Game Stats Game Recap Game Possession Chart
|September 4 NORTH vs Mater Dei VARSITY Offensive Stats|
|BLANKENSHIP||9||6||67%||112||2||2||1-7 yd TD (Lewis); 2-24 yd TD (Rushing)|
|STROHMEIER||10||5||50%||35||1||1||1-13 yd TD (Kinnaird)|
|LEWIS||3||3||47||15.7||1||33||7 yd TD|
|KINNAIRD||3||6||36||12.0||1||19||13 yd TD|
|RUSHING||2||4||34||17.0||1||24||24 yd TD|
|* thrown to|
|Player||Total||TD rush||TD rec||TD ret||2pt XP||XP kick||FG|
|Sept 4 NORTH vs MATER DEI Team Stats|
|5.8||Avg yds per rush||0.7|
|13.4||Avg yds per completion||15.6|
|1 / 2||Sacked / Yards Lost||4 / 33|
|6.4||Avg yds per play||5.1|
|3||Passes HAD intercepted||1|
|0||Points scored off turnovers||15|
|8 / 80||PENALTIES / YARDS||5 / 50|
|5 / 13||3rd down conversions||1 / 9|
|1 / 1||4th down conversions||1 / 1|
Offensive line blocking scores:
|NORTH VS MATER DEI 9/4/2009 - DEFENSIVE STATS|
|PLAYER||SOLO||ASST.||T-FL||SACK||C FUM||R FUM||INT||BK||POINTS|
The Huskies managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on Friday night.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.
But it’s the way it turned out against a battling Mater Dei Wildcat team.
In every aspect of the game, North held an advantage by a huge margin… except the final score.
In a game which the Huskies out gained their opponent by nearly a two-to-one advantage, had a time of possession advantage of 29:30 to 17:30, and held the vaunted Wildcat running back (who had run for over 400 yards in their first two games) to just 30 yards, North lost.
North also lost senior quarterback Matt Strohmeier in the first half to a knee injury. Strohmeier’s status will be determined later this coming week, but concerns about his knee were serious on the sideline and prospects for a quick recovery were not bright following early analysis.
CLEMENTS’ NIGHT OF BIG PLAYS GETS STARTED
It was a night that started as so many start for the Huskies—full of promise, an early lead, and the chance to break out early.
On the first play from scrimmage, running back Cameron Clements (nursing a sore leg) showed little sign of any lingering injuries by breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage and scooting 43 yards to the Mater Dei 25. North battered away at the Wildcat defense, but when a holding penalty moved the offense back to a 3rd and 19 predicament, it appeared the drive would stall.
On 3rd down, Strohmeier found WR Bo Rushing, running a short curl pattern on the right hand side, with a ten yard completion to set up 4th and 9 from the 13. Coach Mike Wilson never flinched, sent in a play, and seconds later watched junior receiver Caleb Kinnaird catch a touchdown pass on a post route. The Huskies led 7-0 after Derek Hinsey’s extra point kick split the uprights.
North forced a punt on Mater Dei’s first possession and then enjoyed a strange turn of events on their first play from scrimmage of the ensuing drive.
Strohmeier looked for senior WR Keenan Lewis on a deep route in front of the Mater Dei bench. Both the defender and the receiver were jostling one another as they tracked the flight of the ball and the officials threw a penalty flag for interference against the defensive back. The Wildcat coach became so infuriated with the call that he drew another 15 yard penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and North quickly had a first down and ten at the Mater Dei 39 without having to work for it.
The sequence of events served as a precursor of the game’s closing moments.
North strung together a 9 play drive that ate up five minutes of clock but stalled when the Huskies fumbled the ball on the Wildcat five yard line.
Penned deep in their territory and with DT Ivan Irvine throwing the Wildcat runner for a three yard loss on first down, Mater Dei had to call plays conservatively and was quickly faced with 4th down and long. Punting from underneath their own goal post, their punter shanked his kick out of bounds and the Huskies were rewarded with the ball at the Mater Dei 28.
On the first play of the possession, Clements took a play called a “Pitch Trap” (which looks like an inside reverse off of a fake toss to the half back) and raced 24 yards to set up 1st and goal from the four yard line. RB Brandon Scott breezed through a huge hole when FB Ryan Wickham used a ‘can opener’ approach to blocking the Wildcat linebacker—Wickham used perfect technique and the hole was wide enough to drive a truck straight into the end zone. Hinsey’s second kick made the score 14-0 in favor of the Green and White.
