game, “We knew going in that we would be outsized and not as deep as South. They did a good job of running the ball – we had a tough time stopping them.  On top of that we had some key injuries and that exposed our lack of depth. But South did execute their game plan well.   Clayton Washington carried for about 75 yards and Cody Grubb passed for about 80 yards and carried for over 30 yards.   We had to gang tackle a lot on defense, but Isiah Pritchard and Zach Rader led the defense in tackles.” Next week Dixie faces Hamilton Ross, “They are a big team with an all senior line – one of them has committed to Indiana.  So I am sure they saw what South did and are going to try and pound the ball right at us – we have to prepare our team to stop them.”

South’s coach Cate was pleased with the team’s performance, “I thought we came out ready to go from the first play.  That is a huge improvement from last year – we seemed to be slow starters.  We came out playing hard and fast and smart.  That is the best that our offensive line has looked.  I was really proud of our effort we had a lot of guys flying around on defense and on offense we were pretty sound on executing our plays.  We had a lot of penalties and in a close game that can be the difference – so that is something that we have to fix.”

He continued, “We spent a lot of time in the offseason working on special teams.  JJ Utz came out for the team this season, and he does a really nice job of kicking the ball.  He can kick it high and put it where we want it.  We have some key players that we can trust on special teams and it is making a difference.    I was really happy with our field position for this game.”

Finally, “But overall I was really impressed with the way that we played on Friday night.  But it’s just one game, we have to focus on one game at a time.   It is too bad that Bradford is not playing us this year, we really would like to keep our momentum going.” National Trail in two weeks, “The kids are really excited about playing them.  Last year we just didn’t get it done.  They did a nice job and had a nice team.  The seniors are really wanting to have another shot at them.  We have two weeks to prepare against their spread offense that has proven to be tough to defend. “

Stats for TVS: Anthony Augspurger 18 carries 164 yards;  Sammy Shocky 6 carries for 72 yards; Wes Cole 6 carries 66 yards;  Joe Webb 9 carries 31 yards;  Leading Tacklers: Jacob Bassler 10;Gunter Lautensleger 7; Anthony Augspurger 7; Todd French 6.

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