News and Tribune

August 26, 2013

GRIDIRON AFTERMATH: Devils’ quick strike offense is back

Fields pleased after Bulldogs’ 28-0 win over Providence

NEWS AND TRIBUNE
sports@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — Quick trips to the snack bar or restroom may not be advised this season when watching the Jeffersonville football team.

If there’s two things the Red Devils proved last Friday in their season opener against visiting Evansville Bosse, it’s that they can score a lot and they can score in a hurry.

Jeff’s 60-48 win over the Bulldogs featured nine scoring drives by the Devils. Five of those came in four plays or less. Twice Jeff scored on its first play of a possession and another on its second.

“I think we can score anytime from anywhere on that field,” Jeff coach Lonnie Oldham said. “Any play is a potential to score with the weapons and the speed we have.”

The Red Devils did manage one long, sustained march to the end zone in the third quarter, when senior running back Austin Hines capped an 11-play drive with the fifth of his six touchdowns. To put into perspective Jeff’s quick-strike ability, the Devils required 10 total plays — or one less than the aforementioned drive — to score four of their first five touchdowns.

Jeff’s first offensive touchdown came four plays into the season on a 27-yard run by Hines (it’s probably safe to say a theme is building). The Devils’ second touchdown of the year came on their fifth play, when sophomore quarterback Jamal Britt connected with senior wide receiver Damin Smith from 40 yards out.

Three possessions later, Hines took a handoff on the second play and raced 56 yards to paydirt, giving Jeff the lead for good. In addition to Hines, Red Devil junior running back Isiah Mack ripped off a 61-yard touchdown run on the first play of a drive in the third quarter.

There are things Jeff must improve on: penalties and a penchant for giving up the big play on pass defense stood out in the opener. But there’s no denying the Devils know where the end zone is and can find it in an instant.

— Adam Pruiett



ALLEN INJURY UPDATE

Senior star tight end Dionte Allen didn’t play last Friday after sustaining a lower leg injury in the previous week’s scrimmage against Clarksville.

Oldham said Allen will be fine, but whether he plays this week against Seymour is up in the air.

“He practiced [Monday], but not at full speed,” Oldham said. “Hopefully, he’ll be full speed by Wednesday. If he’s not full speed by Wednesday, we probably won’t play him [on Friday].”

— Greg Mengelt



FIELDS HAPPY WITH BULLDOGS’ PERFORMANCE

For the most part, third-year coach Charlie Fields was happy with the Bulldogs’ performance in their 28-0 home victory against Providence last Friday.

“Our special teams had a great game. Our defensive effort was outstanding. Offensively, we have some things that need to be cleaned up,” said Fields, whose team defeated its archrival for the first time at home since 1990. “The kids were real emotional for this game. You need that on defense and special teams, but not particularly on offense.”

Fields says his players’ emotions were the main reason they committed 13 penalties for 107 yards.

“I think a lot of those were crimes of passion. I will be surprised if that continues,” Fields said. “It’s a concern, but those are correctable.”

In his varsity debut, New Albany starting quarterback Zach Donan completed 7-of-14 passes for 88 yards. He threw three interceptions and one touchdown while rushing for 97 yards.

Fields was relatively pleased with the junior’s effort.

“I thought he did what I expected,” Fields said. “There were some things where he was a little bit off. But he got this one under his belt and I look for him to keep on improving.”

— Kevin Harris



DENISON WORRIED ABOUT PIONEERS’ OFFENSE, PENALTIES

Pioneers’ coach Larry Denison’s two major concerns following last Friday’s loss at New Albany were his team’s offense and penalties.

Providence gained 89 total yards, including 65 rushing. Denison says the Pioneers’ ground game has got to improve for their offense to be effective, especially since they are utilizing the I-formation this season.

“That’s something we’re working with. Hopefully, it will start coming around,” the third-year coach said. “We couldn’t establish the run game. Hopefully, we’ll get better.”

Providence, which has developed a reputation over the years of being a disciplined team, committed an uncharacteristic 10 penalties for 63 yards. Several of those infractions were dead-ball fouls.

“Mental mistakes are what killed us,” Denison said. “Those things shouldn’t be happening. We’ve got to get that corrected.”

Despite the Pioneers being shut out, Denison praised his defense’s effort against the Bulldogs. Providence forced four turnovers and set up its offense deep in New Albany territory twice.

— Kevin Harris



HAINES GIVES DRAGONS TOP-NOTCH WEAPON

Florida transfer Bobby Haines gives Silver Creek a weapon its never had in four years of varsity football.

While Layne Taylor was fast for the Dragons a year ago, his speed doesn’t compare to Haines’ sprinting speed. Haines scored on runs of 49 and 6 yards and on a 79-yard scoring strike from Brooks Howell in Friday’s 46-30 victory at Springs Valley.

“We were scoring like lightning,” Creek coach Mike Donahue said. “[Haines] is the fastest kid I’ve seen in 21 years of coaching.”

With Haines in the mix, Donahue has cranked up the Dragon offense.

“We run a two-minute offense in the middle of the quarter to get the defense off-guard,” he said.

The Silver Creek defense, which has been much maligned, forced seven Blackhawk turnovers, five of which it recovered.

“To be honest, I was really happy with the defense,” Donahue said.

— Greg Mengelt



FLAT PERFORMANCE HURTS PIRATES

After losing the bulk of his offense but having most of his defense returning, Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins said he expected his team to win some 7-0 games in 2013.

