Sunday, December 6, 2009

Top Dawgs!!!!

Anyone going to this past Friday's game between Southern and Tri-Valley were probably expecting some excitement, some athleticism, but in the end Southern rolling to another playoff victory.

The script for Southern playoff football for the last 15 years has been watch teams take some gambles, try some trickery, and maybe survive the Tiger's size and depth. Usually when most high school football teams run 40 offensive plays Southern averages 60 or so with 80 percent being on the ground on good night.

So why is Southern's season over?

Anyone who was there on Friday that I ran into either Friday night or Saturday night will all say the same thing, Tri-Valley is very good football team. Covering high school football over the air or in print for over 21 years, there are not many times I am surprised by the outcome of a game especially in the playoffs. A game I could think of is North Schuylkill's win over Allentown Central Catholic in the 1995 District XI AAA title game. ACC had three players go to Penn State and one went on to the professional ranks.

If you look at the game within a game many will say Wyatt Straub was the difference. Straub is probably the best back I have seen since Jon Veach hitting a hole. Although none of this shows up on any box score, it was Tri-Valley winning on first down both offensively and defensively. Southern just could not get any consistency on first down while on offense and could not stop anything defensively. Credit the Dawgs gameplan in the second half. They broke the huddle in one formation, shifted to another (many times unbalanced) and then Tigers had to read option. It is difficult to make adjustments to this at the half let alone on the fly. The Dawgs offensive and defensive fronts were able to hold up for four quarters.

How about the bad call????

Southern got called for an assisting the runner penalty on an apparent touchdown. At the time it would have put the Tigers up 14-7 near the half. Southern had to eventually settle for a field goal with to lead 10-7 at the half. The Tigers scored on their fist possession of the second half to make it 17-7 and a ten point lead.

From our vantage point in the booth it looked like a full second or two ran off from when the side judge signaled toughdown to when the referee (white hat) threw the flag. It also looked like the side judge tried to get the flag picked up. The penalty stood. Would the play calling of Tri-Valley changed if they were down 21-7? Attitude? We will never know. Give credit to Zach Artz of Tri-Valley for saving the TD two plays earlier with a diving tackle of Jake Morton.

Give credit to Southern fighting until the last tick of the clock answering two Dawg TD's with touchdowns of the their own 46 and 40 seconds.

The Dawgs travel to State College to take on Bishop McCort. Good luck to Mike Kogut and the rest of the Tri-Valley squad, you earned the trip.

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