TAD stifles Church Hill
Varsity, junior varsity teams post shutouts
By Tim Chambers
Who could blame T.A. Dugger for using the famous line of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home." Because when the Jr. Cyclones play at Rider Field, there's nothing better than home-field advantage.
Behind a solid defensive effort from the orange and black crush, 'Betsy shut out Church Hill 20-0 Tuesday night to remain undefeated at home.
"I am very proud of the boys tonight," said Cyclone head coach John Oakley. "It feels great to win our second straight game at home. These kids are beginning to see they can become a good football team. Everyone did their job tonight."
T.A. Dugger threatened on its first possession after a 24-yard pass completion from Jordan Meredith to Vic "The Animal" Deloach and a 31-yard run by Julian Smith.
Church Hill, however, was able to withstand the 'Betsy attack, taking over on downs at the 22.
The Dugger defense then stiffened, and its offense began to click.
A 30-yard touchdown by Derek Carr was nullified because of a penalty, but the dynamic duo of Meredith and Deloach hooked up on the next play for a 21-yard completion to set up Carr's two-yard touchdown run. Meredith tossed to Deloach for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 Cyclone lead.
Church Hill tried to move the pigskin, but two outstanding defensive plays by Schaun Carter and Jeremy Simerly knocked the stuffings out of the Panthers' ground game.
'Betsy a 24-yard run by Julian Smith to help set up the next score. Meredith tossed a strike to Deon Pickett for a 35-yard touchdown and a 14-0 advantage.
Carr's interception of a Dylan Christian's pass spoiled another drive by the Panthers on the last play of the half.
Smith and Carr ran hogwild through the Panther defense as Dugger had the ball for nearly two-thirds of the third period. Church Hill had a nice drive stalled on an interception by Jerry Berkley.
The final score was set up on some outstanding running from Bruce Crumley and Cody Forbes. Crumley had two runs of 23 and 10 yards while Forbes added a 13 yard scamper to the cause.
The big play came when Meredith ran from the pocket for 17 yards, giving 'Betsy possession at the four. Carr found the end zone for a 20-0 advantage.
The Cyclones got some outstanding play from Chris Shields, Landon Honeycutt, Zack Coggins and Thomas Cowan to aid their cause.
Meredith completed 7 of 11 passes for 111 yard and a touchdown. Smith and Carr were workhorses in the backfield, running for 67 and 65 yards, respectively.
T.A. Dugger 10
Church Hill 0
Not to be outdone, the 7th-grade 'Clones tossed a shutout at the Panther attack. Ryan Thomas got things started on a crushing blow that caused Luke Cradic to fumble out of the end zone for a 2-0 advantage.
'Betsy held the much bigger Panthers in check with Justin Bailey, causing a fumble on a Panther drive and Logan Loving making a nice defensive tackle behind the line of scrimmage. Preston Itaro had a fumble recovery, as did Michael Hutchins, who set up Dugger's lone touchdown.
Itaro sprinted in from 28 yards behind the offensive line of Chris Kelly, Matt Febuary, Cody Tolley, Drew Chambers and Zach Marshall. Loving added the two-point conversion for a 10-0 advantage.
Dugger got a big 23-yard pass play from Zach Boles to Andy Crockett, while Knox Eraysa had several key stops on the defensive side of the ball for the Cyclones.
Some nice runs from Nick "The Hammer" Jenkins and another by Daniel Moore kept the Cyclones in total control throughout the evening.
"It's special when both teams win," Oakley said. "Our 7th-grade coaches and players have worked hard.
"It was a good night for T.A. Dugger football."