Dreary Friday Night for Local Teams
J. C. Tilton
Fall finally caught up with Friday night football. The previous Friday nights have been dry and warm. However, last Friday saw game time saw temps in the 40's, a stiff breeze, and a drizzle. The rain and wind diminished as the night progressed, but the gloom did not for several local teams.
First visit was to Tri-County North where they held their homecoming game against Mississinnawa Valley. It was not too long ago when every CCC team wanted to schedule their homecoming game against the Blackhawks, who have spent most of their football life as the doormats of the CCC. In his second year at the reins, coach Graher has done an excellent job of turning this program around. For a second though they looked like the Blackhawks of old as Rob Harris bobbled the TCN opening kickoff. But he made a juke and then sprinted over 70 yards down the field to put the Blackhawks up 6-0. It was clear that they had come to play.
TCN had a decent opening drive that stalled on the 26 yardline of the Blackhawks. They chewed up a good bit of clock as they stuck to the run on the damp field. Mississinnawa Valley moved the ball down the field on their next possession, but on a 4th and 5 play, Matt Zumstein sacked the quarterback to put an end to this drive. TCN could not move the ball much on their next possession and were forced to punt. The ball went behind the punter who was forced to cover the ball on the TCN 23 yard line. But the BlackHawks could not take advantage of this gift as the North defense made a stand and forced them to turn the ball over on downs.
TCN could not get out of their end of the field and was forced to punt. Now it was the Blackhawks turn muff the ball as the returner could not hold onto the ball and TCN recovered at midfield. The Panthers found a weakness in the middle as they used the quarterback sneak several times during this drive, finally culminating in a Josh Linder TD as he ran for the last 3 yards and found paydirt. North kicked the PAT and they were up 7-6 at the 5:13 mark of the second quarter.
In their first play of their next possession, the Blackhawks made sure that momentum did not swing over to the North side of the field when Kurt Moneysmith scooted over 60 yards to the TCN 11 yard line. The Blackhawks then completed a pass to go up 12-7 over the Panthers. But the Panthers promptly marched the ball down the field. But time was a factor. They converted a critical 4th and 1 play on the Blackhawk 36 with 1:45 left in the half. Now that the Blackhawks had shored up the interior of their defense it was time for Brett Landis to go to work on edges. The Panthers ran a sweep from the 36 and Landis fought and clawed his way into the endzone, breaking several tackles along the way. It was a tremendous run. Then he added an exclamation point by punching in the 2 point conversion, putting the Panthers up 15-12 at halftime.
The second half was also hard fought with the Blackhawks and Panthers ending regulation in a tie. The first overtime also ended in a tie, and in the second overtime the BlackHawks scored during their possession and stopped North to win the game 42 to 34. Brett Landis ran for over 300 yards to lead all rushers.
Both Dixie and Twin Valley South were upended in their respective games. Dixie ran into a physical Carlisle team that beat them 39-0. Winless TVS(0-8) was soundly beaten by Ansonia (2-6) 53-0. TVS could not get their running game going and with one of their best receivers out with an injury, the passing game could not get any traction either. Valley View managed to defeat Eaton 38-13. Brookville easily defeated Northridge 31-0.