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September 9, 2013

GRIDIRON AFTERMATH: Jeff’s infractions at BNL worry Oldham

Bulldog line paves way for Payton

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Despite his team’s 60-0 victory at Bedford North Lawrence last Friday, Jeffersonville football coach Lonnie Oldham was displeased with several things about the Red Devils’ performance after the game.

One of those items was the number of penalties on his team.

Jeff committed 13 infractions for 100 yards versus the Stars. Several of them were dead-ball penalties like illegal procedure or delay of game.

For the season, the Red Devils have committed 36 penalties for 327 yards. On average, Jeff is making 12 penalties for 109 yards per game in 2013.

“We had some penalties where we went in motion and we didn’t get set. That’s stuff we can correct in practice,” Oldham said. “One of the penalties was a late hit on the sideline, which was a questionable call. But a lot of penalties we got are correctable. We’ve just got to keep working week-in and week-out.”

On a positive note, Oldham was happy to have Jeff senior tight end Dionte Allen back after he missed the first two contests of the season with a knee injury.

Allen had game highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (91) along with two touchdowns — one rushing and one receiving.

“Dionte was pretty good,” Oldham said. “He cramped up early in the game. He’s not in shape because he has been nursing that knee and we’ve been real easy on him in practice. But he played probably more [last Friday] than I thought he would play.

“He’s obviously a big guy and a big threat. When we get him in shape again in three or four games, he’s going to be a force.”

— Kevin Harris



PAVING A WAY


Charlie Fields said running back Tuwan Payton would be the first to credit the Bulldogs’ offensive line following his 390-yard rushing performance last Friday. But that didn’t keep the New Albany coach from heaping some praise on the hogs upfront as well.

New Albany’s offensive line has sprung back from some minor injuries to help catapult the Bulldogs’ rushing attack.

“It took them awhile early in the summer to come together, but we have some things stabilized,” Fields said. “They believe in our scheme, and they would go to hell and back for [Payton].”

Led by seniors Austin Nevitt and Braxton Bragg, the New Albany offensive line has helped the Bulldogs to a 2-1 start with their only loss coming in a 14-7 contest at Castle.

They defeated Jennings County 55-6 last Friday, as Payton dashed for nearly 400 yards and seven touchdowns.

“He’s very humble and just a joy to coach,” Fields said of the senior running back. “He would be the next Mayor of New Albany if he wanted to.”

Payton and the Bulldogs have more pressing matters on their minds than the next municipal election. New Albany will travel to Bedford North Lawrence this coming Friday for another Hoosier Hills Conference tilt.

Fields said the Bulldogs are no longer content with just being competitive, and added the players had a spirited week of practice last week.

“There’s no shame in going down to Castle and losing. But the kids weren’t satisfied and they showed that in practice,” he said.

— Daniel Suddeath



MUCH NEEDED VICTORY


Providence had high expectations coming into 2013. After losses to New Albany and Floyd Central, last Friday against Louisville Holy Cross could be classified as a must-win.

The Pioneers played well on both sides of the football and came out with a 28-0 triumph.

“It was really big,” Providence coach Larry Denison said. “Obviously, you don’t want to go 0-3 and face another tough team like Indian Creek on the road [this Friday]. Getting that one should give us something to build on. We can’t rest on it, we can’t be satisfied with it. We need to build on it.”

Denison said the performance against Holy Cross is more typical of what to expect for the Pioneers than the losses to the Bulldogs and Highlanders.

“I don’t think we really saw what we were capable of the first two games,” he said. “Part of it was a testament to New Albany and Floyd Central. We just didn’t match up well in some instances with them.

“We’re coming into our own. We had a good showing. We saw more what we are capable of. Hopefully, that’s what you’ll be seeing more of.”

— Greg Mengelt



SEVEN YEARS AGO ...


Sept. 23, 2006. What happened that day?

That was the last time the Clarksville Generals defeated the Charlestown Pirates (35-14) in football.

Charlestown has now won seven in a row in the series, including last Friday night’s 68-0 thrashing.

The Pirates have not lost in this series during the Jason Hawkins era, winning by an average score of 47-11.

Here are some more interesting numbers in this rivalry referred to by some as the “Brawl For The Mall.”

