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Sunday, December 30, 2012

How Sweet it is: South Wins Second Tournament

Both North and South had success in the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament albeit in different ways.  South was able to capture their 2nd championship in a row – winning their own Tip Off tournament to start the season and then winning the Holiday Tournament.  North won the consolation game, ending a 5 game skid. Although North had a nail biter - having to go to overtime before they earned that win.

On opening night South played National Trail. South nailed their outside shots in the first half and behind their zone defense they built a 31-14 halftime lead.  Trail countered in the second half with a press and even went to all guard line up to generate some turnovers, but South shrugged it off and maintained their lead.  Also in the second half Trail tried to connect on 3 point shots, but failed to find the hoop even though they were getting open looks and meanwhile South was cleaning the glass – holding Trail to one shot attempt per possession.  South won easily 59 to 40.  Wes Cole and Mike Green lead the team in scoring while Anthony Augspurger hauled in 12 rebounds, Seth Baker 7.

North’s first round game was against host Preble Shawnee.  And in the opening quarter, it looked like North was going to dominate completely.  Shawnee was playing sloppy and North took advantage starting the game with a 10-2 run.  Shawnee used a zone defense and pressed a little, while North played a man to man defense in the half court.  Shawnee settled down and in the second quarter they finished strong – using their inside game to catch North and then go into the locker room with a 26-25 lead at the half.

The two teams fought back and forth thru the 3rd quarter and entered the last quarter in a 35 all tie.  But about 2 minutes into the last quarter things began to fall apart for North – their post player Josh Heltsley who had been clogging up the middle went to the bench with his 4th foul, and seconds later they were hit with an intentional foul.  Shawnee had a 5 point lead at that point. Then inexplicably both teams went into a scoring drought that lasted almost 3 minutes.   And as the clocked clicked closer to the end of the game, Shawnee went into a slowdown.  North began to foul and Shawnee hit their foul shots and would break open a close game and win comfortably 53-40.  It was another hard fought loss for North. Scoring for North: Billy Derringer 10, Austin Hutchins 18, Amani Cunningham 6, Josh Heltsley 6.

So the next night North played Trail in the consolation game.  This time North was playing from behind as the Blazers came out on fire. Their outside shooting, led by Williams, was dead on as Trail quickly built a 16-4 lead based upon the 3 point shot.  North adjusted and fought back – finishing the quarter strong as Austin Hutchins hit a 3 point shot launched from half court at the buzzer.  Still Trail had the advantage 18-12.
Trail became more deliberate in their offense in the second quarter but maintained their lead at the half.  In the second half, it became obvious that Trail was paying extra attention to Hutchins, but he maintained his level of scoring.  The pace of the 4th quarter was furious as the two teams battled back and forth for the lead.  But as regulation ran out, it was a 51 all tie.  The first minute of overtime was slow paced.  But at the 2 minute mark North got back to back buckets from  Hutchins and Heltsley to extend their lead and get some breathing space.   And now it was Trail forced to foul North and with North hitting their shots from the charity stripe they extended their lead and ended the year on an up note with a 67-59 victory.

“It was a hard fought game”, stated North’s coach Jackson afterwards, “We just executed better at the end and played good defense.  It was an awful first half, we are much better than that. But we had good senior leadership from Billy Derringer and Josh Heltsley – they really stepped up and did their jobs.  Austin Hutchins had a double double – 33 points and 10 rebounds.  This win means a lot to these guys, I am so proud of them and the way they responded in the second half.  You can have all the plays in the world, but you have to have the desire to win, and this team was inspired to win tonight – they really wanted it.”
This set up the championship game between South and Shawnee.  The teams sparred evenly in the first half.  Both teams began in a zone and Shawnee pressed a little, but called it off.  The teams were tied at the half with 29 points apiece.  After the game, coach Augspurger related that he challenged his team to play tougher defense in his half time talk and then switched the teams defense to man to man.  The effect was immediate.  South broke the game open with an 11-2 run to start the second half.

Shawnee closed the gap at the end of the 3rd quarter with the help of some South turnovers.  Still South had a 3 point lead as the game entered the final quarter.  In an attempt to make a run Shawnee went to a man to man defense and also pressed.  But South was undeterred and extended their lead.  South rebounded well – limiting Shawnee’s second chances on missed shots.  South scored 60 points in their victory. South had 3 players score in double figures:  Wes Cole 17, Jesse Wysong 3, Mike Green 23, Anthony Augspurger 3, Seth Baker 14. After the game, Wes Cole was named most valuable player for the tournament and Mike Green and Jesse Wysong were named to the all-tournament team.  Also North’s Austin Hutchins was selected for the all-tournament team.

“I have long believed that winning is a habit”, stated coach Augspurger afterwards, “the last 4 years we have had less than a winning habit than what I am used to as a coach here at South.  We are scratching the surface of where we can be for a young team. The team is 5 and 2 right now.  We act like we are young at times, and make young mistakes.  Tonight I challenged them, I gave them more of a tongue lashing at half time than I have all year long.  But that was because we played with no defensive integrity in the first half. “

He continued, “The bottom line in sports, in any sport – is to be good on defense.  Basketball is no exception.  They responded really well for the most part.  We defended much better in the second half.  Tonight was Mike Greens best all-around game.  He had a good tournament – made his free throws last night, he shot better tonight and pressured shots on defense.  And Wes Cole has responded very well in all 4 tournament games that we have played this season.  Last night he shot the lights out.  Tonight he really rebounded well and he took 3 charges in the game.  He does not let mistakes faze him and you can’t coach that.  He can miss a shot or make a mistake on defense and just come back and play that much harder.   Seth Baker made some nice shots for us tonight.  Anthony Augspurger played well against Trail, and defended well in the second half tonight.  But as a team we have to keep getting better.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Young Dixie Players Step up Against Jets

Dixie continues their winning ways due in large part to the way that the young players are stepping up in the early part of the season.  After losing senior Matt Isaacs, Dixie needed someone to step in and replace his points and his presence on the court.   The Greyhounds have 3 wins a row since losing Isaacs and have not missed a beat.  This week the team played Franklin Monroe, a CCC team that is a perennial league challenger.  But the win was not easy.

Due to water damage to the gym floor at Franklin Monroe, the game was played in their old gymnasium.  A smaller gym where the close quarters helped lead to a more physical game.   Dixie got off a to a slow start, allowing Franklin to grow a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.  The Jets got down the floor in the hurry and beat Dixie to the hoop for some easy baskets.  The team had to play catch up from there and only gained a lead with about 3 minutes to go.   Although the team started slow, they finished strong to lay claim to their 3rd victory in a row. 

The second quarter was even and Franklin Monroe maintained a 10 point lead up 27-17 at the break. Freshman Cody Grubb got a timely basket from a stick back right before time ran out to cut the lead from 12 to 10.  In the third quarter, Dixie made up ground – but the Jets still lead.  Logan Watts had another strong 4th quarter for Dixie and also Griffin Moore - who scored 6 points in a row contributed to the Greyhound 18 point 4th quarter which put them over the Jets.  Dixie had come back for a 43-40 win.

