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USJ air attack picks apart Dresden

USJ air attack picks apart Dresden
USJ air attack picks apart Dresden | Dresden Lions football, Dresden High School, University School of Jackson football, Bill Hardegree, Eric Knott, Zack Jolley, Dusty Bright, Trey Buckley

stiff arm — Dresden senior Cory Brock tries to free himself from a Bruin defender Friday night. Photo by Stephanie Sturgis
By Stephanie Sturgis
Sports Editor
It may have been the Dresden Lions’ 2007 homecoming game, but it was the team in the red, white and powder blue uniforms that looked quite at home on Rotary Field Friday night.
The visiting University School of Jackson Bruins cruised to a 60-14 victory over the host Lions thanks to the pin-point passing of quarterback Bill Hardegree. USJ’s senior signal caller racked up 293 passing yards and a half dozen touchdown passes, all in the first half.
“I think they quit on me. I’m very disappointed,” DHS first-year head coach Eric Knott said. “We’re not carrying anything over from the practice field to the game. We didn’t cover the skinny post, and we worked all week on that specific route.”
Without any push by the defensive line, Hardegree was able to sit back in the pocket and pick apart the Dresden secondary. Hardegree was only sacked once. The sophomore duo of Zack Jolley and Michael Dilday combined to bring down the quarterback for an 11-yard loss.
Ironically, Hardegree missed his first pass of the night, but then connected on his next six. He hit four passes in the eight-play, 80-yard scoring march. The Bruins’ first points came on a 3-yard connection with Dusty Bright. Will Purcell booted the PAT for a 7-0 lead. Purcell was perfect on all six kicks he tried.
Dresden fumbled on its first offensive play as freshman quarterback Dale Hutcherson had the ball jarred loose on a keeper. Thomas Pearson recovered for USJ at the Lions’ 34-yard line.
Hardegree immediately made Dresden pay, finding Austin Martindale near the sideline on the first snap. The Lion defender slipped, allowing Martindale to roam unscathed to the end zone to double the USJ lead to 14-0.
A three-and-out series by Dresden did little to slow USJ.
Following a punt, Hardegree capped another eight-play drive with a 41-yard TD strike to Daniel Smigelski. Again, a Lion slipped, giving Smigelski easy access to the end zone. One of the few USJ (2-2, 1-1) miscues occurred on the PAT as Hardegree, the holder on extra point kicks, bobbled the snap and threw an incompletion to keep USJ’s lead at 20-0 with 4:35 left in the first quarter.
A 20-yard kick return by senior J.B. Capps gave Dresden (1-4, 0-2) good field position at their own 40. After a run for no gain, Corey Brock hauled in a tipped pass for an 8-yard gain. Hutcherson was brought down for a loss on third down, and Knott opted to go for it on fourth down near midfield. Hutcherson’s pass was intended for Brock, but fell incomplete to return the ball to USJ.
A 14-yard run on a Trey Buckley draw — a play that repeatedly picked up yardage — and a 21-yard completion to Miles Martindale set up a three-yard TD strike to Martindale to push the lead to 27-0 with 28 seconds left in the first quarter.
Lion senior Tyson Wright then provided one of the rare sparks for the big homecoming crowd. Wright took the kickoff 85 yards up the middle of the field for Dresden’s first TD. Zack Garner was stopped on the two-point try to leave USJ’s lead at 27-6.
Starting at the 50 after a 15-yard facemask foul was tacked on to the end of the kick return, the Bruins continued to mix draws to Buckley with passes from Hardegree to move toward the end zone. On 3rd-and-goal from the 4, Hardegree was sacked. On fourth down, the Bruin QB found Smigelski on a slant for a 15-yard TD toss and a 33-6 advantage.
The Lions notched a rare first down but soon had to punt. The kick caromed off a Bruin and was recovered by Dresden’s Eric Evans at the USJ 35.
The Lions failed to gain 10 yards on four runs and gave the ball back to University School.
On the first snap, Hardegree found Martindale for a 73-yard touchdown strike for a 41-6 edge with 50 seconds in the half.
Dresden mishandled the kickoff and the Bruins recovered. They needed one play, a 21-yard draw by Buckley, to cap first half scoring with a 48-6 lead.
The clock ran steadily in the second half thanks to the new TSSAA mercy rule. USJ coach Mickey Marley used reserves after halftime and got two touchdowns from sophomore Eric Dietz, one on a 4-yard run and the other a 39-yard interception return. After both scores, USJ took a knee on the two-point try.
Dresden reserves added the game’s final TD. Capps’ 69-yard kick return set up a 20-yard drive which ended with Jolley’s 5-yard TD rumble and his two-pointer.
Dresden has a week off before hosting Westview on Oct. 5.

University School of Jackson-Dresden, Stats
University School 27 21 0 12—60
Dresden 6 0 0 8—14

First Quarter
USJ — Dusty Bright 3-yard pass from Bill Hardegree (Will Purcell kick), 8:46.
USJ — Austin Martindale 34-yard pass from Hardegree (Purcell kick), 8:24.
USJ — Daniel Smigelski 41-yard pass from Hardegree (pass failed), 4:35.
USJ — Martindale 3-yard pass from Hardegree (Purcell kick), 00:28.
DHS — Tyson Wright 85-yard kick return (run failed), 00:16.
Second Quarter
USJ — Smigelski 15-yard pass from Hardegree (Purcell kick), 8:08.
USJ — Martindale 73-yard pass from Hardegree (Purcell kick), 00:50.
USJ — Trey Buckley 21-yard run (Purcell kick), 00:36.
Fourth Quarter
USJ — Eric Dietz 4-yard run (run failed), 9:28.
USJ — Dietz 39-yard interception return (run failed), 6:39.
DHS — Zach Jolley 5-yard run (Jolley run), 2:50.
First Downs 23 5
Rushes-Yards 16-298 27-65
Passing Yards 298 20
Comp-Att-Int 16-21-0 2-6-1
Punts 1-37 3-24.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 4-4
Penalties-Yards 3-20 2-20
Individual Statistics
Rushing — USJ, Trey Buckley 9-79, Eric Dietz 12-64, Dusty Bright 1-9, Bill Hardegree 1-(-11); Dresden, Zach Garner 5-38, Will Vernon 5-18, Hunter Robinson 6-16, Isaac Butler 2-13, Corey Brock 1-5, Zack Jolley 2-1, Tyson Wright 1-(-5), Dale Hutcherson 5-(-19).
Passing — USJ, Hardegree 15-19-0 — 293, Jake Overbey 1-2-0 — 5; Dresden, Hutcherson 2-5-0 — 20, Butler 0-1-1 — 0.
Receiving — USJ, Austin Martindale 5-145, Daniel Smigelski 5-97, Miles Martindale 1-21, Buckley 2-17, Dusty Bright 2-13, Kevin Dubina 1-5; Dresden, Wright 1-12, Brock 1-8.
Records — University School of Jackson 2-2 (1-1 Region 8-2A), Dresden 1-4 (0-2 Region 8-2A).
Next Game — USJ will visit Briarcrest in Memphis, while Dresden will take a week off before hosting Westview on Oct 5.

Weakley County Press Sept. 25, 2007

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