The North-South rivalry is always intense and this year was no exception. Both stands were heated in the early going - and there were chants back and forth across in the 2nd half. This game had some twists and turns, but it was South who got the early lead, shook off some adversity, and grew that lead for a 41-16 win. The win will allow South to host their 1st playoff game ever next Friday, while the loss will have North travelling to Marion Local for their 1st round game.
South coach Butts: "The small town excitement makes this such a fun job. With these rivalries you have to bring it. I have been at some larger schools - but the intensity level is the same here. We are excited about the 1st home field playoff game for Twin Valley South."
South looked powerful in their 1st drive. Taking the kickoff and then moving the ball down the field despite a couple of penalties that put them in long yardage. Cais Kingsley gave South their 1st score with a 3 yard run. Then the South defense held North and forced them to punt after 3 plays. It looked like South was in the drivers seat.
Both teams had to adjust the referee's, but the 1st half saw a lot of laundry on the field. So on their 2nd possession South had 3 penalties in a row that finally left them in a 1st and 32 situation. When they tried to pass their way out the situation North's Franklin Filburn sacked Cole Bishop. It was 4th and forever - time to punt. But the South Panthers put another bullet in their foot with a bad snap that put the ball in endzone. After a mad scramble for the ball, it went out the back of the goal for a safety - putting an end to what had to have been the worst offensive possession of the year for South.
To their credit the usually conservative North offense threw caution to the wind and opened up their playbook for this game against South. They ran a flea flicker and also threw a couple of halfback passes. They had some success, but South had enough quickness on defense that any initial success was nullified.
The afore mentioned flea flicker pass was successful and North had the ball on the South 30. But a penalty forced North backwards. Finally South's defense held on 4th and 7 and South got the ball on their own 22. This turned out to be a pivotable moment in the game as South turned around and moved the ball to about midfield where Bishop ran 45yards for a touchdown.
North went back to their (mostly) conservative offense on their last drive of the 1st half. They went on a long clock eating drive that ended when Colten VanWinkle caught a 20 yard pass from Davis Brunk. This made the score 14-9 with a little over 2 minutes left in the half. But 2 minutes was all South needed to make it a 2 score game again. The return was to midfield and after a few plays Cais Kingsley ran it in from about 5 yards out. So at the half South was up 22-9.
"Their fullback [VanWinkle] is a load, he is hard to bring down. We are still tuning our defense, trying to get rid of mistakes."
After the half, North used their methodical offense to take the kickoff and work the ball into South territory. It looked like North was on their way to making it a 1 score game again. But that drive was halted by a Clayton Woodgeard fumble recovery. And in a momentum swing it was South that moved the ball deep into North territory. After converting a 4th and 11 play that put the ball on the 2 yard line, Kingsly punched the ball in.
North was seeing the game gradually get out of reach. They tried to pass to make up the deficit, but Gage Crase was able to sack the North quarterback, then a muffed snap made it 4th and forever. After a North punt, South's Brayden Koeller peeled of a 51 yard run. What had been a trickle of points now became an avalanche.
South was able to score one more time on a 6 yard run by Kingsley late in the 4th quarter. With less than a minute left in the game North's VanWinkle ran about 80 yards for the last score of this game. North threw all that they had against South, but on this night it was South that took home the Panther trophy.
"We faced some adversity with the penalties. After we got that 1st touchdown, we lost our composure. We've been teaching to forget about that last play and move on. And this game we did that. I was excited about our offensive effort. We have been getting so much better with the wing T. Defensively we have a few little issues that we are trying to clean up."
Game pics at MediaFire