Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sam Shiley scores five TDs in victory

By Ben Brooks --

BERRYVILLE -- Clarke County High School continued to run roughshod over its regular-season football foes Friday.

On a cold, rainy Homecoming night in Berryville, George Mason became Clarke County's latest victim. The unbeaten Eagles got five rushing touchdowns from senior running back Sam Shiley, and Clarke's defense posted its third straight shutout with a 48-0 victory over the Mustangs in the Bull Run District opener for both schools.

Clarke County (7-0, 1-0) scored on six of its first seven offensive possessions to put the game out of reach. The one drive the Eagles failed to score on, they surrendered the ball on downs at the Mustangs' 1-yard line.

Shiley finished with 232 yards on just 15 carries, pushing him well over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He also leads the area with 22 rushing touchdowns.

"I just take the ball when I can and run behind the big boys," said Shiley, who scored on runs of 10, 3, 60, 1, and 31 yards in Clarke's single-wing offense, all in the first half. "We knew they were 5-1, and we wanted to send a statement to the rest of the district."

Consider the message received.

"This may be the best Bull Run District team I've seen," said Mason coach Tom Horn, now in his 14th season, whose team came into the game allowing just less than 14 points a game. "They're just so big and physical. This wasn't totally unexpected, given what we've seen of them on film. But it's still surprising to see it live."

The Eagles amassed 308 of their 387 yards in the first two quarters on their way to a 42-0 halftime lead. The Mustangs, meanwhile, had minus-1 yard of total offense and just one first down in the first half.

Clarke finished with 362 yards rushing. In addition to Shiley, Grant Shaw had 115 yards on the ground, including a 48-yard touchdown run. Zach Shiley accounted for the second half's lone score with a 5-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. Not to be outdone, Clarke's defense recovered four fumbles and gave up just 97 yards of offense, 41 of it coming on a late pass play.

"We try to get a shutout every week if we can," Eagles senior two-way lineman Hilton Morgan said. "If it doesn't happen it's no big deal, but it's nice."

Mercifully, the second-half clock ran continuously as rain got heavier. By the end of the third quarter, Clarke's starters were on the sideline.

"It's a good problem to have," said Clarke County coach Chris Parker, whose Eagles have outscored their first seven opponents 344-20. "I'm all about sportsmanship. But we've also got to make sure our guys are in game condition. Somewhere down the road, they're going to need to play four quarters."

The Northern Virginia Daily
152 N. Holliday St.
Strasburg, Va. 22657


FOOTBALL PREVIEW: 6th win, bounce back on Lynx agenda

WC can lock up no worse than No. 3 seed with road victory over Cadets

By Troy Banning, DFJ Sports Editor

WEBSTER CITY - With a golden ticket to the postseason already in its back pocket, the Webster City football team will head out on the road Friday night looking to match last season's regular-season win total.

A sixth win would be big for a number of reasons when the Lynx jump into the trenches with Class 3A District 2 and North Central Conference rival Iowa Falls-Alden at 7:30 p.m. For starters, it would clinch the No. 3 seed in the district and still give them an outside chance of winning the district championship. It would also erase that bad taste in the players' mouths following last week's 24-7 loss to Charles City Webster City's first setback in more than a month.

"Six wins is a heck of a lot bigger than five wins," Webster City head coach Bob Howard said. "And getting beat by Charles City is one thing, but Iowa Falls is a conference school and (our kids) are going to see these kids all the time, so they should be excited to play."

The Lynx (5-2, 4-1 District 2) currently sit in a second-place tie in the district standings with Charles City (4-3, 4-1), but the Comets own the tiebreaker because of the head-to-head win. Both are chasing second-ranked Clear Lake (7-0, 5-0), which boasts a 21-game regular-season win streak heading into its match-up this week with Hampton-Dumont (4-3, 3-2).

Webster City and Clear Lake will meet in Week 9, just five days before the postseason will begin.

Iowa Falls-Alden (3-4, 1-4) is not in the postseason picture, but that doesn't mean the Cadets won't be motivated when they step onto the field Friday night. After starting the year with a pair of non-district wins, IF-A took steps backwards in each of the first three weeks of the district season before finally getting in the win column against Algona. It dropped a 42-0 decision to Clear Lake last week.