THE BEST LAID PLAN PRODUCES A QUICK SIX POINTS FOR MATER DEI
Mater Dei’s next possession went no where, principally because Clements, playing middle linebacker, stuffed the Wildcats’ star tailback for a two yard loss on second down. When their next punt rolled dead at the North 40, it certainly appeared that the Huskies were in position to make the game into a rout.
Following an incomplete pass, senior center Andrew Kuhlenhoelter opened a slice in the center of the Mater Dei line and Brandon Scott jetted into Wildcat territory. After two more short runs, North was facing 3rd and 6 when the decision was made to put the ball in the air from the Mater Dei 40.
Sometimes the best laid plans go wrong for the oddest reasons. The next play was one of those moments.
On a rout described as a ‘crossing pattern’ down the deep middle, two Husky receivers took off from opposite sides of the line of scrimmage. The routes they ran called for them to pass near one another while traveling in opposite directions deep in the Mater Dei secondary. Their paths are designed to force the opponent’s safety to commit to one receiver or the other and the quarterback will then attempt the pass to whichever receiver the safety chooses to leave in single coverage.
On this play, a play that the team practice’s dozens of times over the course of the summer, the Wildcat linebackers bumped both receivers early in their respective routes. Both receivers adjusted their patterns slightly to account for the contact and, in doing so, they over adjusted just enough that they ran into one another a few steps later.
Having seen the safety commit to one receiver early, Strohmeier let go of the pass as he is trained to do and the ball sailed to the point where the receiver drawing single coverage should have been. Unfortunately, due to the receivers running into one another, the pass was thrown into an area where there was no North player. The defender, with no one to cover due to the collision between the two receivers, was able to focus on the pass, take the ball in with his eyes already looking downfield, and line up a path to the end zone.
15 seconds and 70 yards later, the Wildcat cornerback cut the Husky lead to 7 points.
KICKING GAME DEPENDS ON LUCKY (OR UNLUCKY) BOUNCES
North and Mater Dei both had uneven kicking games on this evening. For Mater Dei, the issue was limited to their punting game. While no punt ever went a great distance in the air for them, they were dependent on the fate of bounces. More often than not on the evening, the ball bounced their way and their punts seemed to roll on and on deeper into North territory long after they first hit the ground.
For their part, the Huskies received a bit of a boost from new place kicker David Patton on kickoffs. A soccer player by choice, his kickoffs seemed to have some additional height that allowed for better coverage downfield.
On punts, however, unlike the Wildcats, the bounces just would not work out in the Huskies’ favor this particular evening. Punter Ryan Caldwell’s best efforts soared off his toe and carried well through the air. On those occasions when he didn’t strike the ball well, lady luck refused to smile on the Huskies. Rather than roll further into enemy territory, the oblong pigskin seemed to prefer to bounce back towards North’s line.
When one such punt was downed at the North 38 with 2:06 remaining in the half, Mater Dei took to the air.
MATER DEI PRODUCES ANOTHER QUICK SCORE
Up to that point, North had bottled up Mater Dei completely. The Wildcats had managed only 18 yards of total offense on 14 plays and generated a single first down not caused by a penalty. In the first 22 minutes of play, a team that averaged over 200 yards rushing per game had just two carries that had resulted in positive yardage. North owned the line of scrimmage.
The first play from scrimmage was no different. LB Tyler May shot through a gap on the blitz and had a hand on the Mater Dei quarterback when he released the ball on a desperate pass. Surrounded by green defenders, the quarterback was lucky to get the ball away.
With the play looking to be a big loss, the quarterback had moved a bit and given his receivers an extra second to continue in their routes. He tossed the ball at the last possible second.
The ball was caught by Mater Dei’s largest receiver, pried from the hands of a smaller defender, and he spun free all alone along the side line. Shifting his field, the receiver darted the additional 20 yards to the end zone and the score was tied at 14 all.
GARRETT MAKES HOLES FOR SCOTT
Senior Marcus Garrett moved from his customary fullback role for this game to left guard when the North offensive line was hit hard by injury during the Henderson County game. Garrett’s presence was felt throughout this particular night. North ran consistently well to its left all night long and the big senior’s ability to manhandle the Wildcat defensive tackle across from his was a big reason for that. On no play was Garrett’s ability more apparent than on the second play of North’s final first half possession.
