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Big Play Night for North
J. C. Tilton

Tri-County North relied on big plays last Friday night in their game against the Blazers. The Trail Defense would appear to have North pinned, then the North offense would explode for a long yardage play. On the other side of the ball, the North defense would not allow Trail any consistent drives. They stuffed the run and the pass defense was an umbrella. Until about the midpoint of the second quarter Trail had more completions to North defenders than to their own receivers. Not to be overlooked, North special teams did a good job, Trail consistently had to work with a long field all night.

On their first drive of the night Trail did manage a first down to the Trail 28. But a few plays later a Mark Moses pass was picked off by James Anderson. The interception put the ball on the Trail 33. But North was not able to capitalize on this opportunity. During their drive a muffed pitch moved the ball all the way back to the TCN 40. Facing a 4th and forever, North had to punt.

Trail was not able to manufacture much offense on their drive. Matt Ferguson and John Heeter converged on Blazer quarterback Mark Moses and sacked him for a loss. When North took over, it was time for the first break out of the night. Drew Heindl slid around the end and went over 50 yards to the Trail 8 yard line. This would set up a Ty Dunham 3 yard touchdown carry. The extra point was missed, so North was up 6-0.

Trail managed a first down on their next series, but had to punt. North did not do much better, doing 3 plays and punt. To start the second quarter the North defense stepped up their pressure. Matt Ferguson had another sack for a six yard loss. Trail was determined to take to the air, but North was ready. Sam Mullins had another North pick and added a healthy return, although a clip moved the ball back to midfield. North moved the ball to the Trail 35. Now it was time for Coach Derringer to reach into the North playbook. Running back Drew Heindl got a pitch, pulled up short and heaved the ball downfield to Matt Ferguson the second North TD of the night. James Anderson caught a pass to give North 2 more points. The score was now 14-0. But 20 seconds later the tally would change again.

Trail started their next offensive series on their own 29. They tried the left side of the North line. The ball popped loose and Ty Dunham proved he could score on defense as well as offense as he picked up the fumble and raced 33 yards to the endzone. There was still half a quarter to play before halftime. Trails luck seemed to change when they changed quarterbacks. Senior Bradley Schaeffer took the helm and quickly completed 2 passes, one to Nathan Pope for a first down. Up to this point the Trail offense had more completions to North defenders than to themselves, now it was even. They moved the ball to midfield, but North adjusted and now they had to punt.

North started their drive on their own 20. Dunham ran for a first down to the 41. Drew Heindl had a couple of carries to move the ball into Trail territory. Orry Bettker took the ball to the 21, where Dunham got another first down on a quarterback sneak. Heindl took the ball all the way to the 10. But a hold would move the ball back 10 yards. From here the drive fizzled. Time was a factor and both coaches used time outs. North moved their field goal unit on the field, then Trail used time outs in an attempt to freeze the kicker, Dan Baumbarger. After Trail used their last timeout, North tried to cross up Trail by moving their regular offense onto the field. North tried to heave a pass into the endzone, but it fell incomplete ending the last North threat of the half.

In the third quarter, North would pad their lead. Dunham scored another TD and Heindl would have the last big play of the night, running over 30 yards on another score. Neither team would score in the last quarter and North would win 34-0. Next week North (4-2) travels to Ansonia(2-4) While Trail (1-5) hosts undefeated Anna. Comments:

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