Howard expects to see a solid offense from the Cadets and he hopes his squad will be able to bounce back after it was handled by Charles City a week ago.

"We had a real good week of practice. They didn't come out flat or pouting about (the loss)," Howard said. "(IF-A) is pretty good on offense. They've got a good offensive line and a good back that runs behind them.

"We do not want to back into the Clear Lake game or the substate game. We need to be playing good football."

The Cadets rely on sophomore running back Scott Hartema (673 yards, 8 touchdowns) to move the chains. Hartema - a speedy and powerful back - had four consecutive 100-yard games during one stretch this season, one of those a 200-yard effort.

Quarterback Nate Adams (57 of 96, 703 yards, 5 TDs, 5 interceptions) also has to be respected. But his favorite target when the season began - senior speedster Mitch Wagoner - has been out since Week 3 with a broken arm. Wagoner still leads the Cadets' receiving group in receptions (20), yards (260) and touchdowns (3).

The Cadets problems haven't been on the offensive side of the ball though. They averaged nearly 30 points per game in their first four district games, yet lost three of them. District foes are scoring 37 points per game against them.

That could play right into Webster City's hands with its single-wing scheme and balanced rushing attack. If things are going well, then expect to see tailback Ben Rasmussen (791 yards, 10 TDs), spinback Dalton Keane (469 yards, 6 TDs) and wingback Clay Nessa (320 yards, 2 TDs) all receive ample carries.

The Lynx rushed for 409 yards in last year's 50-14 beating of the Cadets. Known for its aggressive and stunting defense, IF-A may change things up this week, Howard said.

"They may completely change their defense for the single-wing, and I hope they do," he said. "I hope they put all their kids in positions they're not used to playing."

This will be the 96th all-time meeting between the two programs, dating back to 1904. Webster City holds a 65-26-4 upper-hand.


The Daily Freeman Journal

P.O. Box 490

Webster City, IA 50595


Thursday, October 15, 2009

There is nothing new about football's formation-du-jour: the Wildcat.

Jim Rapier, The Times-Picayune, October 15, 2009 12:28 a.m.

At some point, you always come back to the basics.

No matter how people may try to spin it, there is nothing new about football's formation-du-jour: the Wildcat.

If you have watched a few games in the past few seasons, you've likely seen teams line their best offensive playmaker (running back/receiver) up where the quarterback would stand in shotgun formation. The quarterback splits wide in the formation, and the player in the backfield takes a shotgun snap and can run, handoff or pass. Most teams seem to favor running out of it.

It's clever and unique-looking and effective, but all the Wildcat formation has done is really put football in a time warp -- back to the basics, back to its roots.

Welcome to single-wing football, which was invented by Pop Warner in the early 1900s.

The offense consisted of an unbalanced seven-man offensive line and three players -- fullback, tailback, quarterback -- lined up in the backfield and a wingback off the strong side end. Plays began with a shotgun snap to the tailback, fullback or quarterback, and each one had options to run, handoff, pitch or pass. There was misdirection, trap-blocking, sweeps, and option reads.

Sound familiar? Ask Ehret Coach Billy North, whose team used the Wildcat formation and faced it in last week's game against Chalmette.

"It's the single-wing, " North said after the game. "It's been around for like 50 years. It isn't some new invention. We have great player in (running back) Anthony Garrison, and we're sure to put the ball in his hands when he takes the direct snap."

So, the next time you see the Wildcat formation or even the spread-option offense -- more than likely at this week's prep games -- enjoy your trip through time and don't forget to thank Pop Warner.
New Orleans, LA

Pete Carroll & The Single-Wing

Single-Wing Discussion Starts at the 5:45 mark.

COACH CARROLL: Well, it's fun to get back going here in game week with a good break. We come back a little stronger and feeling good about that and have some guys returning that we haven't had. Kind of livens up things on the practice field, which is nice.

We look forward to this heck of a challenge that we're getting ready to go to Notre Dame. A trip that we're going to leave early, leave on Thursday to get out there and get situated and see if we can't put together a really good game for these guys.

