Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Shamokin Indians at the Half

While the Shamokin Indians had some high hopes going into the 2013 with a new head coach and offense, the current result is an 0-5 mark at the halfway point of the season.  Friday's game against Lewisburg was a microcosm of their season.

If you look inside the numbers from this past Friday's game.  Lewisburg ran 40 offensive plays compared to 56 to Shamokin.  Four of those plays for the Green Dragons went for 68, 22, 51, and 31 yard scoring plays for 162 yards.  Shamokin only netted 204 yards total out of those 59 plays.

If you take away those 4 plays Lewisburg averages a little over 3 yards a play.  With them, their average skyrockets to over 7 yards a play.  What this translates to over the long run is frustration.  If you play 36 out of 40 hard on defense only to get beat by four plays, it does play with your psyche a little bit, especially when your offense is putting points on the board. 

Not to start out with excuses, but Shamokin has been hit with an injury bug to it's players the past two season with key players and captains missing plenty of time.  Add to the injuries is player indifference and moving on to other schools.  The Indians loss 3 key contributors to the 2013 season through this route. 

The Good
At times, the Indians showed that they could play hard on both sides of the ball.  They have bounced back well against some bad losses and continue to play hard while being depleted with injuries and other distraction.  That is a credit to the kids and the coaching to get prepared each week.
The Bad
Big plays have haunted the Indian secondary for the last decade or so, it is nothing new.  We continue to get exploited on height mismatches.  I don't know if players got any better or if they actually got worse over the last decade.  That includes the opponent. 
Lack of scoring has also been a problem.  Defenses feel they have to shut out the team in order to win and that creates some undo pressure. 
Special teams have been shaky giving up a long kick off return and two blocked punts.  There is huge upswing to improvement to this aspect.  The Indians have also returned a kick for touchdown.
Coaching changes can be good, but there are still growing pains.  Sometimes you can't make honest evaluations or where to plug players into positions until you see them play over a period of time.  How they react in certain situations is key.
The Ugly
This past week there was a quarterback change with a senior taking over for a two-year starter.  Both are good kids and will continue to be good kids long after the season is over.  I would like to remind people of Silas Redd (Remember him?).  To borrow from Pennlive PSU writer David Jones:
All that said, there’s a lesson here for everyone. What looks like an easy, simple choice isn’t always the best one. Sometimes it’s not only the right thing to fight through rough times, it does you good down the road.

Jones alluded to this when talking about Redd's transfer to USC seemed like the easy choice to make when the road seemed so rocky at PSU.  Shamokin football is going through some tough times. It is up to the Indians in the next 5 weeks to fight through them.

No comments: