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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Speed Trumps Strength
J. C. Tilton

This past Friday’s game between North and South was a match up at many levels. It was a decisive game as both teams were 2-3 going into the game. A win would make a winning season record that much easier, the loser would be 2-4 and would face an uphill climb to have a winning season. Next this is a rivalry game, both teams give a little extra on the field when playing your schools chief competitor. North features a large line and strength in numbers – around 40 players in all. South came into the game with a quick backfield and effective passing attack; but were low in overall numbers. So it became a battle of speed versus strength.

North’s game plan seemed to be to pound the ball between the tackles and wear down the South defense. Although they passed some, a pair South of interceptions kept them from utilizing the pass more. South’s game plan was to work the edge with their speed and mix in the pass to keep North off-balance. To their credit the South defense did not get weary in the second half and was able to make big plays at critical times.

The consensus was that this would be a high scoring as both teams have been able to light up the scoreboard. But the first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie. But from there both teams would cross the goal line many times. The chains were smoking on the yardmarkers as they followed the ball up and down the field. South scored first. Ryan Burns helped set up it with an interception to the 37 yard line. South had a short field and minutes later Grant Kreitzer caught a pass for the first score of the night. In a carry over from last week, South had problems with extra points and would not get an extra point on their first 4 scores of the night.

Dakota Gulling drew first blood for North. After a 45 yard carry, he completed the deal with a 1 yard TD run. Encroachment put the ball on the 1 and half yard line and so North went for a 2 pointer and got it when Matt Green scored. From there the action was swift. South’s Steve Balthis caught a TD pass to regain the lead; North answered with a Matt Green touchdown run. The last touchdown of the half followed an odd series of events. South had to punt but the punter bobbled the snap and barely got the kick away. There must have been butter on the ball as the North return man muffed the kick on his end and South recovered on the North 21. Miles McCollum ripped off a 21 yard carry to put South up at the half 18-15.

A bad snap set up North’s first score of the next half. Again the South punter barely got the ball away and this time the kick only netted about 10 yards. Matt Green took advantage of the short field and scored to put North back on top. South needed a momentum boost and got it when Roy Wysong busted a kick return all the way back to the North 27. Skylar Reckers crossed the goal line for the score.

Special teams were a problem for both teams. North had a punt blocked deep in their territory. This time Tyler Leach crossed the goal line for South. When North tried to battle back into the game, an alert Cody Bryant caught a bouncing ball that tipped off of two other players downfield to end a North drive at midfield. What was once a see-saw game started to become a rout as South’s Skylar Reckers scored again. Another North turnover occurred when Steve Balthis fell on a North fumble and this set up a Miles McCollum to Grant Kreitzer TD pass. North managed a score in the final minute of the game when Josh McAdams scored. When the horn blew South had won 45-30

Sunday, September 21, 2008

“Our guys really played hard against a good program and I was proud of that,” remarked coach Schondelmyer after the game, “They [Covington] are where we want to be. It’s what we want to do at Twin Valley South, we want to get to the point where we are the Covington of the conference. We did run the spread against Covington, we saw some matchups in their pass defense where the spread would exploit that. Tyler Leach did a great job running the ball. Miles McCollum did a nice job, we added a lot of stuff this week and he handled it well. Steve Balthis ran the ball well. And I thought that Roy Wysong blocked hard tonight - that is an important part of the game. Grant Kreitzer had a good night too, he caught a pass for a touchdown and he blocked well too – I look for the guys that block because they are the difference makers.”

On next week’s game[South vs. North], “Obviously this a big rivalry game and both teams will be up for it. It looks like it will be the game of the week – so I’ve been told. We played well last week, but not well enough to win. I’m looking forward to the game against North, the kids should be hungry for a victory. If we keep improving like I’m seeing, we will do just fine.

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South - Covington Duel in West Alexandria

J. C. Tilton

After a week where most everyone was affected by power outages, fans were able to get their minds off of their woes with a spectacular game between the Buccaneers and Panthers. Penalties and giving up big plays plagued Twin Valley South on Friday night. Still the team managed to win the time of possession and stayed even with the Buccaneers. The game was a nail biter with the winner being decided in the last 16 seconds of the game.

South scored first in the first quarter when Miles McCollum ran about 50 yards on a quarterback keeper. Both teams had problems with extra points this night and South's first try was blocked. Covington answered with a Logan Woloch touchdown but their try also failed. At the end of one, it was TVS 6 and Covington 6.

After a South drive stalled, thanks in part to a delay of game penalty, Covington ended their drive with a 30 yard TD run by quarterback Jake Bitner. South came right back with a great effort by fullback Tyler Leach. He bulled his way thru the line, shook off the secondary, and chugged 55 hard earned yards for a touchdown to tie the game again. But the South defense turned around and gave up a big play of their own - allowing a 70 yard touchdown that put Covington up at the half 19-12.

In the second half, South kept the Bucc's off balance by going into a spread offense at times. But after advancing to the redzone, an interception gave Covington the ball and a few plays later they ripped off another 70+ yard TD run to go up by two scores. South pulled closer when Grant Kreitzer had a 60 yard TD catch. And on their next possession, South caught a break when a bad snap on a punt gave them possession on the Covington 24. Miles McCollum scored and going into the fourth quarter it was a tie ball game - 26 all.

But another defensive breakdown allowed Covington to peel off a 64 yard TD on their next series. Late in the fourth quarter, South would catch a break as another bad snap on a punt gave them the ball on the Covington 42 with 4:27 left in the game. This would be their last possession of the ball game. Thanks to a pass interference call they were able to advance to the redzone. But with 16 seconds left in the ball game, they failed to convert on 4th down at the Covington 8 yard line and the Buccs were able to take a knee to seal a 32-26 victory.