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North Humbles South
J. C. Tilton

South came into the game knowing that they would have their hands full against a tough CCC rival. North returns almost everyone on defense and most of their offense from last years 6-4 team. Their only loss this season was to perennial CCC title contender Covington. South has shown some fight in their losses, but has fallen short each time.

South made things easy for North from the outset. After receiving the ball, the first play from scrimmage was fumbled to the host North team. They got a first down and then Josh Linder managed a 13 yard gain to put the ball on the one. Drew Heindl drew first blood a play later and after the PAT North was up 7-0. On their next possession North and South exchanged penalties. But South could not generate any offense and punted after three plays.

It looked as though there could have been a momentum shift when TCN's Matt Zumstein fumbled the ball on the next series and South's Scott Leedy recovered. But South could not stand good fortune and a short field - fumbling the ball away on the next play. That was as deep in North territory as the South team would get in the first quarter. With about five minutes left North mounted another scoring drive. Matt Zumstein went on a 35 yard ramble from around midfield to put the ball on the South 28. Drew Heindl managed another first down driving the ball to the 10 of TVS. From there quarterback Josh Linder called his own number and scored to put North up 14-0 with about two minutes left in the quarter.

South tried to answer - Spencer Ervin had a catch for first down yardage, but the drive stalled out and South had to punt. Now the North offensive line really started to gouge huge holes in the South defense. Zumstein managed several carries of 20 and 30 yards. Linder capped one drive with a 3 yard TD carry and then passed to Matt Ferguson to end another North drive with a 4 yard TD pass on 4th and 4. When the half ended, North had a decisive 27-0 advantage.

There was an extended halftime as lightening struck in the area. A rested North offense came back out and extended their lead. South managed to avoid a shut out when a pass was completed from Wes to Wes - Wes Rehmert found Wes Bassler and connected for 6 points. When the game was over North had humbled South with a 45-6 win, South's lowest points scored since their opening game against Dixie.

South Coach Scott Cottingim was disappointed with the outcome, “Tri-County North is having a very good season, but we should have performed better. Offensively we did not do what we wanted.” On defense, Coach Cottingim mentioned Wes Rehmert and Cory Bassler as standouts in this game. When asked about the second half of the season he responded that, “We talked about this after the Covington game, we have to decide where we want to be at the end of the season. Do we want to be in the middle or at the bottom? Each game in the second half of the season - we will have an opportunity. We just have to figure out where we want to be.”

A 4-1 North team will play against National Trail (0-5) next Friday. After that the schedule gets tougher for North - to qualify and get a good seed in playoffs, they need to run the table the remainder of the season. Ansonia, Arcanum, and Bethel all have winning records and hope to spoil North's chances. Can coach Derringer end his career with a playoff run? Meanwhile South will host a Miami East team that is also winless. Both teams will be battling to get out of the basement of the CCC. Can coach Cottingim get his first TVS victory next Friday? Comments:

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