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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Dixie Falls to Valley View

Although the final score was lopsided, the Greyhounds hung with the Spartans for 3 quarters. And Dixie had their chances against Valley View. There were two times in the game where 14 point swings made a big difference. Although the outcome would probably have been the same, the score would have been closer had Dixie not had mistakes in the red zone. Twice they failed to score points in side the twenty and both times Valley View capitalized on Dixe mistakes in the red zone to score themselves. So add 14 to the Dixie side and subtract 14 from the Valley View side and suddenly you have a game. Dixie showed that they could move the ball but putting it in the endzone was a problem on Friday.

Dixie’s first drive was their best of the night. Combining the pass and run they capped the drive with a Bowling to Ryan Jordan 32 yard touchdown pass. Later in the Valley View offensive series Dixie’s Nick Parker sacked the Valley View quarterback as did Wade Floyd a few plays later and Dixie would hold a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. So far Dixie was looking good on both offense and defense.

But to beat a bigger opponent, a team can’t afford to make mistakes. And turnovers kept Dixie from getting momentum, this started in the second quarter and didn’t stop. Early in the second quarter a bad snap lead to a bad handoff which lead to a Valley View Spartan pouncing on the dropped ball. A few plays later and the game was even at 7-7. Then a bad punt gave Valley View the ball on the 41 yard line where they drove it in to go ahead. A fumble recovery by John Isaacs gave Dixie new life but on that series, Dixie coughed up the ball on an interception at the Valley View 14. Dixie did stop them and got new life when a bad snap went over the punters head, he attempted a kick which was partially blocked and who else but Isaacs covered the ball at the Valley View 17. It looked like a momentum change, but Dixie threw an interception on 4th and 11, it was returned by Chris Lykins over 90 yards for a TD. So instead of tying the game 14 all, Dixie was down 21-7 at the half – not the momentum shift that Dixie needed.

In the third quarter, Dixie’s Wade Floyd had a tackle for loss and ended Valley View’s first drive. Dixie’s last gasp was on their next possession. John Isaacs caught a pass and went 80 yards for the touchdown. They did not make the extra point and it was 21-13. And from there on out it was all Valley View. Dixie was able to drive again to the Valley View 25, but a bad snap on 4th down killed that drive and lead to another Valley View touchdown. With Valley View able to platoon, they wore down Dixie. Many Dixie players had to go both ways in the heat – plus two starters were just coming back from the flu. So they just ran out of gas in the second half. The Spartans would win 49-13.

“Well you can’t win any ball game with 7 turnovers,” stated Coach Tarpley after the game,”and Valley View capitalized on 4 of those for touchdowns, including all three Valley View TD’s in the second quarter. Bad plays and bad snaps were a problem. And our defense could not find an answer for Schenck their running back. Valley View rose to the occasion and played really well.”

He did go to say that Ryan Jordan had a really good game on defense. “He was our leading rusher last week, but we couldn’t get our running game on track this week. He plays both ways and lead the team in tackles at linebacker. Next week we play against Division 2 Franklin, the mistakes we made this week we can correct.”

Congrats to both TVS and TCN on their first victories of the season. And Eaton is hitting on all 8 cylinders. They look tough to beat at this point in the season.

Finally on OSU - watching the game against Akron over my shoulder as I update. Glad that OSU gets the win. They looked good - but you have to consider the opponent, the Zips have been in the bottom half of the MAC. Still I liked what I saw, an Ohio State team that controlled the line of scrimmage, ran well, passed well. Freshman Miller got playing time at qb in a non threatening situation. So a good start to the Finkell era.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Friday I will be covering the Dixie - Valley View game.

If you can't make the game, I will be posting quarterly scores from the sidelines.