“They just beat us down the floor in transition in the first quarter, but after that it became a physical half- court game with both teams playing hard man to man defense”, commented Coach Waggoner, “It was two games in a row where we put together a strong 4th quarter”, he continued, “Logan Watts hit some nice shots as did Griffin Moore – he did a good job of getting open and making his mid-range shots.  Those two scored 14 of our 18 points in the 4th quarter.  And this is two games in a row where Logan Watts stepped up big in the 4th quarter.  We just hit some shots and that fueled our offense.  And that seems to be our theme this year, we will miss some shots during stretches in games, then we will find the basket and score in a hurry. I tell the kids once you see it go it in a couple of times, then you feel better and get more confident. They had scouted us pretty well and took some stuff away, but we also tweaked our offense and that helped us comeback. “

Finally, “We are 3-0 without Matt [Isaacs] and we will take that. We are doing things a little different than if we had him in the lineup.  And the kids are responding.  Those are some nice wins – I mean this is a decent Franklin Monroe team, they barely lost in the 4th quarter to [undefeated] Tri-Village.   I am thrilled with the way our kids have played since then – I feel good about this team. “
Leading scorers for Dixie: Luke Bowling 12, Logan Watts 14 (8 in 4th quarter), Griffin Moore 8 (6 in 4th quarter) Seth Benner 5.

Next week Dixie plays both Newton and Madison.  On Newton, “Steve Fisher is there.  We expect to see  2-2-1 pressure and a half court zone. Their team will be prepared. But if we play well we will have a chance. “

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dixie Over North

Saturday night’s game between Dixie and Tri-County was a defensive matchup,  both teams played stubborn man to man defensive where each basket was hard earned.  Fans hoping to see a lot of string music were disappointed, but basketball purists were able to watch an evening of intense defensive pressure.  Earlier in the week Dixie had lost to Waynesville where senior post player Matt Isaac’s had broken his foot.  North was coming off a loss the previous night and so both teams wanted to end the week on an up note with a victory.   Dixie’s head coach, Mike Waggoner, had formerly coached at North, so there was that factor as well.

North came out in a 2-3 zone, but Dixie was able to knockdown a couple of early 3’s and that pulled North out into man to man defense that they would use the remainder of the game.  That defensive pressure allowed North to slowly make up ground against Dixie.  They were down 7-11 at the first quarter.  Dixie changed up tactics and began to put full court pressure on North.   North was trying to get the ball inside to their big man – Josh Heltsley.   And he had some success – scoring all his points in the first half. A couple of the matchups to watch were Dixie’s postman Greg Leonard against Josh Heltsley and North’s Austin Hutchins against Luke Bowling.  Both Bowling and Hutchins are exceptional athletes  having played quarterback for their respective schools in the fall. North got a couple of baskets right before halftime to pull within one point 14-15.

The third quarter saw the lead change several times and right before the end of the third quarter, North’s  Austin Hutchins connected on a 3 point to break  a tie and give North a 26-23 lead.  Dixie played even with North thru out most of the third quarter, but they needed a spark to boost them past the Panthers.  This was provided by Logan Watts who connected on a key 3 point shot to tie the game at the 2:57 mark.   But he was not finished – he would score 9 of his 14 points down the stretch in the 4th quarter.  He also made some critical free throws that protected the Dixie lead. North’s Billy Derringer  drove the length of the court for a layup to pull North to within 2, 30-32.  But Dixie was in slow down mode and North had to foul.   When the final horn blew, it was 33-35 Dixie in a hard fought game.

“We pride ourselves on defense,” stated North’s coach Jackson after the game, “we knew that if we kept them under 40, that we had a chance to win the game.  It was just a defensive battle, Hutchins still lead us in scoring, but they did a good job on us defensively.  It was a defensive  battle that came down to the last few possessions.  So you tip your hat to Dixie, they got the better of us. We lost two close games this weekend – that’s tough on the kids, but we will get better.”

“I thought very early that we defended very hard.” Said Dixie’s Mike Waggoner afterwards, “But we gave them 8 easy put backs.  So although we defended well, those stick backs cost us.  We did have some opportunities to score, but we couldn’t hit our shots.  When we didn’t make shots, we began to make bad decisions.  I told the guys when we’re not making shots - control the ball game and be patient on offense, don’t rush.  They will eventually break down and we will get the shot we want. “

He continued,” It has been an emotional week for us with loss of one of our leaders [Matt Isaacs].  So last night’s game against Northridge, our first without Isaacs was an emotional game.  Tonight Logan Watt’s three in the 4th quarter was big for us.  Then he knocked out some free throws.   He stepped up when we needed him.”

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Twin Valley South’s first Tip Off Tournament was a resounding success – the games were exciting and fairly well attended.  What a way to start the season – with a tournament atmosphere and electricity in the stands.  I am sure it was intimidating for young players making their first varsity start.  The participating teams were TVS, Eaton, Dixie, and Stivers – all teams located along Route 35.  So it could also have been called the Route 35 tournament as all schools are located in close proximity to this roadway.
The first two teams to tee off Friday night were Dixie and Stivers.  Dixie has a new head coach this season, Mike Waggoner.  Coach Waggoner has been an assistant at Dixie for a while and area fans will remember him as being a former head coach at Tri-County North previous to this.  He decided to step back into the head coach role when the position opened up at Dixie.   And what a team to open against in Stivers – a big physical team, that is athletic, and can shoot the ball.  The Tigers also pressed the entire game, so Dixie had no moments to relax.

Both teams played aggressive man to man defense.  And in the second half when things got heated the officials called a double technical foul as players got a little too physical. In the first half, Dixie trailed Stivers and went to the locker room down 25 to 20.  Dixie chipped away at the Stivers lead and thanks to a Luke Bowling trey at the end of the third quarter, they were down by a point 38-37.  The 4th quarter was fairly even as the teams battled back and forth, but Stivers had the advantage at the buzzer 64-60.
In the consolation game, Dixie played against Eaton.  And the team never did seem to get on track.  They trailed the entire game and weren’t able to get a rally going.  Fouls were a problem for the Greyhounds as they accumulated 23 over the course of the game.   They would lose 61 – 44.

South played Eaton on the first night.  Both teams opened with zone defenses and it was quickly apparent that part of Eaton’s strategy was to smother South center Mike Green in the paint. He was closely guarded at all times and every time he touched the ball he was double teamed.  It was a defensive battle in the first half as both teams tested the others defenses.  At the half it was 24-22 in favor of South.

South finally was able to extend their lead in the third quarter thanks in part to a Wes Cole trey that put the team up 31-24.  This made Eaton go to man to man defense to put pressure on the perimeter.   And Eaton pressed to try and get South to cough up the ball.  But South was cool under pressure and this also showed at the foul line in the 4th quarter.  Where the team got 18 free throw chances and nailed 14 of them.  Eaton fought hard to the end but ended up losing to South 56-49. Wes Cole had 21 points, Mike Green 14, Anthony Augspurger 10.

Saturday night’s championship game was Stivers vs South.  It was a closely contested game until the final quarter when South hit the gas pedal and didn’t stop until they had the victory.  South was down at the end of the first quarter but had a slim 2 point margin at the half.  The third quarter was mostly even with Stivers having the advantage as the teams entered the final quarter.  But South broke the game open with a 15-0 run to finish out the game with a win 55-44 over Stivers. 

