Tuesday, September 25, 2012Author: Jonathan Herrmann
(Last modified: 2012-09-25 09:15:41)
Loudon did not put in the kind of performance a team expects to come away from with a win, but that's exactly what happened Friday night against Sweetwater.
The Redskins were penalized 11 times for 92 yards in the game, but escaped narrowly with an 8-7 win.
On the opening drive of the game Sweetwater quarterback Andrew Barr found Nick Wicker for a 34-yard pass completion to set up the Wildcats in Loudon territory.
A sack by Tyler Elliott helped put Sweetwater in a fourth and 14 situation, but Barr connected with Hunter Humphreys, who turned up field and followed a block from a deep receiver into the end zone to grab an early 7-0 lead.
"They did some things early to confuse us a little bit with their substitutions," Loudon coach Jeff Harig said. "They got us confused a little bit on that first drive and we just didn't match up."
Loudon's first two drives would end three and out, and at the end of the first quarter the score would stand at 7-0 Redskins trailing.
In the second quarter Loudon came out in a jumbo set with an extra offensive tackle and handed off twice to Jake Mourfield, who rushed 28 yards and then 36 yards for a touchdown.
Sweetwater would jump off sides on the point after touchdown attempt, moving the ball inside the two-yard line.
The Redskins decided to go for two points. Quarterback Trent Elliott faked the hand off and bootlegged out to the left side.
With no receivers open he dove for the goal line, just making it across for a successful two-point conversion.
"I felt like, because they jumped off sides, that it would give us a chance to establish some kind of identity," Harig said. "Trent was lucky to make a play and dive into the end zone."
On the ensuing drive for the Wildcats, Brandon Tallent would intercept Barr, returning the ball nine yards to the Loudon 28.
Another three and out would halt any momentum from the turnover though.
Just before the half ended Loudon put together a somewhat successful drive.
The Redskins moved the ball from the Loudon 22, driving 51 yards to the Sweetwater 31.
A pair of tipped passes from Elliott, followed by the quarterback being flushed from the pocket and forced to scramble for a gain of four yards, would bring the half to an end with Loudon on top by one.
Neither team could muster a drive in the second half.
Defensively the Redskins held Sweetwater to just one first down in the second half, which they immediately followed with an interception from Tyler Ferguson.
Sweetwater was only able to gain a total of seven yards against Loudon in the second half of play.
However, the offense for Loudon did very little as well, with their only substantial drive coming to a halt on back-to-back penalties that forced the Redskins in to a fourth and 23 situation after moving into a first down and 10 at the Sweetwater 22.
"Offensively they hit us in the mouth," defensive end and tight end Tyler Elliott said. "Fortunately our defense stood up and really helped us out."
Sweetwater caused problems for the Loudon offensive line all game, breaking quickly into the back field to rush Elliott on pass plays and stop several runs for a loss.
"I thought their kids got after us," Harig said. "I thought they did a good job of playing with toughness and I though their coaches had a good plan."
The win was a much needed one as the Redskins entered the game 1-3 after playing a very difficult opening schedule, but there was still little celebration from most of the players.
"We've got to play both sides of the ball," Tyler Elliott said. "Unfortunately, if we can't do that, we're in trouble."
Loudon did suffer some loss in the game as well.
Both starting quarterback Trent Elliott and starting running back Jake Mourfield left the game late in the fourth quarter with injuries.
"Trent had a hurt shoulder and Jake was showing signs of a concussion," Harig said. "We've got to let the medical people evaluate that and find out more Monday."
Mourfield missed week two's loss to Alcoa after leaving early against Lenoir City for showing concussion symptoms.
If Mourfield cannot go next week, the Redskins are likely to feature much more from Josh Jackson, who filled in capably for Mourfield late in the game, rushing for 41 yards on 10 carries.
"The kid's been working hard," Harig said. "He had been hurt the previous two weeks. He came back last week and had a really good JV game on Monday and really gave us a spark here with some fresh legs late here tonight."
If Elliott is unable to go, it is likely that Travis Brewer, who started the season at quarterback before being replace by Elliott agianst Alcoa, would be reinserted at quarterback.
Harig said he does hope the defense, which came up against a powerful CAK offense last week and struggled to stop the Warriors, can use this performance as a motivator moving forward.
"Defensively, I thought we played well," he said. "We feel like we've got good athletes in the secondary. I thought, tonight, we matched up really well and going forward we're going to matchup really well."
The coach also said despite the negatives in the game, the win was an important and valuable one.
"Any day of the week we'll take a win," Harig said. "Obviously we've got higher standards than that going forward."
Loudon finished a three-game home stand Friday night and will travel to Crossville Friday to take on the 1-4 Panthers of Stone Memorial High School.
"We're going to start working on focusing one game at a time," Tyler Elliott said.
View photos from Loudon's homecoming parade at http://bit.ly/UPD83L.
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