This is the hottest Notre Dame team we've seen in a couple of years. All phases are hammering at you. Their offense is loaded. Defense is attacking and aggressive and making things happen. They've just had an extraordinary start to the season with great wins and drama everywhere, and big plays. All kinds of things.

I know they're going to be as pumped as they've been in a long time. We'll anticipate when we arrive on campus here on Friday. I'm sure we'll have a nice little crowd to welcome us, and we'll be gracious as always and look forward to it. So it's going to be a great weekend, and really just fired up about being in the middle of the preparation for this game.

Q. Where would you rank Notre Dame's passing attack among all the teams you've played this year?

COACH CARROLL: You can't be much better than they are. The efficiency he's throwing at right now, Clausen's on it. He's finding receivers. They're protecting him well. He's keeping the negative plays down. Only two picks in all the plays he's made so far. These guys are loaded.

I haven't seen the rest of the schedule, but up until now, this is the best passing team by far that we've seen. They pose the biggest challenge, and they've got big play guys either coming out of the back field or the tight end spot. Of course, Golden Tate is just having a ridiculous start to the season. So this is a very, very good attack, and they're challenging the heck out of us.

Q. You've got a lot of injuries. What does it mean to have Brian Baucham back after that terrible auto accident?
COACH CARROLL: Yeah, he just personally inspires the heck out of me. The screwball that he is, to be able to bounce back from this thing and tell the doctors I'm okay, I can practice. He's got marks and, you know, things all over him that could be attended to. He didn't care. He was just practicing. He had a great day yesterday.

So he's ready to go if he can manage it through the week. Just an inspiration, one, that he's alive, and two, that he's just kicking and fighting to get back out. Pretty cool story about this guy. So he'll be available to us if that works out. Just to have him back on the practice field is pretty cool.

Q. How do you prepare the team to play in different weather conditions? It's really cold at Notre Dame and the possibility of playing in snow?

COACH CARROLL: Couple of our guys have a little more impact on the spiritual side of things. They've worked it out so we'll get some rain today and tomorrow, and that is the best we can possibly do, you know.

Other than that, it's raining on their side, too. It's snowing or whatever it is. Of the temperature's going to be the same. We understand that. It's just how you deal with it in terms of what you can control. The weather isn't one of those things. Though we've had a little help this week.

I think it's what you make of it, you know. We can't control what they do. We can't control what the weather does. We can't control what the officials are going to do. Of we can just control our own stuff and that's where we're going to maximize our focus on that.

Q. How can you try to simulate weather conditions in practice though?

COACH CARROLL: We ask for it to rain and it does (laughing). We're not going to hose them down though if you're wondering. We thought of turning the sprinklers on, but we're not going to do that.

Q. (Indiscernible) what's the evaluation?

COACH CARROLL: They've played against some pretty good offensive players and schemes and things. Guys that have made a lot of things happen in their games and made some dramatic finishes to make it close, you know. So the drama's been on both sides of the playing field. They've had the benefit of playing a bunch of games at home and that's helped them, I know.

They have found a way, you know, to be involved and make it close and make it wild and all that, but also being on the top end of that thing. So I know that their defensive side of the ball are very aggressive. They are getting after you, they're trying to force the issue. Sometimes in doing that, you do get exposed a little bit. There have been some plays made against them. All in all they've caused people problems for the most part.

Q. Does their running attack complement their pass attack at all?

COACH CARROLL: They're a team that's interesting. They're willing to throw the ball a bunch if they think that's what's necessary in the game plan. Sometimes they'll go the other way. They're not a set style that you can tell what they're going to do in a game plan.

The Michigan State game they came out and played empty the whole first quarter, you know, ran the ball like twice or something and were moving the ball up and down the field. They adjusted from there and did some other things.

This is a team that you have to see what they think of you. It's going to take a while. We have to be flexible early in the game and adapt. See if we can get situated once they declare how they want to play it from that side of the ball.

That's how they've always been. It is kind of a wait and see what they think they need to do to win every time we play them.