In last Friday’s loss to Madison, the Pirates did only score seven points. However, Hawkins’ vaunted defense surrendered 24 and Cubs’ back Jordan Partee ran for nearly 100 yards.

Much of Madison’s offensive success, however, came from C’town’s inexperienced offense putting its defense in tough spots. Madison had only one scoring drive that went more than 50 yards.

“I still expect [the defense] to be very good,” Hawkins said. “We just came out flat.”

While Charlestown was losing to Madison, this week’s opponent Brownstown Central was beating Mitchell 74-0. The Pirates beat their Mid-Southern Conference and sectional rivals a combined 103-13 a year ago.

“They looked great,” Hawkins said of Brownstown. “They’re very, very, very, very, very good. They’re tough and they’re going to be fired up to play us. We hope we’ll be ready by Friday.”

— Greg Mengelt



FLOYD MAY SLOW DOWN OFFENSE

It could be a case of pace when Floyd Central hosts Providence this coming Friday.

The Highlanders enjoyed more success in the second half of last Friday’s 62-16 loss to Louisville Male High School when the offense frequently huddled between plays.

When being outscored 42-3 in the first half of that contest, Floyd Central relied more on a fast-paced, no-huddle style of attack.

Highlanders’ coach Brian Glesing said after the game huddling up seemed to calm down the Floyd Central offense, as junior running back Gaige Klingsmith caught a touchdown pass and ran for another score in the second half against Male.

He said the coaching staff would review Floyd Central’s huddling strategy this week heading into a rivalry game with Providence, which also fell in its opener  with a loss to New Albany last week.

But Glesing added Floyd Central did move the ball well at times during the first half of the Male loss when the Highlanders were primarily using a no-huddle approach.

“We had a couple of chances and we didn’t take advantage of them,” he said.

— Daniel Suddeath



THE WINS WILL COME

While Clarksville’s 61-8 season-opening loss to Southridge last Friday maybe wasn’t the note Steve Cooley wanted to start the season on, the fourth-year Generals’ coach was positive and even enthusiastic following the defeat.

A slate of winnable games lie ahead, including this coming Friday’s Mid-Southern Conference opener against Eastern, and with a lot of young players on both sides of the ball for the Generals, he sees his players maturing.

“Southridge is a great team and a tradition-rich team, and we’re still trying to find the right position for some of our guys on both sides of the ball,” Cooley said. “A lot of good teams get better between weeks one and two, and improve more between those games than at any point in the season.”

One item Cooley said the Generals will have to improve on is special teams. On its first punt in Friday night’s loss, the punt return team allowed a 64-yard touchdown return from Southridge’s Connor Craig.

“The first time they touch the ball, we give them seven points right out of the gate,” Cooley said. “That hurts you with momentum, and in our case, didn’t allow us to gain any.”

— Jon Reiter



STRONG EFFORT, POOR EXECUTION

Eastern coach John Dablow loved what he saw as far as his team’s effort in last Friday’s 48-8 loss to West Washington. The team’s execution of the game plan — that was a different story.

“I think effort-wise, we fought the whole game,” Dablow said. “We just missed too many assignments and we were just out-manned in a few spots. I think there are still a few games out there that we can [win].”

Eastern fumbled the opening kickoff and West Washington scored on the following play. On the Musketeers’ first offensive play, junior quarterback Austin Roberts hit junior receiver Nick Jenkins on a 65-yard TD strike. It was Eastern’s final score.

Overall, Dablow was happy with his second-year starting quarterback’s progress.

“I’d like to see him stand in the pocket a little more and deliver the pass,” Dablow said. “He’s more than capable of doing that, but really he played well. He put the ball where we wanted it a couple of times, but we had some dropped passes. He’s well above where he started last year, so we look for him to keep improving. I think he’s going to get there soon.”



OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Austin Hines, Jeffersonville RB


Hines opened his senior season with a career-night performance. The former Little League World Series star rushed for 257 yards and scored six touchdowns in the Red Devils’ 60-48 victory over Evansville Bosse.

Hines scored on runs of 27, 56, 2, 7, 3 and 4 as Jeff ended a 20-game opening-night losing streak.



DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Damian McDuffy, New Albany DE


The Bulldogs’ “defensive leader” helped New Albany pitch a shutout in Friday’s 28-0 victory over rival Providence. McDuffy had several tackles and a quarterback sack as the New Albany D surrendered just 89 total yards and ended a six-game home losing streak to the Pioneers.



WEEK 1 STARS

• Tuwan Payton, New Albany RB:
Providence defenders are going to see Payton in their nightmares after he went for more than 500 yards the last two seasons against them. On Friday, Payton rushed for 235 yards on 24 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns in Friday’s win over Providence.

• Joseph Simmons, Jeffersonville DT: Simmons had four tackles for loss, a sack and an interception in the Red Devils’ victory.

• Chris Marion, Clarksville SS: The freshman had eight tackles and threw an 80-yard pass in the second half of the Generals’ 61-8 loss to Southridge.

• Alex Smith, Charlestown WR: Smith caught two passes for 40 yards, including a 36-yard TD catch from Tristan Chester, in the Pirates’ 24-7 loss to Madison.

• Isiah Mack, Jeffersonville RB: Mack rushed for 102 yards on just eight carries and scored twice in Jeff’s triumph.

• Ryan Lenz, Floyd Central PK: Lenz kicked a 43-yard field goal in the Highlanders’ 62-16 loss to Louisville Male.

• Aamil Haleem, Jeffersonville LB: The Jeff senior had nine tackles, three for loss, and recovered a fumble.