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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

TCN Wins CCC Title - How Sweet It Is!

Any thoughts that North might take a night off against Trail were quickly dispelled as they went to business in workmanlike fashion to score early and often.  Trail runs a spread offense and has been known to score some points. But while the offense was busy racking almost 300 yards rushing on the night, the defense pitched a shutout – and Austin Elmore picked off a pass and took it to the house to score a defensive touchdown to put the icing on the cake for an outstanding defense performance.   
By night’s end North had made a statement that they owned undisputed sole possession of the CCC championship.  And they also avenged last year’s upset victory by Trail that had ended their regular season.  So with this final regular season win they have exorcised all the ghosts of last year’s losses. 

Others who scored for North were Dustin Green who scored twice with carries of 3 and 1 yard.  Colton Booth also crossed the goal line twice with short yardage carries. And Lane Gunder ended scoring for the night with a 10 yard run in the last quarter.  The Panthers totaled 292 yards on the ground and this was distributed amazingly amongst 8 different running backs. 

With the win, North is the top team in the district and so they will host Cinncinati Summit Country Day next week. The rest of the CCC playoff picture is as follows:   Miami East finished in second place in the CCC and they likewise are second in the district.  Covington is the 7th ranked team in region 26 (divison 7) and so they will be travelling to play Lehman Catholic.  This is the first undefeated team in Tri-County North history.  There was an undefeated team in the 77-78 school year football season for Twin Valley North – but the school was renamed since that time.

Summit Country Day has a sophomore quarterback who likes to pass the ball.  The CCC is run oriented with the exception of Trail who uses a spread offense and likes to pass.  So North’s secondary will be busy as the receiving is distributed amongst 6-7 players.  Like all good teams Country Days specialty teams are no slouches as they have deep returners that can take it to the house.  In contrast to the Panthers – who are packed with seniors, the Silver Knights are a young, but talented team. And the offenses contrast as well: a passing offense versus a running - ball control offense. So it should be an interesting matchup.  The game will be played at North on Friday night.

Stats for TCN:  Passing – Colton Booth 4 att/1 com 8yds; Receiving – Kody Cordes 1-8; Rushing – Colton Booth 11-30, Austin Elmore 1-24; Alex Kerby 2-6; Garret Woodyard 6-37; Lane Gunder 5/26; Wesley Morrow 3-6; Dustin Green 20-83; Kody Cordes 14-80. Tackles – Tanner Booth 6; Colton Booth 5; Blake Lawson 4.  Sacks Trey Summers 2.

South Loses to Miami East - Just Misses Playoffs

Friday night was a dismal night for South – the weather was cold and wet, they lost the game by one touchdown, and they just missed getting into the playoffs.  So the game was disappointing on many levels.  Not what this team wanted on senior night, the last home game for the players. 
Both teams feature a strong running game, so playing in the rain did not change any strategies.  But a team playing from behind that needed to pass would have a tough time handling the ball. And weather did play a factor on South’s first quarter drive where on 4th and short at the goal line, they coughed up the ball and Miami East recovered.

Miami East promptly turned around and drove the length of the field and scored – but missed the extra point, potentially leaving the door open for TVS.  South, to their credit was able to respond with another drive of their own and this time Wes Cole punched the ball in for a touchdown and more importantly the team scored the PAT.  So at the end of the first quarter, TVS held the lead.
East was able to generate a scoring drive right before the end of the half. On 4th and 2 on the 4 yard line, they were able to cross the goal line and more importantly they went for 2 on the PAT and made it, making it 14-7 at the half.

But that would be the extent of scoring for the game.  On a soggy field, both teams found yardage hard to come by.  Miami East seemed to move the ball better than South,  and that kept South at their end of the field for the most part.  Miami East did appear to have a third score when Colton Mckinney bolted thru the South defense for about 40 yards to the goal line.  But a holding call brought the ball back.  And South had a glimmer of home themselves when Aaron Deaton fell on a fumble in the 4th quarter at midfield.  But a tough Viking defense put South into a 4th and 14 situation and South had to punt the ball away. 

South used all their timeouts and shot all their bullets, but the door closed on the 2014 season with a 14-7 loss to East.  The win puts East in 2nd place in the district and they will host Versailles.  The loss puts South at 9th place – just missing the playoffs.

Head Coach Cates: “Our defense did well in the second half after we made some adjustments, but our offense couldn’t get it going.   Miami East is a good team, but losing to them was a tough pill to swallow – particularly with the playoff implications.  7-2 is a definite improvement from what it has been in the past here at Twin Valley South.  I am proud of our kids effort, but it hurts - we are heartbroken for the kids and the staff and the community.  We look at all the time they all put into it and we are sitting here at 7-2 and are not going to get into the playoffs. “

The seniors: “I think that you are only as strong as your senior class. And that was never more evident than this year.  Wes Cole, Todd French, and Jared Rivers were all 4 year lettermen.  It’s hard for a team to come in and beat a team with this much experience.  They have been through almost every scenario and have been on the wrong side of it a lot.  So I am really proud of the seniors for sticking it out and buying into our program.  They worked hard in the off season and said hey we are going to be a different senior class. “

He continued, “ I am proud of their leadership.  They never backed down – at Trail they lead us to a come from behind victory.  And they responded well after North – we were able to come back and beat Covington.  And we played well against Miami East, it was a dog fight.  We were glad to get Anthony Augspurger back after tearing his acl, and our senior linemen dominated the line of scrimmage in most of our games.  I feel that team is good enough and strong enough to be in the playoffs, but that is how the points system works – if you don’t win, you can’t guarantee yourself anything. But the seniors can be proud that they changed this program and have it going in the right direction.“

Ohio State Stadium - nice place to watch a game.

I was fortunate to get some tickets this past week to watch Ohio State play an 8 o'clock game.  The seats were Bob Ueker tickets - almost at the top level of the stadium.  But I learned to appreciate them as it got colder and the winds whipped up.  The flags were snapping at the other end of the stadium, but it was calm where we were - under the press box protected from the elements.

It has been decades since I have been to Ohio State to see a game.  The open end of the horse shoe was not closed in yet and they did not have the big screen TV's that they do now.  And no, they did not play in leather helmets.  But they did have the same bench style seating as they do now.  So you get cozy with your neighbor, particularly on a cold fall night when every one is bundled up.

The band has modernized too. They did a space theme at halftime and a memorable part of the show was an apollo rocket launching complete with smoke and fireworks.  And oh yeah, there was a game too.  But Illinois was completely outclassed.  Ohio State racked up the points on them.  One highlight of the game was when it appeared that JT Barrett had fumbled.  The Illinois player grabbed the ball and began to run it back.  But Barrett wrapped his arm around his neck and shoulder and slammed him to ground.  An impressive tackle that would have made a linebacker proud.  But it was all for naught as the ball was ruled an incomplete pass. But Barrett did a great job of threading the ball to his receivers otherwise.

When we left it was like 41 - 7.  So yeah it was lopsided and with the cold setting in, it was time to go. Ohio State does a decent job with parking.  They have outlying lots and then shuttle fans in buses to and from the lots.  And the buses run constantly on game day. So not much of a wait at all to get back to the lot  Oh and the ushers were great - we had that dazed and confused look to us as we searched for where to go, but they did a great job of guiding us.  So overall a great experience that I would recommend to any Buckeye fan.