Stated coach Augspurger after the game, “I thought we played hard the whole game, I thought we competed very well, I thought we rebounded very well.  But we gave up 25 turnovers to their pressure - we handled like a team still early in the season.  But we were real gutty when it came time to take control of the game. 
He continued, “Wes Cole had a really good weekend, he played very well on Friday night and played even better on Saturday.  Twice Stivers ran their lead out to 4 in the 4th quarter and twice Wes shot a three to cut it to 1.”  On the first Tip Off Tournament, “We had OK attendance, but I felt we should have gotten more fans.  This was the first year and maybe next year the word will be around that this is the place to be on opening night. But the South student body did a great job – they were out in full force. “

Wes Cole ended the night with 21 points; Mike Green had 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots; Anthony Augsperger had 6 assists; Troy Innis had 5 assists.

Next week TVS will play Valley View which features Zach Denny who signed with Bowling Green.  Meanwhile Dixie will play Brookville on Saturday night.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Covington Runs Over Dixie

Game Pictures

Covington ran, ran, then ran some more to put an end to the Dixie Greyhounds playoff hopes.   And even when Dixie found a way to halt the Covington ground game they then took to the air.  They threw the ball only twice – both off of half back option passes.  But those two passes were good for scores.  Dixie was able to score off of the stubborn Buccaneer defense, but they were not able to keep pace with them.

One thing was apparent before the game began – the Dixie fans were in the stands in force and they were loud.  It was great to see the community support for Dixie’s first play off game.  Both teams stands were filled to capacity and the overflow was around the field.   Covington tried to kick away from scoring threat Jordan Ryan, but at first this backfired as Zach Rader had a couple of nice returns early in the game.   His first return was to the 43 and his second return was to about the 45, but Dixie couldn’t generate any offense to take advantage of the good field position.  Meanwhile Covington was ripping off good chunks of yardage with their running game and went up by 2 scores in the first quarter.

Late in the first quarter, Ryan Jordan responded with a 65 yard TD run and at the end of the first quarter it was 14-6.   Covington scored again in rapid fashion, then blocked a punt and used the short field to score again.  It was this drive where Dixie was starting to stuff the run, but Covington used the half back pass to get the score anyway.   Ryan Jordan set up the next Dixie score with a couple of catches, then caught a third pass from 30 yards out for Dixie’s second score of the night.  It was 28-12.  But Covington scored again off of a Dixie mistake when they intercepted a Dixie pass. 

The third quarter sealed the win for Covington.  They scored 3 unanswered touchdowns and held Dixie scoreless.  Luke Bowling was sacked several times and the running game couldn’t gain consistent yardage.   Dixie did manage to score one last time on a Luke Bowling to Greg Leonard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter.  It was a 55-18 win for Covington. 

This year’s team can look back with pride on the season.  It was the first playoff appearance for Dixie. They were in running for a league championship through the last game of the season.  Their regular season record was 7-3.   For next season the team is losing a lot at the skill positions – quarterback, running back, receivers, several linemen, linebackers, safety.  So a lot of young Greyhounds will have to step up next year to be successful.

Coach Watson, “We ran into a very good, and very prepared Covington team.  They have been in the playoffs the last 6 years.  They were able to find an answer for everything we tried to do. “  On the seniors, “We came into this season with several goals and we were successful in several of them.  We were able to get into the playoffs, we competed for the league championship.  And the senior class, they provided leadership.  Particularly our team captains.  They should be happy with what they accomplished, and I feel that when they leave school they will accomplish a lot in life.” 

North Falls to Minster

Game Pictures

It was a tough night for the Panthers in their playoff game against Minster.  It is always hard to play against a MAC (MidWest Athletic Conference) school , this small school conference has won more playoff games in recent years than any conference in the state.   They feature a spread offense with a robust passing game.   And as North would find out, their running backs can break out at any time.

North gave up 3 scores in the first quarter, they adjusted and slowed down the pace of scoring in the second quarter.  But couldn’t put any points on the board in the first half, even though they got into the red zone twice.  Once due to a JJ MacPherson kick return to the Minster 20 – which brought the North stands to their feet and again when MacPherson caught an Austin Hutchins pass and was caught from behind before he could score.  Each time the Minster defense stiffened and held North to negative yardage or forced a turnover.

Just before the half ended there was a curious sequence where each team seemed determined to give the other team the ball.  North coughed up the ball first and this gave the ball to Minster at midfield.  But JJ MacPherson snagged a Minster pass to give the ball right back to North with 32 seconds left in the half.  North tried to get tricky with a shovel pass, but an alert Minster defender picked it off and so the ball went back to Minster once again.  Minster did advance the ball to the North 14, but North kept them out of the endzone as time finally ran out for the half. 

North began the second half with a nice drive.  They used both the pass and run to set up the score.  They started at their own 30 and went backwards with an offsides. Not a good start to the drive. But Hutchins completed a pass to Colton Booth for a first down at the Minster 39.  Then a few plays later Hutchins scrambled and carried the ball to the 8. Where a late hit penalty moved the ball to the 4.  MacPherson finished the drive with 4 yard TD carry. 

But Minster throttled any thoughts of a North comeback with a crushing defense and kept up the tempo on offense.  It would be a 48-7 Minster victory. But North played to their best throughout the game – and it was a hard hitting game.  There were several game stoppages where dinged up players from both sides were taken off the field, and one Minster player had to be carted off in an ambulance.
Still this Panther squad has a lot to be proud of – first time in school history that the team has been in the state playoffs in back to back years.  Austin Hutchins has the most passing TD’s in a season(18) and in a career (49).  Billy Derringer has the most receiving TD’s in a season(10). 

Check back for coaches comments.

Other sports stories for November 4th

Minster Opens Playoffs with a Win

North Travels to Minster

Minster Hosts First Playoff Win

Minster Rolls

Dixie Season Ends

MAC 4-0 in first round of playoffs

Bradford Falls to Marion

Coldwater Bests Miami East

Monday, October 29, 2012

TCN vs. Minster Preview

Turnovers.  That will be the factor that decides the game.  If it is a wet and sloppy night that figures in to Norths plans.  The team has shown that it can take the ball away and put it in the endzone when their opponent makes mistakes.  North has a small line and they are playing Minster, a team that likes to run the ball.  So if it is dry, it could be a long night for the Panthers if they are getting pushed off the line of scrimmage.

On the other hand, North has shown that they can pass the ball. So if they can keep Minster off balance with a combination of the pass and run then they can be competitive.  Getting a lead, stopping the run, and forcing them to pass to catch up have got to be part of the North strategy.  Still they will have their hands full with a powerful MAC team from the strongest small school league in the state.  The game will have to played to perfection and with no mistakes for North to pull off the upset.

Dixie vs. Covington - preview

How I see the Dixie - Covington playoff game.

Scoring early figures into each teams success.  Dixie has had a tendency to spiral down if they get behind early. So if they get down by a score or two it could put them out of the game.  But if Dixie can go up a score or two early it will be interesting to see how Covington reacts. They haven't had to play from behind hardly at all this season.  Do they panic, or do they come back.

Dixie has also had a tendency to give up the big play on defense.  They will need to shutdown the run and force Covington to pass - something the Bucc's haven't had to do a lot this year.  Weather will be a factor.  A dry field opens up Dixie's passing game and makes it harder for Covington to crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run.

Dixie has had to play bigger schools(D4) almost the whole season, so they are used to tough opponents.  Covington has not had to break a sweat in any of their CCC games. So Dixie comes in more battle tested.