With a 1:50 to play in the half and 69 yards from the end zone, it looked like North would have to settle for a draw a halftime. Wickham picked up four yards on a quick opener to push the ball out to the 35 on first down.
On second and six, the Huskies ran a play called 23 Lead to the weak side.—which is to say, North was counting on Garrett’s ability to handle his man one-on-one and give running back Brandon Scott somewhere to run. Garrett did his part and so did Scott.
Boy, oh boy, did they both do their jobs well.
Garrett blasted the tackle and the ferocity of his block carried the defender into the linebacker. Scott cut outside as he stepped through the hole vacated by the defensive tackle and with the linebacker trying to untangle himself from the carnage, the race was ‘no contest’.
Scott zoomed 56 yards inside the Mater Dei 10 yard line to set up 1st and goal before being forced down.
A NEW QUARTERBACK EMERGES
The North faithful breathed a collective gasp, however, when quarterback Matt Strohmeier came limping off the field following the play. The senior had gone down once during the first quarter when he was hit hard just as he let go of a pass and then favored his knee earlier in the second quarter. This time he was in noticeable pain and Coach Wilson looked to the bench for recently-returned-to-practice back up quarterback Luke Blankenship.
Blankenship is a junior and had split time with Strohmeier quarterbacking the 2008 junior varsity team to a City championship. He possesses a strong arm and threw three touchdown passes for the jayvees last season that were at least 50 yards in length.
He had also missed all of August battling mononucleosis and had only returned to wearing pads on Tuesday of this week.
He had taken only a handful of snaps during practice scrimmages this week.
With 22 seconds to play in the half of a tie ball game, Blankenship calmly took two practice snaps on the sideline, trotted into the game, and threw a perfectly timed “fade” pass to senior Keenan Lewis for a touchdown with 14 seconds to spare.
Hinsey’s kick went wide right, but the Huskies led at halftime 20-14.
NORTH MISCUE GIVES MATER DEI SECOND HALF LEAD
Coming out from half time, it was apparent that the Wildcats had given up any hope of running the ball. North’s defense pinned back their ears and teed off on the Mater Dei quarterback. First, safety Derek Hinsey dropped the quarterback for a one yard loss after he’d been flushed from the pocket and forced to run and then Marcus Garrett scored a 14 yard sack from his defensive tackle post to force 3rd and 25 from the Mater Dei 34.
As improbable as it seemed, and with defenders hanging off of him, the Wildcat quarterback completed a 24 yard strike on third down and then ran a quarterback sneak on fourth down to pick up the first down with a yard to spare.
North’s defense broke down completely on the following play when a defensive back ‘bit’ on a short route run by a ‘decoy’ receiver and left the deep middle portion of the field wide open. The Wildcat quarterback exploited the miscue and delivered a 40 yard touchdown pass to an open receiver in the end zone.
From 3rd and 25 on their own 34, Mater Dei went 66 yards on three plays and regained the lead 21-20.
CLEMENTS MAKES ANOTHER STAND
Following a North fumble in Mater Dei territory, it fell to the defense to bottle up the Wildcat offense again. On third down, Cameron Clements (having an All-City kind of night) shot through a gap and roughly sacked the quarterback for a five yard loss to force another Mater Dei punt.
Clements re-injured his leg on the play, however, and without his running skills it fell to Brandon Scott and Luke Blankenship to carry the load on offense.
The next possession consisted of four runs by Scott and a pair of twenty-four yard completions by Blankenship. The first completion came on a perfectly executed “play-action” fake handoff to Scott that fooled the crowd, the P.A. announcer, the sidelines, and, most importantly, the defenders. Ryan Wickham collected the pass at the Mater Dei 25.
Three plays later Blankenship stood in the pocket and took a hard shot that threw him to the ground as he let go of his pass. The ball was delivered perfectly on target, however, and WR Bo Rushing leapt high for the ball, hauled it in, spun out of the hands of the defender, and dove into the end zone to give North the lead at 26-21.
With a 5 point lead, the North coaches elected to go for a two point conversion and Scott was stopped short of the goal line on the attempt.
The North defense bent but never broke on Mater Dei’s next three possessions. Derek Hinsey intercepted a pass on the second and Clements again sacked the quarterback on the third to set up “third-down-and-forever”.
