Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Miners shake off upset bid from North Knox

Miners shake off upset bid from North Knox

Friday, September 28, 2007
By Paul Wilcoxen, Sports Editor

BICKNELL -- It is still not the offensive juggernaut that many Miner fans have known and loved over the past few years, but in the end, the Linton-Stockton football team found a way to detract a determined North Knox with a late touchdown and safety, en route to a 8-6 win over the Warriors in Bicknell Friday night at Warrior Field.
"I thought we did good, offensively. We just dropped too many passes," said Linton-Stockton coach Steve Weber. "It's the same story. We were shooting ourselves in the foot, but the second half we woke some kids up.

Linton's defense held the Warriors at bay most of the night -- giving up a second quarter touchdown after an interception deep in Linton's territory -- and finally, in the fourth quarter, the offense cashed in on the solid play from the defensive side with a score with 2:05 remaining in the contest.

Keith Cunningham found Levi Baysinger for seven yards to open the drive, followed by a pair of runs from Cunningham (four) and Ethan Brewer (six) leading to a first down.

After four straight pass plays in which Cunningham went 3 of 4 with receptions by Baysinger (five) Cameron Coleman (21) and Jaron Powell (two), the Miners pounded the ball into the ground, with the drive ending in a touchdown on a 10 yard score from Evan Magni.

The two point conversion failed to tie the score at 6-6 with 2:05 to play.

After a nice kick off from Mickey Tosti to the Warrior one, North Knox was forced into scrambling mode on third down and deep in their territory.

That's where defensive coordinator Mike Hayden decided to send everyone, which caused a fumble by Cameron Cox (North Knox's quarterback) that was recovered by the Warriors for a safety and an 8-6 Miner lead with 1:45 to play.

Linton held the ball until six seconds, but a last ditch hail Mary pass from Cox was broken up, which gave the Miners the win.

"Our defense was outstanding, our special teams was great, but our offense has been struggling," said Weber. "We've just been trying to find an identity as to what we can do.

"We've been a tight, single-wing team. Tonight we went spread and I thought we moved the ball better, but we're still sporadic. We're going to have to get better."

With the Miners trailing at the break, 6-0, after a touchdown by North Knox midway through the second, Linton took over on offense and went to a nice mixture of air and ground attacks to wear out the North Knox defense.

The Warriors, in the second half, had trouble stopping Ethan Brewer, who finished with 64 of his game-high 69 yards in the second half, on 13 carries.

"We saw a better effort out of Ethan Brewer than we have for a while," said Weber. "I think he finally decided that this is what he has to do. He's always had it. I don't know why it took seven weeks to get it out of him, but he had a nice game.

Trailing 6-0, Linton looked to at least be on their way to tying the game in the third quarter, but a fumble on the North Knox eight (after the line of scrimmage was originally the three) cost Linton a shot at the endzone.

That turnover did not stop the Miners from tying the game, as a pair of defensive stops -- both after turnovers from the offense -- finally gave the Miners the football with 7:30 to play in the game.

"Keith Cunningham did a great job calling our offense tonight," credited Weber. "If we would have caught the passes he threw it would have been an almost perfect game for him because he made the right reads almost every time.

"We told him before the game that you were going to throw interceptions and that he needs to just shake those off. We told him to be calm out there because the team was going to read off of (you) if (you) lose it, then the team was going to lose it. I told him don't let it bother him and he did a great job of shaking it off."

The Linton defense did everything they could to keep the Warriors out of the end zone, but a two yard plunge on fourth down by Sam Conrad put North Knox up first, 6-0, after the extra point kick was missed, with 5:29 left in the first half.

"They've got a good defense," said North Knox coach Shawn McDowell. "That was the problem. They've got a good defensive team. I thought we picked and poked around in there. There wasn't anything they were giving us a lot of, but we moved the ball when we needed to.

"We also moved the ball off of turnovers. We had a shot."

The Miners (7-0) will entertain Union next Friday.


Linton. . . . . .0 0 0 8 - 8

North Knox. .0 0 6 0 - 6

Second Quarter

NK -- Sam Conrad, two-yard run (kick failed), 5:29. North Knox 6, Linton 0.

Fourth Quarter

L -- Evan Magni, 10 yard run (run failed), 2:05. Linton 6, North Knox 6.

L -- Safety, North Knox recovers fumble in the endzone, 1:45. Linton 8, North Knox 6.

Team Statistics

Linton -- First downs 14 (11 running, 3 passing); Rushing 36-127; Passing 13-26-4-95; Total yards 222; Fumbles 2 (lost 1); Penalties 2-15.

North Knox -- First downs 4 (3 pass, 1 run); Rushing 29-60; Passing 1-8-0-36; Total yards 96; Fumbles 0; Penalties 3-12.

Individual stats

Rushing (L) Levi Baysinger 1-5, Keith Cunningham 14-36, Ethan Brewer 17-69, Mickey Tosti 4-17; (NK) Blake Horrall 2-3, Josh Reintjes 7-21, Cameron Cox 13-27, Derek Cambers 2-(-1), Sam Conrad 4-12, Jon McKinnon 1-(-2).

Passing -- (L) Keith Cunningham 13-26-4-95; (NK) Cameron Cox 1-8-0-36.

Receiving -- (L) Levi Baysinger 4-26, Jaron Powell 2-13, Evan Magni 2-14, Ethan Brewer 3-17, Jordan Tharp 1-4, Cameron Coleman 1-21; (NK) Sam Conrad 1-36.
Greene County Daily World
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P.O. Box 129
Linton, Indiana

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