Coaching - Dixie is under first year head coach Watson and is in their first playoffs, while Covington has Miller who has been in the playoffs each season. So Covington's coaches and players are used to the playoff atmosphere, while Dixie is in it for the first time.

Having said all that I am looking forward to good game on Saturday.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Miserable Night for Dixie

more game pictures here

It was a miserable night all the way around for the Dixie Greyhounds.  Pouring rain, cold temperatures, a tough Carlisle running game and turnovers combined to make for a difficult night for the Hounds.  Although both teams had their share of fumbles on another slippery Friday night, Dixie was a -2 on the give away/take away for the night. A week ago Dixie had been the benefactors of opponents fumbles on a wet field,  this week the rain had had the opposite effect.  And the fumbles, combined with penalties seemed to happen at the worst possible times.  Giving Carlisle generous field position which they took advantage of all night long.

The Dixie defense had quite a chess match with the Carlisle offense.  Carlisle runs a sophisticated offense and calls audibles from the line of scrimmage.  So Dixie would show one defensive set, wait for the audible call, then reset before the snap. So a lot of shifting and gamesmanship as the coaches tried to outwit one another.  The Dixie defense was effective at times, but when you have to defend a short field, it is tough to keep the other team out of the endzone.

At first it looked like the conditions would favor Dixie once again as Carlisle coughed up the ball on their opening drive.  An alert Justin Hudson scooped up the loose ball and ran 32 yards for a touchdown.   After exchanging fumbles and sacks, Carlisle was the next to score and tied the game in the second quarter.   Dixie muffed several kickoffs that night and working with a short field, Carlisle was able to take advantage.  So after their first TD, Carlisle quickly scored a second time after the mishandled kick.  As the half was winding down, Carlisle kicked a 22 yard field to go up 17-7 going into the locker room.

Hudson got another fumble recovery for  Dixie in the third quarter, but was not able to advance the ball this time.  So there was some brief hope for a second half surge. But the Dixie offense just couldn’t get into gear - for the night they managed just 123 yards.   And they were losing the battle of field position, not netting much yardage at all on their punts.  After another Carlisle score Dixie again muffed the kickoff and once again Carlisle started a drive inside the Dixie 30.  But Justin Bartrum was able to cover a Carlisle fumble to end this threat.  Dixie put together a nice drive in the fourth quarter but a 4th and 11 sack ended this drive at the Carlisle 35.  Carlisle’s final score was set up by a Dixie fumble where Kaleb Larison picked up the loose ball and ran 12 yards for the touchdown.  It was a 31-7 loss.

Ironically although Carlisle won the game and a share of the Buckeye Division championship with West Milton, they did not have enough points to make the playoffs.  Meanwhile Dixie (7-3 on the season) caught a break and even with the loss, they will be playing against Covington (10-0) at Covington in the first round of the playoffs Saturday night.

“Carlisle came out and had a great game plan”, stated coach Watson,  “They just rammed it down our throats.  Our defense responded for the most part, but the rain really hurt us and the offense kept putting us in a bad spot.  Our offense is built on side to side speed and the rain and the mud along with a good Carlisle defensive game plan combined to take that away from us. “

On Covington, “They are a very good team, very disciplined. Since coach Miller has been there, they have been in the playoffs every single year.  They represent the CCC very well.  We are excited to have our first ever playoff game.  It would have been great to win the Buckeye league on Friday but unfortunately that did not happen.  We did end up with the next best thing – we got a playoff bid.  We are looking forward to making the trip next Saturday to Covington.” 

Congratulations to Tri-County North who also made the playoffs - for the second year in a row. They beat Ansonia 55-14 to cement their place in the district top 8.  The team will journey to Minster on Friday night for a 7:30 kickoff.  The CCC placed 4 teams in the playoffs this season, which I believe to be a league first.  Bradford and Miami East will also be playing in November.  Best wishes for these local teams as they prepare for week 11.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dixie Trims Mohawks

Click here for more game pics

Dixie continued with their winning ways on a soggy Friday night against Middletown Madison.  Despite the weather, Dixie passed well in their victory.  Madison has been a running team and a damp field should have played into their hands – and they did get some yardage on the ground.  But Dixie’s offense was too potent for them to contain, Dixie pretty much ran and passed at will.  And although the Greyhound defense had a couple of breakdowns where they allowed touchdowns on long running plays, they mostly kept Madison in between the 20’s.  And both interceptions by the Dixie defense were converted to Dixie scores.  So overall a good game on both sides of the ball.

It was a big play night for both teams.  Luke Bowling opening the scoring with a 55 yard TD run.  But Madison answered right back with a 60 yard TD run of their own.  Ryan Jordan then peeled off a 58 yard TD run to put Dixie back up.  In the early going fans had to wonder if it was going to be a track race.  Dixie’s Travis Wright picked off a pass to end a Madison drive and this set up Dixie’s next score.  Matt Isaacs caught a 37 yard pass on a 4th and 9 to put the ball on the 3 yard line where Ryan Jordan plunged in for another TD. 

This seemed to switch the momentum over to  Dixie for the rest of the game, Madison just couldn’t keep up with Dixie’s scoring pace.  On offense Dixie could do wrong. The scoring onslaught continued in the second quarter:  Jordan had another long run for a score, and in another 4th and long situation Bowling connected with Greg Leonard for an 11 yard TD pass.  Madison again got a long run from slippery running back Trey Owens who went 69 yards for a score.   But on the ensuing kickoff Matt Isaacs returned the ball to the Madison 45 and a few plays later Jordan caught an 8 yard TD pass to re-extend the Dixie lead.  The last score of the half was set up by a Greg Leonard catch on the 16 yard line where Luke Bowling raced in to give Dixie a commanding 40-14 halftime lead.

Both teams managed just one more score in the second half.  Ryan Jordan set up Dixie’s last TD with an interception, then he had a couple of nice carries to put the ball deep into Madison territory.  But Justin Funkhouser finished the drive with an 18 yard TD catch.  The last quarter both teams were substituting freely and after a Dixie fumble, Madison took advantage and got their last score.  Dixie won on Senior night with an outstanding offensive performance for a 46-20 victory.

Stats: Ryan Jordan rushed for about 130 yards,  Luke Bowling rushed for 165 yards and threw for about 160 yards.  Justin Funkhouser was the leading receiver with 85 yards and a TD.  Travis Wright is leading the team with interceptions with 6.  

With one game left in the regular season, Dixie at 7-2 finds themselves in the thick of things -both the hunt for a share of the league title and the hunt for the playoffs.  They play against the Carlisle Indians at home on Friday night.  A win would give them a shot at least a share the league title and would put them in the playoffs.  A loss and they need some help from other teams to make the playoffs.  

Coach Watson “We came out and played well, we stuck to our game plan, and our players executed it.   There were a few errors that we need to look at, but none of them bit us – so we will fix them for next week.  They had some very good runners - Trey Owens for one, very agile – we would fill the holes, but he would move around and find an opening.  But we didn’t keep our heads up when we tackled and we didn’t always back fill.  Matt Isaacs on the other hand had a solid night on defense.”

