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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vikings Defeat North

Friday night North battled injuries and turnovers as well as the Miami East Vikings.  They went into the game with a sideline that resembles a MASH unit the with all the bandages and slings.  Coach Derringer would later relate that in the course of the season that he has had 6 different players at fullback for instance. And during the course of the game, even more players became sidelined.  Still North proved to be gamers to the end.  But their defense was no match for the Vikings who hardly punted the entire night.  North lost 56-27 which now makes their chances at state playoffs or conference championship extremely slim.

Although they did move the ball through the air at times, East used their running game which North simply could not stop all night long. Also East coughed up the ball themselves, but North uncharacteristically turned the ball over 4 times. Several of these turnovers would lead to scores. After the first quarter the team had to play catch up, and it makes it hard to battle back when you give up the ball to the other team so many times.

The two teams played evenly in the early going. North struck first – using just two passes, the second one to Trey Kehr who put up the first points of the night. In an omen of things to come, North gave up a big play on their first defensive set of the night. It was a 77 yard TD run by Miami East. This was the second week in a row that the defense gave up a big play in this manner. North's next score was set up by a Chandler Sproles interception. Zack Edgin caught a Lane Gunder pass and advanced to the 1 where Jordan Overcash punched it in. Gavin Overholtz recovered a fumble for North, but a few plays later North gave the ball back to the Vikings who scored a few plays later to tie the game at 14 all.

In the second quarter, the Vikings exploded for 4 touchdowns and broke the game open. North tried to respond and mount a passing attack, but Miami East was able to get through the North line and sack the quarterback several times. So it was 42-14 at halftime.

A lot of teams would have mailed it in the second half of a lopsided game, but North came out on fire. They regrouped at halftime and scored the first 2 touchdowns of the half. Miami East got the ball first but fumbled the ball at the Panther 12. Logan Elmore scooped up the loose ball and raced 88 yards for the score. An inspired North defense held the Vikings on their next possession to force a punt. Elmore had a nice run to the Vikings 11, and a few plays later Gunder scored from 5 yards out. Suddenly North was back in the game 42-27.

But that was the high water mark for North. East's offense could not be contained the rest of the game and they denied North any taste of the endzone. Miami East sacks and North fumbles frustrated any attempts of scoring again.

The turnovers hurt us and right now we are just trying to get healthy,” remarked coach Derringer after the game, “We have to evaluate who is healthy is each week and put together the best lineup. We got even more guys injured tonight. This has been a year where is has been hard to keep every healthy.”

But despite the injuries we have to work on being better. “ he stated, “After the game I told the players that we going to watch the film, build on what went well, fix what went wrong and get ready for next weeks game against South – a big rivalry.”

This sets up an impact game at South who is still in the hunt for both league and playoffs.  And if you have a chance to play the role of spoiler against your biggest rival then that makes the game all the more bigger.  Look for a major battle between the two Panther teams next week.

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