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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Arcanum Edges South

Arcanum Edged out South in a hard fought contest on Friday night. South had their chances, but just couldn't get the deal done and a tenacious Arcanum defense made big plays in the red zone to thwart South's efforts at a homecoming win. Twice Arcanum made goal line stands with time running out and one yard to go and twice Arcanum kept South out of the endzone. This made the difference in the game as Arcanum edged out South for a 18-16 victory and spoiled South's homecoming.

You had to figure that South was in for a long evening when an offensive lineman jumped offsides in the first play from scrimmage in the game.  They were 3 and out and the punt put the ball at midfield for Arcanum.  They used the short field to advance the ball to the 4 where on 4th down they threw a rare pass for a touchdown for the first score of the night.

The next score was set up by an interception.  South's Wes Cole threw an interception, but on the Arcanum series they tried to sneak in another pass and Cole, who plays safety on defense, returned the favor and picked off this pass. Zane Cottingim finished the subsequent drive with a 20 yard carry for the score.  South made their extra point and briefly held the lead 7-6.

After some three and outs by both teams, it was South's turn to receive a punt again. This time the punt was muffed and Arcanum recovered. They wasted no time taking advantage of this opportunity.  The Arcanum quarterback, O'Donnell, ran a keeper and scooted 40 yards to put Arcanum back on top 12-7.  South threatened right before halftime, they ran out of time outs, but had the ball on the Arcanum 1 yard line and just could not punch it in before time expired. The Trojan defense had held when it counted.

Arcanum had deferred in the first half and so received the ball to start the second half. They moved the ball well and ended their first drive of the half with a 32 yard touchdown carry by Byers. This put South behind by 2 scores.  South tried to answer before the quarter ran out, but an illegal block set South back and ended their drive with a 4th and forever. Early in the 4th quarter, South got the ball back in good field position - starting at the 38 yard line of Arcanum.  Zane Cottingim was able to catch a screen pass and make a broken field run for what appeared to be a touchdown.  But a flag was thrown towards the end of the play, a rare flag for a face mask by the ball carrier nullifying the touchdown.  Wes Cole took care of business on the next play, running a keeper 16 yards for the score, making it 18-14.

Although Arcanum did not score on their next series, they ate up a lot of valuable clock.  Finally they punted and gave South back the ball with 5:05 left on scoreboard.  South moved the ball well - mixing the run and pass.  It was probably their best series of the night until they hit the redzone.  They got the ball to the one yard line where the snap was mishandled on 3rd down.

Then it was the play of the night, 4th and 1 with less than 2 minutes on the clock.  South tried to run a sweep but Arcanum contained it and kept South out of the endzone. Arcanum ran some quarterback sneaks,while South had to use up time outs to keep the clock from running, and then on 4th down Arcanum had the ball carrier run around the endzone and finally run out of bounds to deliberately take a safety.  The idea was to run down the clock and not leave South any time. With seconds left on the clock South caught the kick off after the safety at midfield and took a knee to stop the clock.  With 2 seconds on the the scoreboard there was time for one more hail mary pass.  But once again the Trojan defense stepped up when it mattered. As Cole was beginning to rip the pass loose, a Trojan defender got his hand on the ball and the pass was driven into the ground.  The final score was 18-16 Arcanum.

After their first game (a win over Preble Shawnee), Arcanum has had to play the three best teams in the CCC in succession.  Their next three games were losses against Covington, Miami East, and TCN.  So although they came into the game with a losing record, the losses were against quality teams.  And South's schedule has them pitted against those same 3 teams for the last 3 games of the season.  South's strength this season has been their offensive line.  They have to be disappointed at the two defensive stands that Arcanum was able to make against them. I think every team works on goal line in practice - it's gut check time. But Arcanum made the play and South didn't. Something tells me that there is going to be a lot of reps spent this next week on making sure that the team gets it done on 4th and one.