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October 1, 2013

GRIDIRON AFTERMATH: Jeff undone by turnovers, lack of effort

Pirates make statement in shutout win over Salem

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE — MUSKETEERS LET CHANCE GET AWAY

After a 1-4 start that included teams like West Washington, Corydon Central and Brownstown Central on its schedule, Eastern had a favorable schedule by comparison in the second half of the season.

If there was going to be a turnaround, it needed to start against North Harrison last Friday. Instead, the Musketeers played maybe their worst game of the season in a 34-7 loss to the Cougars.

“We just came out very, very flat,” Eastern coach John Dablow explained. “We feel like we did not match their physical play. They beat us up front and we didn’t respond. We went the other direction, unfortunately. We picked a bad game to have one of those games. I hope we can turn it around.”

After a 55-point outing in a win over Clarksville, the Musketeers have endured some costly injuries. The result has been 29 points in the four games since the season’s lone victory.

Dablow refused to let the injured players be an excuse for poor performances.

“We’re pretty beat up, but what team isn’t at this point in the season?” Dablow said. “Hopefully, we’ll get some guys back and maybe that will help a little bit, but we just have to play better than we’ve been playing.”

— G.M.

NEW ALBANY’S DEFENSIVE TURNAROUND

In the past two years, New Albany has dropped 160 points in three games against Jeffersonville.

However, after another stellar performance in a 35-7 win over Madison, it’s becoming apparent that this isn’t the same Bulldogs’ defense.

Two years ago in Fields’ debut, New Albany gave up 28 or more points eight times in 10 times and gave up 40 or more six times.

Last year, the Bulldogs surrendered more than 31 points just twice — both against Jeffersonville.

This year, only No. 1 Columbus East has scored more than 14 against the Bulldogs, who have two shutouts and have held four of six opponents in double figures.

Despite the 48 points by East, New Albany’s defense ranks 34th in the state at 12.5 points per game allowed.

“We think [our defense] has come a long way,” New Albany coach Charlie Fields said. “We still don’t think it’s where it needs to be, but we think we’re on the right track.”

Either way, it’s safe to say Jeffersonville will see a different New Albany defense than it has in some time on Friday.

“We think we’re better defensively, but we really respect Jeff,” Fields said. “Our kids do not think even for one second that they can take lightly playing Jeff High, even with the problems they’re having right now.”

— G.M.

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