Sunday, November 01, 2015

Vikings Axe Panthers

Twin Valley South could find no answer for the running game of the Vikings.  Still at halftime they were only down 14-0.  But South was trying to pass the ball and several of their possessions lasted less than a minute before they punted.  Giving the defense very little time to rest.  This caught up to South in the second half as the defense ran out of gas.  Miami East took advantage and rang up another 27 points.  South was able to score early in the 4th quarter when senior Jordan Peterson caught a Jacob Bassler pass for the lone TVS score for the night.  Final was 41-6 Vikings.

It is an old adage that the team that gets the most turnovers is the team that will win a game. South was the winner in the turnover department as Wyatt Burke and Beau Ashley both recovered Viking fumbles. And Burke's fumble was at the 26 yard line of Miami East. But the Viking defense held firm and actually pushed South backward. Also the Vikings did short pooch kicks on their kickoffs which South was able to cover. But despite the favorable field position from these short kicks, South had difficulty moving the ball.

In a repeat of the North game, South had problems establishing a rushing game. And this was made worse in the second half as two of South's starting linemen were sidelined with injuries. The Vikings kept JJ Utz well covered the entire night but the rest of South's receivers had problems hanging on to the ball. There were several dropped passes. But South did catch a break when Sammy Shockey caught a nice pass from Jacob Bassler to put the ball on the Miami East 18 early in the 4th quarter. Then Peterson made his grab for the score.

South did open up their playbook in a effort to score. Bassler was able to run for a first down on a fake punt on one possession and South tried to execute a double pass in the second half, but the second pass was over thrown to an open receiver downfield.

Still South end's the season with a 6-4 record. There were prognosticators at the beginning of the season who looked at the 15 seniors that graduated from South last year and predicted a 1-9 season for this years edition of the Panthers. And the team had a respectable season and although they took a thrashing from league co-champ Miami East, they were able to upset the other co-champ, Covington.

Coach Cates commented after the game, “We came out flat – which surprised me. But at the half we were only down 14 – nothing, so we were still right there. But we dropped so many opportunities. We were unable to capitalize when we had our chances.”

He continued talking about the seniors, “I hated to lose because of our seniors. It is the best group as far as leadership that I have had. Last years seniors were such a talented group and performed well, it was a good season. This years group looked at what was said at the beginning of the year about South dropping off and said that we are not going to be 1-9. And by force of will, they lead us to a good season.”

So it was a good season for the Panthers who end the season 6-4, but were a play away from being 7-3. Both Covington and Miami East will be representing the CCC in the state playoffs.