When Mater Dei’s punt rolled dead at the North 27 with five minutes to play, by all appearances, the Husky faithful believed that a couple of first downs might just put the game out of reach. The got their first first-down when Clements returned to the game at fullback and bulled his way four yards to convert a third down and set up 1st and 10 near the 40.
Three plays later, however, Blankenship rolled to his right and appeared to stumble slightly as he looked for Clements looping out of the backfield. He let go of the ball and the wobble was apparent from the time it took flight. The wobble was still apparent as it floated short of its target and into the hands of a Mater Dei defender near midfield.
THE GAME WINNER
With a short field ahead of them and 2 minutes to play, there were still no guarantees (based upon recent experience) that Mater Dei could generate the 56 yards they needed to win the game. When LB Kyle Holland had an interception opportunity bounce off his hands on first down, the likelihood appeared even less certain.
On second and ten, the North defense flushed the quarterback from the pocket with a tremendous blitz. Unfortunately, outside containment on the left side failed and the Wildcat QB ran across midfield to the North 42.
On the next play, the North defense dropped back in coverage and despite the fact that the receiver was covered on a corner route to the deep right side, the Huskies gave up a 22 yard gain to their 20 yard line.
With a minute and 30 seconds to play, Mater Dei was still in negative yards gained rushing for the game. With a minute and 20 seconds to play, their tailback had put them into positive yards gained rushing for the game when he burst through a hole on counter play and then wasn’t brought down until he reached the 3 yard line. Two dive plays later he drove into the end zone for the eventual game winning score. Mater Dei added a two point conversion and the die was cast for a 29-26 final score with just 53 seconds to play.
HUSKIES LAST GASP REACHES INSIDE THE WILDCAT 10 YARD LINE AND THEN…
Faced with the prospect of less than a minute to play and needing a field goal to tie and counting on a quarterback with all of three hours of practice under his belt this season, the Huskies could have given up.
Instead, they went to work…
…and nearly succeeded.
A Wildcat “squib” kick designed to limit kick returns was downed at the 39 yard line. On first down WR Keenan Lewis collected an inside screen pass on the left side, raced against the flow of the defense (which had set up deep in a ‘prevent’ style formation) along a seam underneath the coverage, and was finally run out of bounds at the Mater Dei 28 with 42 seconds to play.
For a chance at a game tying field goal, in all likelihood, the Huskies needed to move the ball near the 10 with time left on the clock in order to make the attempt.
On the next play, Blankenship dropped back, scanned the field from the pocket, and laced a pass to Caleb Kinnaird inside the Mater Dei 10 yard line. The Husky stands erupted in a cheer that was abruptly silenced by a yellow flag and a holding call. Instead of 1st and goal from the 9 with 34 seconds to play and two time outs remaining, the play was coming back and the ball was to be spotted at the 38.
The Husky sidelines reacted with something other than silence and the referee in charge threw a second yellow flag on the play for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. The ball was moved back an additional 15 yards and North faced 1st and 35 from inside their own territory.
When a wide receiver was called for an offside penalty prior to the start of the next play, North had gone from 1st and goal at the 9 to 1st and 40 from their 42 without the clock having run off one second.
When Blankenship was sacked for a loss on the next play from scrimmage, it set up 2nd and 42—an uncommon down and distance if ever there was one—and was followed in short order by an interception on a desperation pass and a kneel down by Mater Dei to run out the clock.
THE OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN ARE THERE, EXECUTION HAS TO FOLLOW
If the Huskies want to be a force in the SIAC Conference or City races, they have to get better at capitalizing on scoring opportunities. This week they fumbled twice in Mater Dei territory (once inside the ten), missed extra points, and fell victim to defensive miscues in the backfield that wiped out a great effort by the front line.
Noticeably improved week over week was the play of both lines. Coach Marty Ohlsen was a vocal and visual presence on the sideline rather than up in the booth and his impact was apparent. Offering ideas on technique, making certain that alignments were maintained, and reinforcing the game plan, both the offensive and defensive lines played with confidence and dominance. The statistics bear out the assertion—four sacks of the quarterback and holding the opponent to under 1 yard per carry while North gained 257 yards rushing on nearly 6 yards per carry and didn’t allow a sack of the quarterback until the game’s final 20 seconds.
Next week’s opponent, the Castle Knights, rate a two touchdown favorite over the Huskies according to the Sagarin ratings. North hasn’t fared well in past seasons on the road in Newburgh.
