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One step in right direction not enough for ’Jackets

One step in right direction not enough for ’Jackets

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:03 pm

One step in right direction not enough for ’Jackets | One step in right direction not enough for ’Jackets
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Press Sports
It was the ol’ “one-step-forward, two-steps-back” analogy for Greenfield.
Despite its best offensive production of the season, the Yellowjackets were again haunted by fumbles and special teams’ mistakes in a 42-13 loss to Union City Friday night.
G’field remained winless, both overall (0-4) and in District 14A play (0-2).
Austin Pence ran for touchdowns covering 66 and 19 yards and the ’Jackets posted season-highs for points, total yards (163) and first downs (12), but saw a pair of lost fumbles and a high snap over the punter’s head lead to short fields and directly to Tornado touchdowns that broke the game open.
“That’s kinda been the story the last couple of weeks — any time we take a step in the right direction, we follow it by taking two the other way,” Greenfield head coach Jason Rodehaver said after the contest.
“Turnovers kill you, whether you have a real good team or one that is young and inexperienced. Even though I saw some positives and some promising things, the fumbles, the mistakes, they came at horrible times for us and sorta overshadowed the good things.”
The first of the Yellow-jackets’ two lost fumbles came on the ensuing kickoff after UC had taken a 14-0 lead with 4:36 left in the first half when fullback Keylon Hyde barreled his way to the endzone from the one to cap a 12-play, 62-yard drive.
Keontre Murrell’s recovery of the loose ball knocked free from Jeffrey Johnson gave the Tornadoes the ball right back and Union City went for the jugular on the first play when Joseph Shanks threw a perfect ball down the seam to a waiting Iora Smith for a 32-yard TD.
The two plays essentially accounted for a critical 14-point swing as the Twisters led 21-0 at the half, instead of perhaps just 14-7 early in the third quarter after Pence darted his way for a 66-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage after Greenfield received the third-quarter kickoff.
“That was huge,” Rode-haver acknowledged.
A high and wild punt snap gave the host team another golden opportunity midway through the third stanza, one UC again immediately converted — on the first play following the mistake — when Shanks again tossed a pretty spiral down the middle to a sprinting Khiry Lewis for a 36-yard score, his third of the game.
On G’field’s next possession — and more specifically the second play from scrimmage — quarterback Miles Cavitt lost possession with the Twisters’ Kane Taylor recovering at the Yellowjacket 22. Two plays later, Devin Burnside converted the turnover into six points via a three-yard run to paydirt to make it 42-7.
Greenfield’s most sustained march came in the fourth quarter vs. Union City reserves and was capped by Pence’s 19-yard scoring burst with 8:19 to play.
The drive lasted nine plays and covered 73 yards, with running back Chance Black accounting for 40 of those yards on seven carries.
“I think we may’ve found some things that will serve us well down the road,” Rodehaver added. “The run that Austin Pence made to start the second half was just a great effort. He was trapped behind the line by two different players and was able to escape and get in the clear.
“I know the people and the kids are getting tired of hearing it, but we have to look for the good things we’re doing while we gain experience and work though being a young football team. If we can just find some more pieces and learn to take care of the football, we’ll continue to make progress in the right direction.”
Published in The WCP 9.20.11

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