Sunday, November 18, 2007
Tincher’s fourth quarter touchdowns saves Mavs
Tincher’s fourth quarter touchdowns saves Mavs
By RANDALL JETT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
LINDSIDE — Class AA No. 3 James Monroe dodged a bullet Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. The Mavericks relied on an opportunistic defense that forced three turnovers and blocked a punt to defeat No. 6 Magnolia 13-7 at H.E. Comer Jr. Sports Complex.
“We came on in the second half,” Mavericks coach David Witt said. “The big thing we did, was play good defense. I heard all week long about how good their defense was and this, that and the other. Nobody ever said anything about our defense. We’ve got a pretty danggone good defense too. This time of year, regardless of what you run into, defense is what wins championships and that got us through today. There ain’t no style points. It doesn’t make a difference what the score is. We’re playing next week. That’s all that matters.”
Magnolia (9-3) marched the ball down inside the James Monroe 10 yard line on both of its first two possessions and came away empty.
“We had our chances early and didn’t capitalize,” Blue Eagles coach Mark Batton said. “That, maybe, could have changed a few things but give James Monroe credit. They didn’t quit. They just kept fighting and fighting and then, our kids never quit. There were 22 players there that left everything they had on the field.”
The Blue Eagles took the opening kickoff and moved down the field to the James Monroe nine yard line. On 3rd-and-goal though, tailback Steven Zajdowicz fumbled a direct snap and Nick Kisiel recovered for the Mavericks.
After holding the Mavericks to a three-and-out series, Magnolia quickly rolled down the field again. On second-and-goal from the four, the wheels came off again for the Blue Eagles. Taylor Robertson picked off a Justin Fox pass to swing the momentum back to the Mavericks.
James Monroe (11-1) would squander a scoring opportunity of its own in the second quarter. Robertson would break through the Eagles’ defense and race 68 yards for an apparent score but a penalty flag for a block in the back at the two, would take the points off the board and push James Monroe back to the Magnolia 12. Three plays later, Traeh Keller would tackle Robertson in the backfield to force the Mavericks into attempting a field goal. Logan Ray’s 31-yard attempt sailed wide left to keep the game scoreless.
Magnolia finally lit up the scoreboard late in the second quarter. Fox connected with a leaping Jared Blatt for a 27-yard score with 30 seconds remaining in the half. Quinton Rockhold added the extra point.
Neither team could get anything going in the second half until Clarence Hunsucker blocked a Magnolia punt attempt and Caleb Ballard fell on the loose ball at the Magnolia three yard line.
“We hadn’t had one blocked all year long,” Batton said. “We kinda still had them on the ropes a little bit but that gave them momentum. It gave them the ball down inside the five. That was tough. That changed a lot of momentum.”
Ernie Tincher punched the ball in from the one and Ray added the PAT kick.
Tincher’s score came on his first play at the feature back spot in the Mavericks’ single wing as Robertson and Kisiel both went out of the offensive lineup with injuries within three plays of each other.
“Keys (Nick Kisiel) and Taylor Robertson, they’re our feature backs,” Tincher said. “We put a lot on their shoulders. Seeing those boys get hurt, it just kinda fired me up. I felt like I had to step up and take their place. The line and the blockers all did a good job of helping me out in doing that.”
Tincher would rush for 134 yards on nine carries to propel the Mavs’ offense in the second half.
“He did a good job in there,” Witt said. “He’s a little bit quicker in there at tailback and is a little more shaky out there running the ball. He’s a little bit harder to get a hold of sometimes. We were able to shake him loose around the ends a couple of times. He made a big play for us there, scoring a touchdown to put us ahead.”
That final score came with 2:49 left on the clock as the 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior snaked his way 64 yards to paydirt.
“I don’t really know what happened for the first 20 to 25 yards but when I got in the secondary I looked over and saw (fullback) Chris Frazier to my right,” Tincher said. “I cut to the backside of him and they say he had a great block. Really, I owe that one to the line and Chris Frazier on those blocking schemes.”
Magnolia would get one last shot, driving to the Mavs’ 16. Tincher would strike again though, picking off a Magnolia pass to seal the win.
Zajdowicz would run for 142 yards on 32 carries for the Eagles, while Fox, a freshman quarterback, threw for 138 yards.
James Monroe advances to play No. 2 Wayne in the semifinals.
Magnolia (9-3).........................0 7 0 0 — 7
James Monroe (11-1).............0 0 7 6 — 13
M — Jared Blatt 27 pass from Justin Fox (Quinton Rockhold kick) 0:30
JM — Ernie Tincher 1 run (Logan Ray kick) 3:48
JM — Tincher 64 run (kick failed) 2:49
RUSHING — M: Steven Zajdowicz 32-142, Dillon Jackson 12-64, J. Fox 3-5. JM: Tincher 9-134-2, Taylor Robertson 13-81, Nick Kisiel 8-48, Chris Frazier 4-10, Team 2-(-10).
PASSING — M: J. Fox 8-21-2-138-1. JM: Robertson 0-3-0-0-0, Tincher 0-1-0-0-0.
RECEIVING — M: Jason Utt 4-92, Jar. Blatt 1-27-1, Jake Blatt 1-12, Zach Fox 1-6, Colt Street 1-1. JM: none.
TURNOVERS — M: none. JM: Kisiel (fumble rec.), Robertson (int.), Tincher (int.), Clarence Hunsacker (punt block).
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
928 Bluefield Ave,
Bluefield, West Virginia
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