On Carlisle, “ Carlisle is a very good team and they have been the past 6-7 years since Jewell got there.  We know going in that this is a very big game - the league title is on the line. The winner will be co-champs if Milton Union defeats Northridge.  We know that if we play the way that we are capable of at home on our field that we can walk off that field as co-champs.  If that happens, it will be the first time since 1983 that Dixie has won league.  And we could position ourselves for a playoff appearance as well.  The kids are excited and are looking forward to that challenge.   It will be a good game on Friday – it’s going to be a tough game. “

So next Fridays game between Carlisle and Dixie will be featured as the game of the week.  Dixie fans be sure to wear Red and Grey and support your Hounds as this year’s team fights for a share of the league title and a playoff slot in the state tournament. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Congrats to the Arcanum Junior High Football team for winning the league championship! There is hope for the future for Trojan fans.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

North Defeats South

Tri-County North took another step closer to the playoffs with a victory over rival Twin Valley South.   Both teams had their share of big plays and turnovers.  But it was in the first half that North did their damage.  The offense did a good job with the run, although the pass was used effectively throughout the game.  As they had done the  week prior against Miami East, North  was able to capitalize on South turnovers.  South was able to move the ball at times, but only reached the endzone once in the second half.

However, on their opening drive South looked like they were going to march the ball down to the endzone and score.   But on the 4 yard line, JJ MacPherson picked off a pass and ended the threat.  But MacPherson was not done.  North then drove the ball back down the field and it was MacPherson who ended the drive with a 1 yard plunge.  Blake Lawson ended another  South drive with a fumble recovery.  North was able to take the ball deep into South territory but a stout defensive stand forced North to try a 34 yard field goal – it was missed.  But not by much the ball had the distance, but bounced off the goal posts. But sophomore kicker Trey Summers accounted for himself by acing all 4 PAT’s for North.

In the second quarter, North had their way.  First Michael Burke, the South running back was injured early in the quarter.  He came back in the second half, but was gimpy for the rest of the game.  So this derailed the South offense – at least for the moment. After a Lawson sack, South was forced to punt on a 4th and forever.  With the short field, North promptly moved the ball towards the goal line and Austin Hutchins connected with Billy Derringer for North’s second score.  MacPherson ended North’s scoring for the half with a 4 yard TD run.  North had another shot at the redzone late in the half when Huff recovered a South fumble on the South 29 yard line.  But a North holding penalty followed by a sack put North into a 4th and goal from the 24 where they turned over the ball on downs.

Now the second half had a most curious start.  Before the kickoff, North was penalized for their band not leaving the field in time. A very rarely called penalty in this reporters experience.  With the favorable field position for the kickoff  – South decided to go with the onsides kick, which they then recovered.  It was their turn to work with a short field and Wes Cole muscled the ball across the goal line a few plays later for South’s score.   North’s Austin Johnson had a nice return to midfield, but South’s defense now stepped up in the second half as well and Deron Brown picked off a pass to end that possession.   So now it was South that playing take away. James Cottingin also stopped a North possession later in the third quarter with a fumble recovery.   But JJ MacPherson, who was on his game the entire night, scored his third TD – a 26 yard TD catch.  So South wasn’t able capture all the momentum.

There was no scoring in the last quarter. But South had one last deep drive late in the 4th quarter.  Jesse Wysong made a nice catch to put the ball on the North 32.  But as time ran out a fumble ended the drive on the North 22. So after an all North first half – South played evenly with North in the second half – scoring 1 TD and giving up 1 TD. North got the victory 28-6. North was clearly the better team that night, but if South scores on that first drive of the game and again on the last drive of the game – then things get interesting.

Coach Engleka from TVS was interviewed after the game, “When you sit back and look at the numbers, we were fairly close, North had about 315 yards of offense, we were around 285.  And even when you break it down by passing and rushing – it was still fairly even.  The difference in the game was the turnovers.  North got 4 turnovers from us and turned 3 of them into scores. We got 2 turnovers from them in the second half, and could not do anything with the ball either time.   If we can convert those turnovers into scores, it’s a different game.

He continued, “To win a game a game, you can’t sit around and wait for it to happen. You have to make it make it happen. And to score a touchdown it’s the same thing, you can’t sit around and wait for it to happen.  When you get the ball in situations like that, when you can really swing the momentum around your way, you have got to make it happen. “ Wes Cole lead TVS rushers this week with the most yardage,  and James Cottingim lead the defense with 8 ½ tackles, a fumble recovery, and caused a fumble.

Coach Derringer was pleased with his team’s performance, “Both teams were really prepared well and knew what each was going to be doing. We had a bend but not break mentality that kept South out of the endzone.  They got some yardage up the middle with their spread offense, but we mostly kept them contained. We also did a good job of standing up their ball carriers and stripping the ball. We utilized JJ MacPherson quite a bit as he has good outside speed and we thought that was where South might be vulnerable. He ended up with over 120 yards on 17 carries and caught two big screen passes for us. “

Next week against Trail, “We just nudged up to the number 8 spot in our division and I know Trail can almost reach the top eight in their division. We want to make the playoffs and they want to reach the playoffs.  Both teams will have to play the best game of the season.  And that is the way we are preparing our team – to play their best game of season on Friday night.

 Miami East was also a winner on Friday night and that gave North a boatload of 2nd level computer points and for the first time this season, North has (unofficially) cracked the top 8 for the first time this season in their district.  But their position is fragile, next week’s game is against 6 game winner National Trail - a surprising team this season, who is fighting for their first playoff slot ever in their district.  Neither one can afford another loss from here on out, so it should be a big, emotional game for both teams. 

Elsewhere, Dixie had a big upset against Milton Union - who had been in first place in the SWBL Buckeye division.  That reshuffles the deck for the league title and also keeps Dixie alive in the playoff hunt. Look for coverage of the Dixie-Madison game next week.  

Sunday, October 07, 2012

North Playoff Hopes Still Alive

Click here to see more game pics

With Covington steam rolling thru the Cross County Conference, it leaves everyone else fighting for second place and also for a chance at the playoffs.  That was the situation for the Miami East – Tri-County North game. Both teams have had losses, Miami East came into the game 4-2 and North was 3-3.  Neither team could afford another loss and still have a decent shot  to make the playoffs.  So it was a must win game for both teams.

The weather for the North game against Miami East was about what you would expect for football in October.   After the sun went down, temperatures rapidly dropped into the 40’s.  Then the rain came.  It was sporadic in the first quarter, then it became a steady drizzle that made conditions miserable on the field and in the stands.  The weather became a factor in the game but not quite as expected. 

A rule of thumb in football is that a muddy field favors the bigger, heavier team.  They get better traction.  And North has a small line this year.  But being a smaller team also meant that North was quicker. So as the ball got slippery and both teams fumbled as the night went on, it was North that was able to pounce on fumbles and gain an advantage in the turnover department.  Also North was able to connect on two critical passes for scores despite the slick conditions.

Miami East was on the scoreboard first, putting together a nice drive after recovering a North fumble in the last half of the first quarter.  North quickly answered at the open of the second quarter with a 25 yard carry by quarterback Austin Hutchins.  Miami East did a nice job of mixing the run and pass in their next drive to go up again by a touchdown.  North would answer again in exciting fashion.  Billy Derringer ran a deep route and the ball was slightly underthrown.  The defender was in position to catch the ball, but Derringer did not give up on the play. He adjusted and came back to the ball.  As both came down with the pass, he was able to snatch the ball from the defenders hands and run the ball in for the score to tie the game. 