Q. Have they had a running game or the running has been so so?

COACH CARROLL: Yeah, Armando Allen is a good football player. When they put Golden Tate back there, they run like crazy. They have a good running back, an experienced offensive line. They have all the schemes.

If anything, they're riding the strength of what Jimmy Clausen brings to them. They're such a high efficiency throwing game, why not? They're putting up big time yards and all that, so.

But the running game is definitely there. One that has enough variations to it, it taxes you scheme wise. They do enough that they're not just a zone team. They do a lot of things. So, they're fairly, deeply committed to the whole wildcat system and all of that. With Allen and with Tate back there, they've got a lot of different things that they can do. They give you a very difficult spectrum of things to prepare for.

Q. We've seen a lot of Wildcat teams this year. Is that something that you guys have ever considered?

COACH CARROLL: We've done it before. The last time we did it, we lost (smiling). That was Oregon State. So we haven't done it since. It's a terrific system. It's single wing football. Those of you guys that go way back, you can appreciate what that is, you know. It's a great system of offense if you have the right guy at the trigger position back there. It's interesting to see that it's not just a factor in college football, but the NFL's very much in tune to it as well. So it's just another phase of ball that we're going through.

We know all about it. We practice it, we understand how it works and all that, we just haven't felt the need to go to it yet.

Q. From a technical standpoint, what happened to the single wing from what it was in those days and UCLA?

COACH CARROLL: I think I would guess that there wasn't enough terrific players to play the tailback spot. That position is so demanding. Gary Beben was the guy probably in the early part of his career one on one were they done by then? That's the kind of guy that you need. You need a great football player that can run it and throw it.

If it's just a running game, then you have to load it up and stop it. But if you have a guy that can run and throw the thing, then it really becomes something. Right now it's a change up mode of offense. I would bet we're going to see in the next couple of years that shift. There will be some guys that will take over.

You can see what Tim Tebow's doing. He's a guy that has been able to do it all of it. Run the ball up inside, run it on the edge and throw the football. That makes it a championship offense. But there aren't many guys like that around.

Q. Was Vincent at Oregon like that?

COACH CARROLL: Yeah, he could have been. They didn't use it as much in the same fashion it was being used now. It's more of an option type of an offense. In the old days it was a very power oriented offense, where a quarterback was like another fullback, two fullbacks in essence that led plays. It was really a difficult offense. I happen to know because I used to be a single wing tailback, so...

Q. When you talk to your high school coach, would you talk to him about some of the stuff defending him?

COACH CARROLL: No, not necessarily. No. But if it continues to be a rage and people start to mix it in all situations, the variation of the spread offense, the fact that there are people in the shotgun is an offshoot of it. But until that guy becomes the downhill runner and the thrower it's not quite the same system.

The cool thing about it was the variations that came out of that offense because of the intricacies of numbers of backs in the back field. And Florida's pretty close with some of the things that they're doing right now.

Q. How do you prepare for a guy like Golden Tate?

COACH CARROLL: It's really a challenge. Really a challenge because they move them in all their receiver spots, and then he winds up behind the center getting the football. He is like a running back at receiver. He's a bigger, stronger, more physical guy when the ball's in his hands. So they have realized that. They've used him all over.

So we just have to keep track of him and know the tendencies when he moves. There are so many things you can do it's very difficult. They've done a really good job of utilizing their special guys, and he's the beneficiary of that.

Q. Any changes this week?

COACH CARROLL: We moved a few guys around. Curtis McNeal is the best guy to put back to force, you know. We use him to simulate the speed when he's in the back field. Other than that we're using different receivers to try to match them up.

Q. So much focus on that offense, how about their defense? Is this the best they've been in the last couple of years?

COACH CARROLL: They're the most aggressive they've been. Last year they started really coming after people, and this year they've picked up on that. They're pressuring well over half of the time which is a tremendous percentage of pressure from the defense. In certain games they'll get it up higher than that.

So what that causes is they're taking chances to come after you. It's very aggressive, and they cause bad plays. You can protect really well, then there are some are opportunities, because the coverage is more limited.