For Friday’s contest, Charlestown dressed roughly 65 players. Clarksville dressed about 25, having three starters out with injuries and missing one starter for disciplinary reasons.

Those four are expected to be back this coming Friday when the Generals will host Corydon Central.

“We had 14-year-old’s trying to tackle 240-pound backs,” Clarksville coach Steve Cooley said following the Charlestown loss.

Those numbers will have to improve soon to put this rivalry where it once was. The Clarksville middle school program has increased numbers this season — maybe that’s a start.

And how does Hawkins feel about beating his alma mater seven times in a row?

“Times change, things change,” Hawkins said. “Clarksville at one time was a big part of my life. But I’ve been here seven years — I’m a Charlestown man now.”

— Mike Riley



BECOMING DEFENSIVE


Last year at this time — a week before earning the program’s first win — Silver Creek had given up 144 points in an 0-3 start.

This year, the Dragon defense have surrendered just 64, including a shutout of Corydon Central in the first half in Friday’s 15-6 loss.

By comparison, Corydon beat the Dragons 70-27 a year ago.

“I thought that against Corydon, the defense played the best we’ve seen in three years,” Creek coach Mike Donahue said. “Our intensity, our flying to the ball and our aggressiveness have increased a great deal.”

Silver Creek may have had a chance to come away with an upset against the unbeaten Panthers had it not been for an injury to quarterback Brooks Howell — a three-year starter — in the game’s second offensive series.

Donahue thought that junior Jake Meadors came in and did a solid job, including a 25-yard TD pass to Austin Hasting to give the Dragons a 6-2 lead.

“I thought he did rather well,” Donahue said. “He made a few mistakes, but it’s always tough to be thrown in that early in the game.”

Donahue said Howell may be able to play this coming Friday against Eastern, but Meadors will likely get the start.

— Greg Mengelt



MOVING ON


Most losses teams should really take to heart. There are some setbacks, though, that perhaps shouldn’t be dwelled on for longer than it takes to get dressed after they happen.

Eastern’s 53-8 loss Friday to perennial powerhouse Brownstown Central in Mid-Southern Conference action may be a case in point.

The undefeated Braves (3-0, 2-0 MSC) have won eight or more games for 14 straight seasons and are going to be a tall order for every team they face. They scored 74 points against Mitchell and 40 against Charlestown’s stout defense before meeting the Musketeers (1-2, 1-1).

“It’s Game 3 and you realize you’ve probably played the conference champions if they have a season like I think they’re going to have,” Eastern coach John Dablow said after the loss. “So, that game’s over with. Now we move on to some teams that hopefully we can compete with on a little bit better level.”

Things started promising for Eastern as junior quarterback Austin Roberts and sophomore receiver Coty Estes had some nice connections on the first drive, while junior defensive back Nick Jenkins stopped the Braves from scoring when he veered in front of a wideout in the end zone to intercept a pass from Clay Brown.

That first drive for Brownstown Central that ended with the Jenkins’ pick took eight plays. The Braves’ third possession ended with their second touchdown but took nine plays.

It was a theme Eastern hoped to sustain, but Brownstown quarterback Clay Brown started finding his receivers down the field and the scores came quickly and in bunches.

“The first couple drives I feel like [Brownstown had to really earn their yards], but then they started throwing deep on us. We didn’t cover or get pressure on the quarterback,” Dablow said. “With our three-and-outs, everything just kind of compounded and before you know it, it’s 34-0 at halftime and we’re kind of out of the ballgame at that point.”

Out of the ballgame but, Dablow said, not out of the season.

— Adam Pruiett



A WIN’S A WIN


Floyd Central didn’t make the statement it wanted to in its HHC opener, but the Highlanders did come out of Madison with an important 20-13 victory.

“We didn’t play great,” Floyd coach Brian Glesing admitted, “but I like some things we did and Madison’s a much-improved team. We stopped them when we needed to stop them and we made plays when we needed to make plays. We didn’t do that last year, so hopefully that’s a good sign.”

In particular, Glesing is worried about his running game, which was expected to be the team’s strength heading into 2013.

Last Friday, the Highlanders managed just 134 yards on the ground on 39 carries.

“We need to run the ball,” he said, “and our offensive line has to block. We want to be a power running team and we didn’t dominate the line of scrimmage the way we wanted to.”

— Greg Mengelt

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