Watch for the story to be posted here next weekend.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greyhounds Race Past Panthers

With Dixie graduating a good crop of seniors last season there was some question if they could reload or would they need to rebuild? They have Junior quarterback Luke Bowling back at the helm but they lost two of his favorite receivers and on the defensive side of the ball they lost a premier linebacker, finally they lost linemen on both sides of the ball. Well the answer this last Friday night was that Dixie is in reload mode. They scored first and allowed South to tie it 7 -7. But that was the high water mark for the South offense as they were smothered from that point on by a stout Dixie defense. On the other side of the ball, the spread offense of Dixie was keeping South off balance with both the run and pass.

Bowling showed that he had some wheels as well as an arm as he carried the ball in twice for scores. He also connected with Doogie Hauser for a 30 yard TD pass, this play was set by a Jordan screen pass a play prior. And Jordan scored himself on runs of 43 and 80 yards. The 43 yard run was set up a Zack Grubb kick off return to the TVS 46 yard line. Trent Cummings scored on a one yard carry. But this score was set up by a Panther miscue – a bad snap on a punt resulted in the ball going to Dixie on the one yard line.

The lone Panther score was set up by freshman Anthony Augspurger’s interception. He was playing outside linebacker and jumped a route for the pickoff. Then he ran about 36 yards until he was tackled at the 23 yard line of Dixie. Three plays later the ball was given to Augspurger from 6 yards out where he finished the deal by running in for the score.

Both teams had their of share penalties – even for a first game. In a close game this can come back to bite these two teams. So I am sure both teams will be working on minimizing the illegal procedures and holding calls for next week. Although there was a good night for football, the turnout in West Alexandria seemed a little light as compared to years past. Hopefully this will improve too as the season goes on.

But Coach Tarpley from Dixie was more than pleased with his defense, “They are doing really well, this is the fastest defense that we have had and it showed on the field. It was lead by linebacker Matt Isaacs, who had 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. We played well in all aspects of the game, the defense, the offense, special teams – our kicking game was outstanding. Ryan Jordan had 165 yards rushing in the first half alone. “

He was gracious to the host team, “They are a well coached team, I see them getting much better once they learn the spread offense. It is a hard offense to pick up the first year. Also I appreciate the good sportsmanship that I saw on the field. Lance [Engleka] will do well at South, I see him doing good things in the CCC. ”

On next weeks game, “Well they are Valley View for one – they dropped us from the schedule years ago because they didn’t think we offered the completion, but I want to see the rivalry we once had come back. They have a good running back that their offense is centered around and they run a 5-2 defense. It will be a tough game, but I hope to surprise them. We had a good fan turnout Friday against South, but I really want to see the Dixie fans come out in full force and support us at Valley View.”

Coach Engleka acknowledged that Dixie was potent after the game, “We knew their offense was explosive, they put 35 points against Division 2 Greenville and scored 49 points in 3 quarters against Tri-County North. So we knew that they could put points on the board in a hurry. So we told the players before the game that we could not allow any big plays. We did that in the first quarter – although they scored, they had to drive the ball down the field. And we stopped them a few possessions. Then we had the break down on special teams early in the second quarter and turned the ball over to Dixie on the one yard line. Then we gave up another big play and so that 14 point swing at the start of the 2nd quarter really broke our backs.”

I asked him about the South score, “We had told our outside line backers where the Dixie receivers hit their marks, and Anthony hit the mark at right time and was able to make the play. We’ve been teaching the kids to listen and get to where they need to be on each play. He then had a nice return to the redzone and we were able to score three plays later.”

Finally, what positives they could find from the game? “We watched the game film and found that defensive linemen Cody Clayton and Kole Maggard did a great job clogging up the ‘A’ (inside) gaps. Kole was generally double teamed and still had 7 tackles including 2 for loss. They were both in their backfield more often than not. We also liked what we saw in Brad Wagers at Defensive End. He is a bit undersized, but compensates with quickness. And that quickness caused problems for the Dixie offense.

Next week South will play National Trail at home – both teams run the same offense and the same defense – according to coach Engleka this game will come down to which team executes the spread offense and 4-4 defense the best, and Dixie stays on the road and will travel to always tough Valley View.