It's just whether or not we're able to handle the heat that they bring. If we can, we can have a chance at moving the football. If they can't, they can control the game and cause some bad things and create some negative plays and give you issues that you don't want. They're doing a nice job now. It's difficult.

Q. As they blitz so much, does that open them up to get blown for a big play?

COACH CARROLL: Yeah, there's risk and reward here. That's part of it. When you're committing people to the line of scrimmage, there is more space in the secondary. That's why protection is so important and the rhythm of the quarterback is so important to get the ball out so you don't get hit and disrupted.

The whole point of pressuring is to disrupt the offense. If you can minimize that there are opportunities to make plays, and we have to create some space and see if we can do that.

Q. Are Matt Barkley and Ronald Johnson where you want them to be right now?

COACH CARROLL: No, they've hardly worked together. (Ronald's) missed six, seven weeks. And that's not there right now. Ronald is a great worker, he'll stay late and come early and do all of that. But there's no way these guys are as sharp as they will be in time. They'll be better.

Q. Talk about Mitch Mustain's improvement? I think I read in the paper --

COACH CARROLL: Yeah, I've been surprised a couple of different times with Mitch. He's really on it right now. He's throwing the ball beautifully. I just don't know why he can't explain why. He just feels so much more comfortable now and better prepared and more confident throwing the football. There was a time there where he was struggling. That's why he was in the position that he was in, but he's just elevated.

So this has happened a couple of times. We've seen between Aaron Corp and Mitch they've kind of changed spots. So it's clear. This is not hard to see it. Mitch has just elevated his play. He's in position to get in the game a little sooner than Aaron this next time out.

Q. Do you have the feeling that there is an additional sense of urgency on their side that maybe this is the one they almost have to win?

COACH CARROLL: I don't know about have to win. But I know that this is the team that they've had the most success with coming into our game. They know they've got experience. We know they've got fire power. They have the confidence of being able to hang in very difficult games and come back and win and all of that. All that just adds to your mindset. They've got to be just about as strong as they've been in years.

With that, I would think that they're anticipating their best chance to be on top of this thing. So I don't know about have to at all. I know that they would love to. It's a big deal. I'm sure it's been a long time for them. So they'll give us everything they've got. This will be a tremendous match up. Hopefully we'll be ready.

Q. How's Stafon Johson doing and how's the dynamic changed on the team?

COACH CARROLL: Well, I just talked to his mom before coming in. He's really doing well. He's sleeping extremely better than he did when he had some of the equipment in him. And really looking forward to quite possibly getting out tomorrow if everything works out right.

That's a great accomplishment for him. He's going to be pretty comfortable and free to do a lot of stuff. He's in such good shape right now. There is still a process for all of the recovery of all of the intricacies here. But he's going to be out and about and all of that, so we're thrilled for him.

All of the guys that have had a chance to see him and been around him have been uplifted by his spirit. He's amazing. He's amazing. He's blown away the doctors with his ability to recover and his strength and courage and toughness and all that. It's just accelerated everything.

So hopefully he'll come out of here feeling pretty good. In the next couple of weeks it will be really important to see where his recovery goes and what stage he's at. The main thing is he's feeling better. He's going to start exercising. He's just about back with us. So we can't wait to see him.

Q. Where is he with his voice?

COACH CARROLL: He's not able to do anything yet with that. This is something that they're waiting for. I don't have any idea what the timeline is on that. It's something they're not allowing him to even test in any way.

I've asked him in the middle of the night are you whispering to see? And he's been very disciplined about it. He's done a great job in the preparation and the rehab. Hopefully he'll get extraordinarily good results, soon.

Q. (Indiscernible)?

COACH CARROLL: Yeah, I think it's going to turn out. We'll wait to see in the next couple of days, but I think it's going to turn out to be a medical whatever that's called, a medical situation so that he can get out of having to finish these classes.

He's going to have a choice what he wants to do next year. So we'll figure all that out in time. But I'm glad he's got options whether to come back or go on to the NFL. We'll wait and see on that one.

Q. So he's going to get a medical red shirt?

COACH CARROLL: There is a big process to go through. But he does fall into the category where he's eligible to get his year back.

