Who would have imagined that?
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Who would have imagined it would turn out like this?
An old fashion, run it off tackle and over guard scoring drive that proved the only way to score Friday night at William Blount made it 17 straight against Heritage in a 7-0 victory.
For a moment there Friday night, it was more like leather helmets. Somewhere the Four Horseman would have smiled to see clouds of dust and piles of bodies rather than a four-hour pass happy affair with a basketball score at the end.
Heritage’s Wing T is built for that kind of game, that kind of deliberate action. William Blount may use a spread variation but by halftime, the Govs were in a I formation and by the third quarter the formation said spread but the line said follow me Mr. Otis. In that 10-play march, the Govs didn’t attempt one pass and didn’t need to, not with Otis. Not with Brett Blue. But most especially not with that line.
The offensive front that outsided but was outfought by Hardin Valley redeemed itself Friday. It opened holes where it had no business doing so. It made the second block to spring the backs into the edge of the defense. It played old school football from a new school set. WB ran Otis up the middle with twin receivers stacked an both sides of the formation and even with Heritage paying just token attention to the threat and keeping every eye on Otis in the backfield, WB got the first down.
They couldn’t do it all night, but they did it when it mattered in a game that is as big as it gets for these two recovering programs.
And while the drive will be remembered, it was the defnses that ruled the night.
WB receiver Joel Graham was laid out as Khalil Abuhania broke up one reception. he took another huge hit later. It never stopped Graham from trying but he twice had touchdown catches that didn’t connect and had the ball intercepted on a third.
Heritage quarterback RT Byrd had issues with drops and then with being dropped. The Mountaineers attempted two passes after the half and completed just two for the game.
This wasn’t the night for the pass, it was the night for runs and hard hits.
It wasn’t a comedy of errors despite the flags. It was just that kind of game where everything was going to be arned and there was no give me. Two teams found they could be better than they have been this season and saw the kind of steps forward that’s going to surprise someone else down the road.
They just weren’t going to surprise each other.
Not in a game where everyone knows most everyone. Where fans share the same grand stad down the middle. Where cheers and screams during the game are also blinks of the headlights and waving each other out of the parking lot to keep it all moving when it’s said and done.
William Blount got the win, Heritage got the loss, but looking at the postgame huddles bothprograms won a steo forward Friday night.
Who would have imagined?
Marcus Fitzsimmons is sports editor at The Daily Times. Follow him @TDT_Sports.