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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Twin Valley South won their first game of the season, but had some second half drama on way to a 33-22 victory. Both Mississinawa Valley and TVS were 0-3 entering the game. And the Black Hawks had yet to score a touch down in their first three games. But after giving up a first half lead to South, they would find a groove in the second half and prevent a fourth straight shut out.

Steve Balthis put South up early with 71 yard touchdown run on the very first play from scrimmage. The Black Hawks tried to respond and despite three penalties, they drove to the South red zone. But South made a nice play on 4th and 11 to end the threat. The next South touchdown drive began when Ashley Dillon fell on a Black Hawk fumble in the second quarter. Tyler Leach would then carry the ball 45 yards to the 5, and he would later punch it in on a 1 yard carry. Steve Balthis would score the final touchdown of the half to put South up 20-0 at the 4:26 mark. He would turn around and end a Black Hawk drive with an interception.

In the third quarter it looked like the rout was on. South’s Michael Burke scored a TD on South’s first possession of the half. It was 26-0 South and it sure looked like another drubbing for the visitors. That drive consumed a good bit of clock time as well. When the Black Hawks got the ball back, there was only 3:20 left in the third quarter.

But at halftime, the Black Hawks must have googled “spread offense”, because they then began to run the spread and air it out. Gary Pease would run the ball in from 2 yards out. In a quick 2 minutes they had found the endzone for their first score of the season. But South responded with another clock eating touchdown drive. Balthis scored again on a 2 yard carry midway thru the 4th quarter. This put South up 33-6 entering the final quarter.

So South began substituting while the Black Hawks stayed with their starters. Now the game got a little sloppy with the Panthers giving up some late fumbles while the Black Hawks starters took advantage of the mismatch to score twice more. South freshman Kodey Hawthorne managed to block a Black Hawk extra point and help preserve a 33-22 victory. So it made the game entertaining in the 4th quarter, but South managed to win easily - the game was not as close as the score would indicate. Steve Balthis would score a total of three touchdowns to lead the team offensively. And Grant Kreitzer would lead the team in tackles on the other side of the ball.

Coach Shondelmeyer was happy to get the victory, “…good to get the first win – we were so close the week before. We had to practice this whole week that game in the back of our minds. And all of guys got to play and get some experience.” Next he was asked about the clock chewing drives, “Our line is our strong point. We believe that we can control the ball and that is all due to the guys up front.” Steve Balthis’s three scores, “He had a great run on that first sweep for a touchdown. He has been getting better this season, despite fighting injury. He was actually playing hurt in the Arcanum game, but he has been playing with toughness.”

Next Coach Shondelmeyer was asked about the defense. “I thought that both of our outside linebackers had good games, Dillon Ashley and Tony Combs. We played better team defense this game and really swarmed the ball and gang tackled.” Finally he was asked to look ahead to next week, “Bethel is 2-2, but they are an improved team. Their two losses are to Covington and Miami East, two teams that at the top of the league. Our defense will need to continue to improve. This will be a huge game for us.”

North: Not unnoticed was the North game against Covington. The game was scoreless at halftime and even though they lost, they played an always tough Covington team close.

Dixie wins against Shawnee, a tough test against Brookville this coming Friday.

Some more good games this next week, but I think that I will shift gears and cover volleyball this coming week.