South Slammed by Miami East
J. C. Tilton
South was beat at all facets of the game on Friday night. An emotional, hard hitting Miami East team took control of the game from the opening whistle to the last. The game had much on the line for both teams. Computer points for playoffs - the winner would take home a boatload of points. Each team has had losses, but the winner here would jump up in the ratings. There is also a slim shot at a league title; undefeated Covington would need to falter - but if they did then a tie for a league title was a possibility.
Interestingly both teams also share common histories. The victories have been few and far between for both teams the previous 4-5 years or so. Both teams have had their share of winless seasons in that time frame. And the schools have had a resurgence here in 2007 and are playing winning football for the first time in years. Against common opponents the teams had similar records and scores. So fans were looking forward to a closely matched battle, at least on paper.
But ball games aren't played on paper. Hard charging Miami East raced out to an early lead. The Vikings feature running back Sam Smallwood who is build like a fire hydrant, short, compact, and strong. He would score 3 times in the first half. The South defense just could not contain the running attack of the Vikings. Several runs of 50-60 yards allowed them to score easily. And the offense fared no better, neither the pass nor the run worked well - forcing South \to go 3 and out multiple times in the first half. I have seen in earlier games where South was able to go to a ball control offense and keep the ball out of the hands of teams that scored easily. But South could not maintain consistent drives.
There was one spark of hope in the first quarter when South did put together a nice drive for their only score of the night. Josh Flynn was able to connect with Devin Eisenhour for a 36 yard pass completion. This made the score 21-7 and rekindled hopes of a comeback. But South would not be able to use their mojo on this night. The Vikings would score on their next drive and continue the rout. Defensively, both Matt Wentlender and JT Stone had fumble recoveries.
Coach Cottingim allowed that it was a long bus ride back from Miami East, “We kind of ran into a buzz saw. We came out with emotion and intensity just like them, but they ran a couple of long plays and got momentum, and we just never did recover from it. We had a lot riding on the game; it was a shame the way things went. Win or lose at least make a ball game of it. The kids are disappointed in the outcome, they are disappointed in their effort. Now we have to get back to what got us to this point in the season.”
Next week the Panthers play against Bradford. Comments email: Chris Tilton