Q. It seemed that you got settled into Joe McKnight and Allen Bradford which is kind of a nice push.

COACH CARROLL: We've been looking towards that for a couple of weeks now to see how that fits. We've always liked the change in guys and the different dimensions that players bring. Allen certainly does run downhill, and he's physical and all of that. He has great speed to get in good places.

Joe's off to a great start this season I've had the one two punch. The one, two, three punch. Whatever it takes. So I still feel like we're developing and we're still kind of in progress, a work in progress and putting it together.

There is a chance that that could take hold here, you know. I'm anxious to see how C.J. Gable comes in, and what Curtis McNeal can do as well, so we're working on it.

Q. Bradford was asked last game and he said he didn't think he was productive. He's missing cuts or something?

COACH CARROLL: Yeah, he can get better. I think that's a good assessment for him. Just being humble and all of that. He had a good game last week out. But he'll continue to get better, you know. He's trying to find his style.

We really want him to be aggressive and attack the line of scrimmage. As he's seeking that out, sometimes he's making the decision to run in, and guys run over guys. So that's what we're talking about there. He's still a fairly young running back for us. He hasn't carried the ball that much. He's only going to get better. And we're jacked that he does bring some real special dimensions, you know.

He certainly can score, and when he's coming downhill at you, he's a load. So we're hoping this will turn into a really big factor for us.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Dolphins ran over Jets and humbled Ryan

The way Miami runs it, the "Wildcat" formation is no gimmick. It's a straight power running game, and a defense better bring hard hats, work boots and sledgehammers or risk getting run over at the point of attack the way the Jets did in their 31-27 loss to the Dolphins on Monday night.

A week earlier, you could hear the confidence in the voice of Jets coach Rex Ryan when he suggested the Fish were beating up conventional defenses, but it would be a different story against his blitzing schemes. But as he watched the Dolphins run through his pride and joy to regain the lead for the third time in the fourth quarter alone, Ryan was in such a state of disbelief that he neglected to use his timeouts to stop the clock and leave time for his offense to respond.

When Miami's Ronnie Brown ran past Jets linebacker Bart Scott for the winning touchdown, only six seconds remained on the clock. Looking back, Ryan admitted to reporters in a conference call Tuesday afternoon, "I would have handled it differently. But I do have a lot of confidence in that group. I assumed we'd stop them ... I should have been more mindful, but I knew we could stop them."

Except the Jets didn't come close to stopping the Dolphins in the fourth quarter. Ryan said he could recall something like that happening to his powerful Baltimore defense once against Cincinnati. "I'm mad," he said. "That's unacceptable…Absolutely, it was a humbling experience."

A little dose of humility for Ryan and a serving of anger directed toward his defense in practice this week might turn out to be the best thing that could happen to the 3-2 Jets, who were full of themselves after a 3-0 start that included a win over New England. Now, they're in a tough division race with the Patriots and Dolphins and have a division game coming up against Buffalo on Sunday at home.

Ryan plans to ask his team to go full speed in practice for a better picture and better preparation. What he needs to ask from his defense is a greater commitment to physical play.

Just loading up to blitz by scheming to create a numbers advantage isn't enough. The Jets haven't sacked a quarterback in two weeks, which is one reason a backup like Chad Henne was able to look as good as New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees did a week earlier. They might get the ball away quickly, but somebody has to get enough pressure to hit them in the act.

Same thing against the run. Ryan noted the Dolphins' 151 rushing yards actually were more than 30 yards below their average. The "Wildcat" is a version of the old single-wing and is effective because the quarterback is replaced by an extra blocker at the point of attack. Ryan was loathe to admit that the Dolphins' offensive line flat-out handled the Jets defensive line physically, but that's exactly what happened. They got pounded on Miami's winning drive, and that has to change.

On the bright side, wide receiver Braylon Edwards dazzled a few days after the traded that brought him to the Jets, and rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez bounced back from a bad game, though he often holds the ball too long while searching for a receiver. But as heartening as that might be, the Jets are going nowhere unless their defense backs up Ryan's bluster.