Miami East scored on a field goal inside the 10 yard as time expired to get a 17-14 lead.   Conditions worsened on the field as the rain steadily poured down at halftime.  North would be the beneficiaries of not 1, not 2, but 3 fumbles that ended Miami East drives in the second half. JJ MacPherson and Austin Johnson were the ones who recovered for North.  Offensively both teams were doing Woody Hayes style football – slogging it out in the trenches with an occasional pass thrown to keep the other team off balance.

As the fourth quarter opened, North continued a drive to the endzone, urged on by a small but vocal contingent of hardy North fans.  Billy Derringer caught an Austin Hutchins pass for a 22 yard touchdown to cap the drive and give North their first lead of the night.   Now it was time for the defense to do its job.  The first Miami East drive ended with 3 plays and a punt.  North did likewise on their possession.  Time was running out for East on their last drive and they had the wind in their faces.  This last drive started at the 05:45 mark and now they went for it on 4th downs, converting twice – including a 4th and 9 with 01:09 left that put the ball on the 45 of North.  But Miami East had to go for it on 4th and 11 and this third time rolled snake eyes as the receiver caught the ball but was tackled by a North defender short of the first down marker.  It was a gallant effort by both teams, but now North was able to take the victory formation with seconds left and take a knee for a hard earned 21-17 victory.  

Next Fridays game of the week will be the North - South game. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

TVS ‘Off the Schnide’

Yes TVS volleyball is ‘off the Schnide’ to quote coach Roberts.  After winning its first 3 games, TVS has been on a losing skid that seemed as though it would never stop – 8 straight losses.  But finally this week South got win number 4 against conference foe Bethel.  But first they would have to play Eaton.

South stayed with Eaton in all three sets, but fell 25-18, 25-17, 25-22.  Eaton is a team with a blend of youth and experience and have had some success this season.  Coach Roberts gave credit to the Eaton program, “Kudo’s to Eaton for playing a dominating match. The scores really did not indicate just how in control of the match Eaton really was. We were flat and just couldn't string enough momentum together to make an impact.  I had remembered Julia Titus from early on in the pre-season and was impressed with her height, skills and the advantages her left-handed presence makes at the net. Then in introductions, I recognized the Puckett name,I knew she would be athletic. Although their varsity time tonight was brief, I believe Brittany George and Aubrey Stevenson will fill some key roles for Eaton come post-season.

She continued, “Also impressive tonight were the two seniors, Taylor Guay and Alyson Hood. Taylor Guay from her setting/defensive position and Alyson Hood from her serving and attacking position. It is evident that the changes Jess Coach Sams is making with the girls are paying off. I was really impressed with the athletic administration at Eaton for running a very sportsmanship-centered pre-match.

Next up for South was Bethel which they dispatched in 3 straight sets in workmanlike fashion: 25-15, 25-11, 25-15.  Never really giving Bethel a chance to take control at all.  Coach Roberts had plenty of praise for the team after this match, “In this match its more about the emotions that surround the win than anything else at this point. I'm really proud of my girls for playing much better and taking care of the ball tonight. Senior leader Danielle Kreitzer stepped up not only  offensively but defensively as well by charting four kills and six digs. Paris Gruber did a nice job at the net for us tonight. I think this will do a lot for her confidence moving forward. Taylor Kirkpatrick stepped up as well with four digs and eight assists. Taylor shared some of the setting duties tonight and did a nice job. We'll need her presence down the stretch and into the tournament.”

But South was not done yet they next had a match against Ansonia.  And again South prevailed in straight sets to get yet another solid victory:  25-16, 25-17, 25-10. Coach Roberts was asked for comment after the game, “Gentry Gates lead the way us tonight with seven digs, twelve assiss, five kills, a solo block and seven blocks kept in play. It was an outstanding performance by Gentry - I like to see many more matches like this one where she takes control. Skyler Lain had a nice night in her supportive role by charting fiveaces, 9 digs and four kills. Caitlyn Meyer tallied five digs and five kills.”

It must relief for South to get back into the win column not once but twice. And hopefully the program is peaking at the right time.  The state tournament is right around the corner and they could have a chance to surprise a team or two.  

Dixie Falls to Waynesville

click to view more game pics here

Dixie suffered their second defeat in a row against Waynesville.  As they did the prior week, Dixie raced out to an early lead, but the defending league champs ground them down.   Waynesville used both a spread offense and a two back offense to attack Dixie.  They successfully used both the pass and run to keep Dixie on the ropes.  Although Waynesville had the bigger, better team, Dixie did not help their cause as mistakes aided the Waynesville cause. 

Penalties were a factor - didn’t get the official stats, but Dixie easily had twice the penalty yardage as their opponents.  And several of these penalties came at the wrong time.  Holding penalties and offsides that put the Dixie offense into long yardage situations.  Then in the second half when Dixie was gunning – trying to get back into the game they got bit by the turnover bug, throwing two more interceptions.  When playing against a caliber of team like Waynesville you can’t afford any mistakes.

So overall Waynesville would still have won the game, but take away some of the untimely penalties and turnovers and then score would have been more respectable.  Dixie was able to move the ball in between the 20’s but a stingy Waynesville defense combined with the afore mentioned misque’s kept Dixie out of the endzone the rest of the night.  Logan Watts had a good game at receiver with several nice catches and Ryan Jordan had a decent night carrying the ball.  Dustin Bartrum on defense had an interception as did Luke Bowling.  Brody Queen had a couple of sacks.

Dixie’s score was late in the first quarter.  Waynesville had punted the ball to the Dixie 24.  Ryan Jordan had a nice carry of about 30 yards to midfield.  A few plays later and Greg Leonard caught a Luke Bowling pass for a 42 yard gain and touchdown.  But that lead was short lived as Waynesville turned around on their next drive and connected on a long pass of their own for a touchdown and connected on the extra point for a 7-6 lead.   Waynesville had the next 2 scores in the second quarter.   Dixie had a chance to score just before halftime when Luke Bowling intercepted a Waynesville pass deep in Dixie territory.  The Hounds quickly advanced to the Waynesville 19.  But at a critical time the quarterback Bowling had to come out for one play to get an open cut addressed.  A sack was taken, then another sack and suddenly it was 4th and 23 and Dixie gave up the ball on downs.

Waynesville would score 3 more times in the second half,  one of these off of a blocked punt.  It would end up a 42 – 6 win for the Spartans.  Commented Coach Watson, “I thought we came out and played well in the first half.  And we had some tough situations in the second half.  They came to play and really wore us down. They were a bigger, stronger team and they outlasted us.  I am proud of the players, they fought to the end – they fought every down, every play and I couldn’t ask for anything more. “

He continued, ”We drove the ball down to the 20 yard line, the 30 yard line, but we just couldn’t score.  We hurt ourselves with penalties, or we dropped passes, or our pass blocking breaks down.  It’s those small detail things that you have to do to win ball games.  We have to focus on those details for next week and rebound against Northridge. “

On Northridge, “Coach Smith at Northridge has done a good job with what he has. He has done a good job of getting the numbers up there and turning that program around.  They are a tough opponent and they are going to spread the ball out.  But I like our matchups, it’s going to be a tough job, but I think we can come out on top.”

