Slow starts, unfinished work conspire to keep OC winless

Slow starts, unfinished work conspire to keep OC winless
Obion Central has had trouble starting … and finishing.
Both problems were crystal clear on Friday and Saturday nights when the Rebels found themselves in a two-touchdown hole on Friday and then failed to cash in opportunities to get back in the game when it resumed on Saturday.
The Rebels snapped the ball only four times when play began on Friday, two of those touches resulting in turnovers that led to Cavalier scores.
Trailing 14-0 when weather forced the game to be postponed a day, Central tried to make it a game Saturday but was thwarted by Crockett County’s defense or its own mental mistakes.
OC’s problems began in the first quarter on Friday when the team failed to capitalize on a Cav fumble near mid-field.
Central ran three plays before losing a fumble that set up a score and then fumbled again following the kickoff to set up another CC scoring drive.
Central then suffered a number of errors when play continued on Saturday, preventing the Rebels from catching up.
Trent Mann’s catch of a fumble and 58-yard return for a touchdown early in the third quarter pulled OC within 34-20, but that was all the scoring OC could muster.
OC took over at the Cavs’ 41 as the result of a botched punt snap but then failed on a fourth-down pass from the 30.
Mann picked off a pass in the end zone, but OC threw  it back to Crockett after reaching its own 40.
A goal-line stand gave Obion Central the ball at its own three late in the game, but that ended in disaster as CC’s Collin Avery picked off a pass and sprinted 35 yards for the game’s final score.
DOWN THE ROAD — No sooner had the result gone final from Huntingdon’s 38-22 victory over Union City in a battle of Top 3-ranked Class 1A teams did many people start to anticipate a playoff rematch.
Darren Bowling was not one of them.
“Obviously, we’d like that if that were the case, but that’s pure speculation and a long ways down the road,” the Tornado head coach said after his team suffered its first loss in four games to an impressive Mustang squad. “We’ve obviously got to get better in a lot of areas to even think about the postseason or advancing or anything else.”
Bowling did ackowledge that a similar result in 2009 during the teams’ regular season meeting (Huntingdon won 44-35) would spark for some similar conversation should a second meeting occur.
The coach said he did take some positives from the game, despite the disappointing final score and a second period that saw the Ponies overwhelm UC with a run of 22 unanswered points.
“I think — in the second half — we showed we’re capable of playing in a big-game atmosphere,” Bowling continued. “A lot of times, teams and individuals get overwhelmed by the significance of the game, the atmosphere and all the hoopla that goes on surrounding it.
“In the third and fourth quarters, we battled them toe-to-toe and actually had the little better of it, in my opinion. We’ll play some other big games down the road, and it should help us to know that we belong there and can execute the things we want to do in a similiar-type setting.”
CIRCLED IN RED — South Fulton head coach Kelly Spivey knows the Red Devils’ game at Halls Friday night is a critical one.
SF is 0-1 in District 14A play and already behind the eight-ball in the league race, and the Redmen need every victory they can get with the state playoff system based largely on overall wins among wildcard candidates.
“We’ve gotten in as wildcard the last three years — not under the automatic berth heading,” Spivey said. “Even though it’s a district game, a win in any game is critical.
“I thought we should’ve won at least one of the two games we’ve lost (West Carroll and Humboldt), and we can’t let another opportunity go by if we hope to have the opportunity to get back to the postseason in any capacity.”
Equally as important would be the Devils to show some improvement in the physicality department.
“If we play and are as less physical as we have been recently, it’ll be a long night against Halls,” the coach continued. “They certainly pass the eye-ball test and are big and capable. We have to be tons better in that area than we have been in the last couple of weeks.”
Halls is 2-2, 0-1 in district play after starting the year with two victories.
— Compiled by
Mike Hutchens
and Kevin Weaks

Published in The Messenger 9.12.12

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