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That means winning the physical battles that were lost in Miami. Ryan's guys better work it out the next two weeks against the Bills and out in Oakland because they have less than three weeks until the rematch with the Dolphins at the Meadowlands.

As Ryan said, "This is a setback. We take one step back to make a huge leap forward. The proof will be in the pudding to see how we perform these next several weeks."


235 Pinelawn Road
Melville, NY 11747


Conway Springs-Garden Plain preview: Game of the century? Probably not.

By Tracy McCue
GateHouse News Service
Thu Oct 15, 2009, 02:52 PM CDT

Wellington, Kan. - Conway Springs head football coach Matt Biehler made an interesting comment.

"Oh, it's another game on the schedule," he said of the upcoming home game with Garden Plain.

Friday night's district opener between No. 1 rated Conway Springs and No. 2 Garden Plain is anything but "another game on the schedule," and he knows it.

But if one looks at this rivalry from a long-term perspective over the past decade, this game really isn’t that much different than the Conway Springs vs. Garden Plain games of years’ past.

It seems it doesn’t matter when these two teams play, it is "always" a big game. It's has almost become a cliche.

There are plenty of high school rivalries across the Kansas landscape. But rarely is there one where both teams are this good this close together.

"I can only think of one, Rossville and Silver Lake," Biehler said.

The history bears no repeating. Both have won the last two state championships, and have resulted in ending each other's long winning streaks during this decade.

The kids know each other, marry girls from the opposing towns, have family get togethers with one another. And on that one given Friday, perhaps twice, they want to bash each other's brains in.

And as always, it's hard to distinguish just who might be a favorite going into this game.

Little has separated the two as far as the schedule and statistics are concerned. No other Central Plains League team has been able to challenge the twin towers for years — with the exception of the 2008 season opener when Cheney upset Conway Springs.

Again this is the district opener and both teams are 6-0. No other Central Plains League opponent has come within 20 points of these two in 2009.

Both schools have big kids and lots of depth. They all are well entrenched with how they do things.

As always, statistically, both teams are running roughshod over people.

The Owls, in particular, are averaging 53 points per game and has allowed just 42 points this season.

They run a variety of backs with Seth Klausmeyer, getting the bulk of the carries. He has rushed for 600 yards so far this year. Against Wichita Trinity, he sprinted for 202 yards on 18 carries.

Quarterback-wise Garden Plain is led by Thomas Bugner, who has passed for 768 yards this season and 11 touchdowns. He averages 130.7 points per game.

"He is a good big-sized quarterback and has the ability to make the big plays," Biehler said. “The key is to contain him.

Biehler said the game will be won on the line. The team that has the advantage in the trenches should win this game.

For Garden Plain, that means stopping Conway Springs’ misdirection in the single wing.

The last time these two met, Garden Plain didn’t come close.

In the state semifinals, Conway Springs avenged an earlier 21-7 loss to Garden Plain, with a 45-25 throttling. Conway Springs ran for big yards — 464 of them to be exact — and five different backs rushed for good yardage. It was a blowout of mammoth proportions.

For two programs that had little separating them, there was plenty of separation that night.

It's been a streaky series.

Conway Springs dominated Garden Plain with ­nine straight wins dating back to 1998.

But in 2005, there was a shift that saw Garden Plain win five straight.

Last November in the playoffs, Conway Springs broke the streak.

But is Friday's game really that big between these two? After all Conway Springs lost the 2008 regular season game only to win the state championship more than a month later.

Of course it is. It always is. It's that darn town down the road thing, dang it.

But aside from all the statewide attention and the intense rivalry, at its core is a district loss. A loss makes things more difficult for the loser.

Last year, Conway Springs was thrown in a tougher playoff bracket than Garden Plain and ended up playing Wichita Collegiate, Beloit and others before getting back to the Owls.

Still the Cards got the last laugh.

"It's a fun game to play," Biehler said. "The kids are excited and there's a lot of buzz in the community.

"Throughout the season, the kids have really been good at focusing on one game at a time. But, preparing for this game, I must admit is always a lot more exciting."

Belle Plaine head football coach Brian Seba said the Dragons are looking forward to next season.

It was a joke, but there is some truth to it. The Dragons play, no doubt, the hardest district schedule in 3A.

