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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