Friday, September 28, 2012

Half time Waynesville 21 Dixie 6.  Dixie scores first but Waynesville answers and then some.  Penalties costly in first half.  Probably 3 times penalty yards as Waynesville.  Dixie needs to get momentum back in second half.  They can move ball, just can't afford any more mistakes against defending league champs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hounds Fall to Devils

Dixie got off to a fast start against Brookville in a battle of two rivals. In the first quarter Dixie seemed unstoppable. On their opening drive as Ryan Jordan peeled off a 45 yard run to set up their first score, a 8 yard TD catch by Greg Leonard.  It had only taken about 2 minutes to get on the board.  Quarterback Luke Bowling went to the air again for the extra point, this time connecting with Matt Isaacs.  A Brookville drive to the Dixie 6 was stopped by a Matt Isaacs tackle for loss on 4th and 6 from the Dixie 6. The momentum was all with Dixie as Ryan Jordan ran for a 40 yard gain, then Luke Bowling ran on a punt for a first down to set up another Dixie score.   Ryan Jordan hauled the ball in from the 42 yard line to put Dixie up by two touchdowns.  Greg Leonard caught a pass for the extra point.  

But a huge momentum swing began in the second quarter. Brookville’s defense adjusted and began to take away the run. And the Brookville offense hit a groove and started to move the ball effectively.  Using both the run and pass, they marched the ball down the field and in two drives they scored two touchdowns to pull within 2 points – having missed on one of their extra points. Dixie did have a chance to extend their lead late in the second quarter when a shanked punt put the ball on the Brookville 29. A Leonard catch moved the ball to the 9 yard line.  But there the drive stalled as a 4th and 5 pass fell incomplete. 

At halftime the rain and lightning moved in, postponing the second half to Saturday. The delay gave both teams some time to make overnight adjustments.  This slowed down the pace of scoring. But Brookville got the better of Dixie marching the ball to endzone twice more – once in the 3rd quarter and once in the 4th quarter. Dixie coughed up the ball 3 times to Brookville’s 1.  Dixie also lost the battle of field position, constantly playing with the ball on their side of the field. With a short field to work with Brookville took advantage and captured a 26-16 victory.

Coach Watson commented after the game, “Coach Hetrick and the Blue Devils had a great game plan and they executed it well.  We didn’t execute the way that we should have done.  On offense we just couldn’t get anything going and played on our half of the field the entire time.  And turnovers killed us – we had three.   We’ll correct those issues before our next game against Waynesville.”

On offense, Ryan Jordan led rushers with over 100 yards. On defense, linebackers Matt Isaacs and Justin Hudson both had solid games according to coach Watson.  Looking ahead to homecoming weekend next Friday against Waynesville, “They are a real good team and a top notch program that coach Philpot has down there.  We look forward to coming back to our place and regrouping as a unit.  We are 1-0 in league play at this moment and we want to extend that.  Our goals are still intact for the season, one loss does not affect us.  What we are saying this week is that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.  Last year these guys were the best, they went 10-0 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.  This game will gauge our program and tell us which direction we are heading.”

Monday, September 17, 2012

Panther Volleyball Drops 3 matches

The Twin Valley South losing skid carried on this week as the team uncharacteristically dropped 3 games in a row this past week.  The team lost to straight sets to North.   South hung tough in their first set against their rivals to the North – at one point it was 18 all. But after that first set South just couldn’t get any momentum losing  25-20, 25-8, 25-12.
Coach Roberts:
“When you can’t control the ball it causes insurmountable problems, I really wish we could have been able to stay with them a little longer in the match, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I knew they  were going to be tough coming in to the match as they have two of the best seniors in Kelly Schriever & Megan Johnson and when they are healthy and in sync their very effective on the volleyball court. I was really impressed with the dynamic duo tonight. If Kelly wasn't setting up Megan then she was making a superb play herself. Megan is becoming one of the most versatile high school players in her division who I have seen in the past decade. Not sure what the future holds for Megan but with the way she varied her shot selection tonight she should enjoy playing at the next level whatever division she prefers, as she is a force to be reckoned with.

Next match was against National Trail and although South did better and won the second set, Trail then went on to win 26-24, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18.  Commented Coach Roberts, “Although we (TVS) were able to hold our own with NT and be more competitive with them the final result was the same as Tuesday night.Tonight it was our lack of execution when it counted that really hurt us. We had too many hitting errors and that was our demise.”

She went on, “Tiffany Jordan did a nice job for NT tonight from the outside and her teammate Kate Deaton ate us alive at the net defensively. As she probably had a handful of solo blocks out of the middle, Deaton IS A TREMENDOUS BLOCKING PRESENCE [emphasis by Coach Roberts]. Trail controlled the ball much better than in years past and that was the key to their success.

Life did not get any easier as South next played Brookville.  Again they played close and won a set, but again the team went down to defeat:  25-17, 25-27, 25-13, 25-21. Coach Roberts commented afterwards, “Brookville coach Jim Smith always does a nice job with his teams and this year is no different. Brookville has a dominate outside in Sydney Scherer, she probably had twenty plus kills in our four set match.

There is no let up in the schedule either, next week South plays Bellbrook, defending league and state champs Miami East and also an always tough Covington team. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Panthers Pummel Trojans

More pics here

On Friday night’s game South excelled against Arcanum in every area – except time of possession.  South scored so quickly – particularly in the first half, that their offense was not on the field very long.  It was another high scoring, big play night for South as they bested the Trojans 44 – 19.  Although the scoring was distributed amongst several players, Michael Burke had a great night with 4 touchdowns.

 Last week the South defense was porous – giving up 40 points against Ansonia.  This week the defense was on their game and requited themselves.  As the game entered the 4th quarter TVS had a 44-6 lead.  Arcanum was able to score twice more as the game wound down and South did some spot substituting.  And big plays were made on the defensive side of the ball too. There were 3 turnovers in the first half and all 3 set up South scores.  Blake Ashley recovered a fumble on Arcanum’s very first play from scrimmage.  Keegan Holthouse fell upon another Arcanum miscue in the first quarter.  And when Arcanum threatened to score in the second quarter, Jared Rivers intercepted a pass that ended the drive.   There were several sacks in the second half- MJ Randolf, James Cottingim, Jared Kirkpatrick, Chad Eiler(2) all tackled Arcanum quarterback Dallas Johnson for big losses.   Arcanum was trying to pass their way back into the game and South was bringing the heat.

South scoring in the first half was as follows: Wes Cole scored first on a 37 yard run. Then Cole connected with Michael Burke on a 32 yard touchdown pass.  Cole hit paydirt with Burke again this time on a 62 yard pass.  The next score was set up by the Rivers interception – this gave the ball to South on the 3 yard line.  On the first play from scrimmage Burke burst thru the line and didn’t stop until he had gone 97 yards for another score.  The final score of the first half was set up by a Burke reception to the Arcanum 8, a few plays later Cole plunged in from the one to give South a 32-6 lead. 

In the second half, Dustin Mckee got his motor running.  He had several carries for about 10 yards a pop on his scoring drive and then bulled the ball in from the 11.  South’s last score happened at the end of the third quarter with a 49 yard TD pass to Burke.   South came within about 8 yards of another score late in the game when  Joe Webb had a great carry from about midfield to inside the Arcanum 10 only to have the ball punched out as he was tackled and the result was an Arcanum fumble recovery.  

One area where Arcanum did do well was in special teams.  Their kick return team was generally able to return to midfield. And they did execute both the onsides kick and a punt fake effectively against the Panthers. 

