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Sunday, September 02, 2012

Dixie Dominates Valley View

The Dixie Greyhounds hadn’t defeated the Valley View Spartans in 27 years, but in a single night the drought was ended.   The Spartans had prepared well defensively and were able to rein in Ryan Jordan who had gained over 300 yards the week before.  He was held to a little over 80 yards and a single TD on the night.  But they did not find a way to stop quarterback Luke Bowling who contributed to all but one of the Dixie scores.  And on the defensive side of the ball he had 3 interceptions.  Not bad for a nights work.

He had 4 touchdown passes – 2 to Logan Watts, 1 to Matt Isaacs, 1 to Justin Funkhouser.  Ran for a touchdown on a 20 yard run.  Then had a pick 6, where he sprinted 21 yards for the score.  He would end up with over 80 yards of interception return yardage.  Ryan Jordan scored on a one yard plunge to complete the Dixie scoring. 

The game began with Dixie taking the ball and getting the ball to midfield where the ball was fumbled.  Not a good way to start the night. Valley View scored first, but Dixie promptly answered with a 66 yard TD pass to Watts to even up the score.  On Valley Views next possession, a Matt Isaacs sack put Valley View into long yardage and a Travis Wright interception ended the drive.  So after one quarter, the game was even.

The second quarter was where the game was won by Dixie. They erupted for 25 points.   And the defense smothered every effort by Valley View at a comeback.  Matt Isaacs scored on a nice 7 yard TD pass from play action. Next was a 21 yard TD pass to Logan Watts.  The next TD was set up by a Matt Isaacs carry to the Valley View 20.  Then Bowling dropped back to pass and had to scramble.  He then dodged and weaved 20 yards for the score.  Finally, late in the quarter Bowling intercepted a pass and returned it over 60 yards where he was tackled on the one yard line.  Ryan Jordan finished the job with a 1 yard TD plunge.   Dixie was up 32 to 13 at the half.

In the third quarter, Valley View went back to the running game where they had some success.  But their ground chewing drives were eating precious clock.  As the game entered the last quarter the score was 38-20 in favor of Dixie.  Last season Dixie played with Valley View for the first half, but seemed to run out of gas in the second half.  Partly because a lot of Dixie starters go both ways while Valley View was able to platoon.  This season with a deep bench, Dixie was able to spot substitute for their starters and help keep them fresh.    This paid off in the last quarter as Dixie held Valley View to a single TD and had one more touchdown drive to end the night. 

They used the victory formation and took a knee to end the game and Greyhound fans swarmed onto the field to celebrate the win.  The only blemish’s that I could see on an otherwise great game by the Hounds was the Dixie special teams and Dixie turnovers.  The kickoff team allowed Valley View to get several good returns deep into Dixie territory.  The kicks were generally long by high school standards – there was even one touchback.  But the coverage needs to better so that the other team isn’t getting a short field to work with. 

 Coach Watson was asked for comment after the game, “It was a huge game for us, shutting down their very potent offense.   The defense was stellar - they all tackled well.  Matt Isaacs and Dustin Hutchins, the leaders of the defense did a good job of handling their triple option.  Hunter Overholtz and Saloman Shepard are leaders of the offensive line they protected Luke very well and are by far our best defensive linemen – they did a good job of pressuring the quarterback.”

On next week’s game against NorthEastern, “They are very good at what they do, they have a solid team.  They run the wishbone wing-T with a triple option.  They had a running back gain 260 yards.  So we have to make certain that we are disciplined defensively.  On offense we need to make sure we are doing what we do best.  Our offense needs to be explosive.  That is Ryan Jordan running the ball and Luke Bowling getting the ball to the receivers.   If we can do that, then we will be OK.”

The Dixie season is off to a great start.  But with an emotional victory over the Spartans, combined with their first road game - could there be a let up against NorthEastern?  Dixie was fired up at a fever pitch before the Valley View game.  Will they have enough gas in their tanks for next Friday? 

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