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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dixie – Big Plays, Big Score

J. C. Tilton

Twin Valley South won the coin toss and the first quarter. But after that, the potent Dixie Greyhounds generated touchdown after touchdown from big plays to win going away. South actually crossed the goal line first due to a Miles McCollum TD pass to Steve Balthis and were up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Initially it looked like South had the right game plan – use clock eating drives to keep Dixie’s offense off the field. Then use a stubborn defense to hold Dixie to 3 and out. South had control of the ball game for the most of two quarters. Then with about 3 minutes left in the half, Dixie lightening struck twice.

Dixie has a lot of offensive weapons this season, and there are several players who can score in an instant. The momentum shift came when South had driven to the Dixie 30 only to have their drive stall. South elected to punt and in a coverage breakdown, Dixie returned the ball 97 yards for a score. Then with about a minute left in the half South had Dixie pinned back – inside their 20 yard line. A scrambling Nick Worley found an open Wood Earls and connected with him on a 84 yard scoring play. This made the score 14-7 at the half.

Dixie wasted no time went straight back to work after the half, Woody Earls scored on a 5 yard carry, set up by a Nick Worley pass to Earls. The next score was set up by a bad snap on a TVS punt. Woody Earls had a 6 yard carry to cap this short drive. With 7:32 left in the quarter Dixie was up 28-7. The team was a touchdown factory scoring 4 times in a little over 8 minutes.

At this point, South was working with a patchwork lineup. Injuries had sent 3 starters to the sidelines. With players going both ways, that sometimes meant that 2 positions had to be filled. Dixie took advantage, and when the game was over they had a convincing 49-7 victory. The knock on Dixie last season, was that they could score a lot, but lost because their defense couldn’t keep the other team out of endzone. This season the D bent and broke only once against South – hopefully a sign of big things to come from the Hounds this season.

CCC notes

Opening night was a tough night for the Cross County Conference. The only team able to muster a victory was the Mississenawa Valley Black Hawks. And many teams lost by blowouts. The high attrition in coaches is a factor with most teams having first year coaches. Still it looks like a down year for the conference unless some of these teams grow up in hurry during the course of the season.

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