Stats for the Panthers: Michael Burke rushed 6 times for  122 yards. Wes Cole 12 rushes for 63 yards.   Dustin Mckee 8 rushes for 80 yards.  Wes Cole was 7 of 8 for 217 yards and 3 TD’s.  Burke had 6 receptions for 215 yards & 3 TD’s.  Seth Baker had one reception for an extra point.  James Cottingim lead the defense with 7 and a half tackles.

Coach Engleka was asked for comment after the game, “This is the first time that South has won back to back games in 6 years.   They rushed over 40 times but only got about 130 yards.  So we did a good job of containing their run.   We rushed 31 times for 306 yards.  That is our third game in a row with over 300 yards rushing.  Anytime you gain over 300 yards you are dominating the line of scrimmage. “

He continued, “We just tell the kids we want them to be 1 and 0 every week.   Enjoy it this week and enjoy this weekend.  We want to prepare and come back Friday night and be 1 and 0 again.”

Next week South will host a 0-4 Mississinnewa team.  There are several good games this next Friday North plays Covington in a battle that might decide who is the early front runner in the league title and our game of the week will be Dixie vs. Brookville, a battle of rivals.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

TVS vs Ansonia part Duo

TVS vs Ansonia part Duo

Ansonia did a good of keeping the South defense off balance with a combination of the run and pass.  They ran a 2 back offense and even the T formation.  Their screen pass was effective as I recall they had a 33 yard touchdown and a 72 yard touchdown on that play.  They also drew South off sides in critical 4th and short situations. South for the most part had a big play offense.  They definitely could generate big chunks of yardage.  The referee's definitely earned their money as the scrambled up and down the field trying to keep up with both teams.

I think the rain delay was an advantage for Ansonia.  Almost the entire first quarter was played on Friday night.  So Saturday they played for a quarter and got a halftime to rest before finishing out the game. South had a numbers advantage - despite losing some players to injury this season,  and were able to rest players.  Ansonia had to play iron man football.  I am guessing that their numbers are in the low 20's.

At halftime South had a 30 to 22 lead, having allowed Ansonia to score just before the break.  In the second half South received.  And several times during the game, South was a team that could not stand prosperity.  And a great example was that kick off return.  It was a great return into Ansonia territory - but a hold put the ball back on the South 16. But Michael Burke, who was playing ill, took a flare pass all the way to Ansonia 8 where Wes Cole scored.

Ansonia scored on a fore mentioned 72 yard screen pass.  And on that kick off Jesse Wysong was able to return the ball all the way to the Tiger 23 yard line. It looked like South was going to extend their lead.  But on the first play from scrimmage, a hold put South back into long yardage.  A swing pass was intercepted and ran back to the 6 where Ansonia scored.  Now instead of a comfortable lead, South only had a 4 point lead - 38-34.

But on South's next drive senior Michael Burke had a 54 yard TD carry to put South back up by two scores 46-34.  Now the game entered the 4th quarter.  Ansonia drove the length of the field and on an incredible 4th down play they scored.  It was 4th and 6 on the 6 yard line.  The quarterback dropped back to pass and  South brought the heat.  As a defender began to drag him down the quarterback threw a fluttering pass.  The receiver came back to the ball and made the catch, dodged a tackle and took it in for the TD.  Again it was a one score game as Ansonia closed the gap to make it 46 to 40.

There was about 7 minutes left in the game when South got the ball.  They were able to chew some time off the clock before giving up the ball on downs - not able to get a first down on a 4th and 9 pass. Ansonia was able to get the ball to midfield before giving up the ball on a 4th and 10 at the 40 with 1:12 on the clock. South took the victory formation and took a knee to run out the clock for their first victory of the season.

Tvs 46 ansonia 40 final
tvs 46. Ans 34 third

Friday, September 07, 2012

When  i left the score was 16 - 8 in favor of South.  Ansonia scored first.  Running wise they seemed to get most of their yards on the edges, no so much in the middle. But passing was where they did the damage, one passing getting them a first down in TVS territory.  And a screen pass would go 33 yards for the first score of the night.

South did not take long to respond.  Dustin McKey returned the ensuing kickoff to the Ansonia 22.  A couple of plays later and Wes Cole knifed thru the Tiger defense to even up the score.  Weather became a factor as Ansona fumbled in the rain and Ashley recovered.  Jesse Wysong set up the next score with a carry deep into Ansonia territory.  Wes Cole scored again and again the conversion was good.  With about 40 seconds left in the quarter the game was put on hold because of lightning.  I bugged out because it seemed pretty steady.  Updates to come once I learn more.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

TVS Stumbles

The Twin Valley South volleyball team has had a strong start this season.  Winning their first 3 games of the season.  They did have to go to 4 sets in their match against Carlisle. But were able to win in three sets against Stivers and Bradford.  South has traditionally been strong in volleyball, but last season the bar has set higher with Miami East winning state in Division 3. So this year expect the competition to get tougher as they go deeper into the CCC schedule.

And this year’s team is a younger team than last season with the core of the team being juniors.  There are two sophomores on the roster and a senior.   The team will have to mature in a hurry.  And they have done so for the most part in the early going. Putting up some good numbers in their early victories.  Against Stivers  the team hammered them 25-12,25-8,25-9.  Gentry Gates had a good night with 8 Aces, 4 kills, and 12 assists.  Kaylee Johnson had 7 aces and was 10 of 10 on serve receive.  Paris Gruber had 5 kills. Finally Danielle Kreitzer had 4 aces and 4 digs.

Against Bradford (25-21, 25-11, 25-13), it was another player stepping up for the victory.  Skylar Lain had 7 digs and 10 kills. Paris Gruber had 3 aces, 6 digs, and 6 kills.  Gentry Gates had 11 digs and 11 assists. Taylor Kirkpatrick had 4 digs and 5 assists.  After the game Coach Roberts commented that she was impressed with the way that both Gentry Gates and Taylor Kirkpatrick distributed the ball in this game.

Next up for the Panthers was their second league foe of the season – Arcanum.  And the team stumbled for the first time this season.  The first set was a lackluster 25-14 loss where South never really got on track.  In the second set the team performed better.  But was constantly playing catch up.  Arcanum would go up by 2-3 points, South would tie. Arcanum would go up again, and South would catch up but could never pass Arcanum.  They never could get that big momentum swing to go ahead. Arcanum seemed to be able to get good set ups to spike the ball.  Meanwhile, South was weak on their returns. This set was closer though 25-23 in favor of Arcanum.

In the third match it looked like Arcanum was going to run away with it. But coach Roberts took a time out when South was behind 9-3 to stem the tide.  South battled their way back into game, but couldn’t get any closer than 3 points to Arcanum, finally losing the set and the match. It’s the first setback for the team this season, so now the team will see who the leaders are to get the team back in the win column.

Coach Roberts was asked for comment after the Arcanum game, “We didn’t have any ball control. Our issues piled up early on and just got more dismal. We never did get into sync with what we wanted to do. We had lack of execution and a multitude of errors. We couldn’t get the ball to the outside, which is where you want to get the ball. We have one senior, 2 sophomores, and the core is juniors. So we are not as young as one might think, but we are inexperienced at the varsity level of play.  We need to work on general volleyball skills. Their work effort needs to be there day in and day out at practice.”