But there are signs that we are improving. The signs are all there like the improving line play and the increasing depth at running back. Our receivers are going up for footballs like they own them.
The game plan being developed by the Coaching staff is putting North in a position to win—all that remains is for this club to convince itself that it truly is a winner. The Huskies had second half leads in both of its two losses—this is a team that should be three and oh.
When and if it puts all its pieces together, the 2009 Huskies can still be a contender despite the two losses.
|Sept 4 NORTH vs Mater Dei Possessions|
|N32||8||5||3||68||2||3:00||TD||Clements runs 43 yards on 1st play; Kinnaird catches 13 yd TD||7 - 0|
|M26||4||1||2||17||1||1:55||Punt||1st down face mask penalty on Holland.||7 - 0|
|N31||11||9||2||64||4||5:10||fumble||Interference call followed by Bench penalty gives North 30 yards on 1st play; Compton fumbles on 4th & 1 at 3 yd line.||7 - 0|
|MATER DEI--First 3 plays 1st quarter, Punt begins 2nd QUARTER|
|M5||3||3||0||-2||0||1:55||Punt||Irvine throws runner for loss on 1st down||7 - 0|
|M28||2||2||0||28||0||0:30||TD||Clements runs 24 yards on pitch trap on 1st play; Wickham block opens hole into end zone for Scott 4 yd TD run.||14 - 0|
|M30||4||2||2||-3||0||2:00||Punt||Clements throws runner for loss on 2nd down||14 - 0|
|N40||5||2||3||15||1||2:10||INT||MD returns interception 60 yards for touchdown||14 - 7|
|N30||3||1||2||3||0||1:10||Punt||Compton can't hold onto 3rd down pass in flat||14 - 7|
|M25||4||2||2||13||1||2:05||Punt||Irvine hurries 3rd down pass attempt with big rush||14 - 7|
|N17||3||2||1||-2||0||1:40||Punt||30 yd punt gets returned 9 yards to net just 21 yards||14 - 7|
|N38||1||0||1||38||0||0:10||TD||38 yd TD pass on 1st play||14 - 14|
|N31||4||3||1||69||1||1:35||TD||Scott runs 56 yards on second play; Strohmeier injured; Lewis catches 10 yd TD on fade route from Blankenship.||20 - 14|
|XP no good|
|M32||1||1||0||1||0||0:10||Half||20 - 14|
|M31||6||3||3||69||2||2:30||TD||40 yd TD pass down middle on blown coverage||20 - 21|
|N36||7||5||2||24||2||2:40||Fumble||Clements converts 3rd & 1; Scott fumbles on 1st down at MD 40||20 - 21|
|M32||3||1||2||-5||0||1:05||Punt||Clements sacks QB on 3rd down||20 - 21|
|N47||5||3||2||53||1||1:55||TD||22 yard play-action pass to Wickham on second play; Blankenship takes big hit on 3rd & 9 but hits Rushing with 24 yd TD pass||26 - 21|
|2pt conversion run no good|
|M28||6||1||5||-5||1||1:50||Punt||Davis sacks QB on 1st down at midfield; punt rolls dead on North 8||26 - 21|
|NORTH -- First play 3rd quarter; rest of possession 4TH QUARTER|
|N8||5||4||1||26||1||3:00||Punt||Blankenship to Kinnaird 19 yard pass gains breathing room.||26 - 21|
|M30||5||1||4||30||2||1:10||INT||Hinsey intercepts 2nd down pass||26 - 21|
|N37||4||4||0||0||0||2:15||Punt||15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty on 2nd down; 28 yard punt.||26 - 21|
|M35||3||1||2||-9||0||1:20||Punt||Clements sacks QB on 2nd down||26 - 21|
|N27||5||4||1||19||1||3:00||INT||Blankenship stumbles on roll out pass and throws INT on 3rd and 3.||26 - 21|
|M43||6||4||2||57||3||1:10||TD||17 yard run sets up 1st & goal at 2 yard line||26 - 29|
|2 pt conversion run good|
|N39||4||1||3||1||1||0:45||INT||Lewis gains 33 yds on inside screen--sets up 1st & 10 at MD 28. Completion to Kinnaird inside MD 10 negated by penalties. Series of events sets up 1st & 40 yds to go.||26 - 29|
|N40||1||1||0||0||0||0:05||game||26 - 29|
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