The Dragons play Medicine Lodge which is 4-2 this Friday. Then it's Conway Springs and Garden Plain, No. 1 and 2 in the state.

Medicine Lodge may be the easiest team of the bunch.

"They have a new coach and like to run a spread offense, which is typical for young coaches under the age of 40," Seba said.

Belle Plaine just got off losing to Cheney 57-0.

"That was the first time this season where I felt we truly got beat," Seba said. "Usually we play really tough defense, but tend to make mental mistakes in certain situations and give up the big play.

Friday we were beat for all four quarters."

Tyler Jantz, the starting wide receiver, is expected to be out with a hip flexer. Four players have missed practice this week because of sickness. But are expected back by game time.

Wellington Daily News
113 W. Harvey
Wellington, KS 67152


Davis runs Wild(cats)

By Russell Korando

On a night better suited for waterfowl, the rain and mud of Luxembourg Field rolled right off the Wildcats' backs and they barged their way into the state record book.

After rain saturated St. Charles County for 48 hours last week, Wright City traveled to Orchard Farm to meet the Eagles in an Eastern Missouri Conference game. The field was a soggy mess, and just lifting a foot out of the quagmire took a lot of effort. Players tackled in the middle of the field splashed water a few feet high.

It was a running team's worst nightmare, right?

As it turned out, the pass-orientated offense of the Eagles got bogged down, while the Wildcats ran their single wing to perfection. Junior running back Trent Davis followed fullback Joey Quesenberry's seal blocks on the edge on several plays, and the offensive line of Wyatt Mohrmann, Jake Zumwalt, Andrew Sherman, Kyle Lewis and Nick Reese opened the door for Davis to have a record-setting night.

Davis carried the ball 43 times and gained 466 yards rushing and the Wildcats bludgeoned the Eagles 42-20. Davis' rushing total was the fourth best single-game performance in state history. CBC's Rayon Simmons holds the state record with 533 yards, set in 2007.

"They did a great job of focusing in and doing a great job of making holes," said Wright City coach James Weir. "I told them before the game that the team that won would be the one that did not care that it was cold and wet."

There's an old saying, 'even the longest journey starts with a single step'. Davis' record-setting night started with a 1-yard gain. The Eagles had already scored a touchdown and led 7-0. But then Davis gained four yards . . . then six. His longest run of the night was a 77-yard touchdown that gave the Wildcats a 20-7 lead in the second quarter.

"It was raining all day, but we weren't going to let that stop us," Davis said. "We were having fun out there. The line did a great job and made the holes for me. It was slippery, but we somehow managed to keep our footing and get everything we needed."

Davis has scored 26 of his team's 34 touchdowns this year. He's rushed for 1,769 yards and averages more than 9 yards per carry. He broke Jed Hill's single-season rushing yards record of 1,423, set in 2002.

Twice, the Wildcats had 1-play possessions because of a combination of Davis' running and his teammates' blocking.

"It is nice, but we do not get too excited about individual accomplishments until after the season," Weir said. "The most important thing is that we did what we needed to do to win the game."

Early this season, the Wildcats started using the single wing formation, and the offense has clicked ever since. The single wing is so old an offensive concept, that it was on the critically endangered offenses list. But if the Wildcats' success gains a foothold, other teams are sure to follow, just as they did with the spread offense.

"I don't know what it's called, but it's powerful," Davis said smiling on Friday.

Weir said Davis' success is because he's an unselfish person who works hard in practice and trusts his teammates. And he's not alone. Quarterback Zac Kaibel and receiver Deon Bradshaw are also talented offensive players who excel in their roles. Kaibel had a 40-yard run on the Wildcats' opening series Friday.

The Wildcats' four-game winning streak and all of those yards Davis gained last week won't mean much if they lose their next three games. They begin play in Class 2 District 5 this week against Centralia, which Weir said was the No. 1 football team in the state, classes 1 through 3.

"I told them you have to win two of three (district games) - plain and simple," Weir said. "Survive and advance!"
Suburban Journals
14522 South Outer Forty Rd.
Town and Country, MO 63017