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South Rally Falls Short Against Blazers.
J. C. Tilton

In the first quarter both teams opened tentatively. Both teams did 3 plays and out. In their second series Trail did no better and punted away again. But the battle for field position favored TVS who was doing a good job of keeping the Blazers pinned in their half of the field. TVS finally got a first down to get some offensive action going. TVS was using a new quarterback, utilizing sophomore Wes Bassler as the signal caller. Under the new signal caller the offense was able to move the ball to the 21 yard line of Trail. But in a familiar scenario, TVS could not take advantage of a good situation and had two penalties back to back. Still the Panthers managed to move the ball forward again to the 9, but the Trail defense stiffened. A 4th and 8 TD pass was called back by a hold, but Eli Montgomery managed to salvage something out of the drive by kicking a respectable 31 yard field goal. This put TVS up 3-0 in the third quarter.

Trail was able to respond quickly to the South score. On their next drive Randy Kern threw a 69 yard TD pass to put the Blazers on top. The next score would also be a Blazer score. TVS fumbled the ball away on their own 21. It is tough for a young quarterback to run the triple option and as a result a bad pitch lead to the turnover. Trail took advantage of the excellent field position and scored at the 8:50 mark of the second quarter going up 14-3. TVS put together a drive just before the half. With Armstrong now quarterbacking Dustin Bassler had a pair of catches resulting in first downs. But a TVS drive has to have at least one sputter and a motion penalty put the Panthers back 5 yards. The Panthers like to utilize Derek Smith as a shotgun quarterback and so they switched to him as the clock wound down. But TVS could get no closer than the Blazer 35 where they gave up the ball on downs.
In the third quarter it looked bleak for TVS after a punt was blocked. But on the ensuing series of downs, Lyle Johnson was the lucky recipient of a Randy Kerns pass. He sprinted downfield and took it to the house, putting TVS one TD away 14 - 9. The 2 point attempt failed and so South tried to surprise Trail with an onsides kick. Trail recovered and went to work on offense. But it was now Anthony Armstrong's turn to pick off his counterpart, Randy Kerns. TVS again began another drive mixing in the pass and run. The drive was marred by two holding penalties but TVS still drove to the Trail 16. But a quarterback sack put an end to the Panthers 3rd quarter drive.

The Trail running attack showed new signs of life and they were able to put together a drive that resulted in a Trail score at the 8:26 mark of the 4th quarter. Trail was now up 20-9 and TVS needed 2 scores to have a chance at a win. TVS went to work on a late 4th quarter drive. Scott Leedy had a pair of catches during this drive on out patterns to move the ball down the field. But it was a Derek Smith to Dustin Bassler pass that resulted in paydirt at the 3:45 mark. The extra point attempt failed and again TVS tried the onside kick. Trail was ready and made the recovery, then managed enough offense to hold off the Panthers late rally for the Blazer victory.


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