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Sunday, May 1, 2016

North Clay finishes with football split

Thursday, October 4, 2007

North Clay seventh grader Phillip Lalen (No. 44)?drags Sullivan's Riley Witvoet (No. 24) with him during Wednesday's victory at Northview.
There were points aplenty to be had during the North Clay seventh grade football game to open play on Wednesday evening. In fact, 64 combined points went up in lights as the Knights blasted the visiting Arrows of Sullivan, 46-18.

Too bad the Knights couldn't share a few of those extra points with their eighth grade brethren.

The North Clay eighth graders however, couldn't find the winning combination on offense despite their stingy defensive effort in a 6-0 loss.

In that game, the Knights nearly made a huge comeback after being stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Arrows' 11-yard line late in the fourth quarter. The North Clay defense came back to force a punt from Sullivan's 26-yard line and took over at their own 37-yard line with less than a minute remaining.

Quarterback Kodie Girton hit Damon Hyatt on a screen pass that went for 26 yards down to Sullivan's 37-yard line. After an incompletion, Girton went back to Hyatt who broke free for 17 yards and another first down. The same combination nearly found paydirt on the next play as Hyatt hauled in a pass, broke back across the grain and broke for the corner. He was dragged out of bounds at the Sullivan three-yard line with time at a premium.

The next play, the Knights were called for a procedure penalty that pushed the ball back to the eight-yard line. From there, a pass went for no yards and the final play had to be quick snapped as the clock ran out and Chance Talbot was brought down short.

The Arrows therefore gave the Knights just its second loss in two years.

North Clay's line play was outstanding, especially in the second half, using their quickness to cover Sullivan's sweeps and misdirection plays.

Though the seventh grade offense had plenty of success versus Sullivan, the defense was actually the first one's to score.

After Sullivan had marched down to the Knights nine-yard line after a couple of big plays from Dalton Scott. North Clay's Larry Shaeffer read quarterback, Payne Fortner's throw perfectly, stepping in front and rolling 93 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The conversion was successful on a Trent Barnett run and the Knights led 8-0.

Phillip Lalen got into the action on the Knights' next drive, taking the ball in for a five-ayrd TD. The big plays on that drive came from Barnett who carried the ball 18 yards to get the drive going. Lalen later rambled for 41 yards to get the Knights into scoring position.

The conversion was a pass from Shaeffer to Barnett which was good for a 16-0 lead.

The defense stepped up again on the Arrows' next possession, forcing a fumble which was recovered by Lalen.

Lalen and Shaeffer pounded the ball deep into the Arrows' territory on an eight-play drive that culminated in a nine-yard scamper by Shaeffer for the score with 24 seconds left in the half. Lalen got the conversion and the Knights took a 24-0 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Knights got a steady dose of the Arrows' best playmaker in Scott, who, while diminutive in size, ran with determination and power.

He would get the second half scoring started when he took off on a sweep for a 68-yard TD run. The conversion failed but the ensuing onside kick did not for Sullivan who recovered and took over at the 47-yard line.

Fortner would hit Riley Witvoet for an 11-yard pass play and once again it was Scott who got free for a 37-yard TD run this time to get Sullivan within 24-12.

The Knights got the next onside kick and Barnett would take the handoff at the 50-yard line on the first play of the drive. He would go the distance down the sideline and after Christen Crews found Barnett for the conversion, the score was 32-12.

Sullivan would end up facing a fourth-and-seven from their own 19-yard line on the next drive. With nothing to lose, they threw a screen pass to Scott, who nailed the Knights again, this time on an 81-yard score with 5:21 remaining.

From there, leading 32-18, the Knights got a touchdown from Drake McKee on a 21-yard run on offense before Travis Hakman scored on a 19-yard interception return for the Knights with 2:52 left in the game.

The final score also came from the defense when Shaeffer broke through to tackle Fortner in the endzone for a safety to cap the scoring.

Both teams finish the season at 6-2.

At North Clay

7th grade game

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8th grade game

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I am glad that finally there was someone at the game last night to write about the other sports that are going on around Brazil. I know that all sports are important but speaking from a view of a parent who had a son that played 7th grade football, I am glad that they finally got recognized for all of their hard work. They played a fine game last night as they did last Tuesday night. They played and worked together as a team and that is what sports are about in my book. It is not about what the score is at the end of the game but about making friends and learning how to have someone's back. My son has learned team work and dedication. Thanks go out to Coach Russell and Coach Burns for a fine job.

-- Posted by beautiful978 on Thu, Oct 4, 2007, at 8:38 AM

I too agree that it was very nice to have coverage at last nights games. I also agree that it is very important for our children to be part of a team. But I have a few concerns about the way the 7th grade "team" is portrayed. There were over 40 kids on the team; However, only a select handful got to play most of the time. They had a very successful year, but I think Coach Russell provided a huge dis-service to some of the kids. For instance, I have heard several of the kids are not going to play next year, because of their experience this year. I think it is a shame that we have discouraged some potential athletes this early in the game.

-- Posted by sportsfamily on Thu, Oct 4, 2007, at 12:33 PM

Yes and I too had some problem with that early in the season but I did refer back to the fact of what the coach said at the meeting. There are some parents that think that their kids should play more than what they do but there are factors that go into who plays. My son also set out several games and I did ask the coach about it and he said what you have to understand is that there are 40 kids on the team and we try to let them play equally and there are some parents that will get upset that their child does not get to play that often but it is also based on how they practice. If they practice hard then they get to play. If they goof off before the game then they don't get to play. My son was not one of the one's that was a star on the team he played a left tackle some time and others he did not play. His name was never mentioned over the PA system at the game and I am not sure that he ever tackled anyone who had the ball but he had fun playing the time that he did. I still will say that the two months that he played football Coach Russell taught him that if you want something bad enough then you have to work for it. He was told that if he wanted to play he had to practice like he wanted to play. He did just that. He changed 110% and that is the reason that he played. I am sorry if anyone feels that their son got cheated but I still commend the coaches for instilling what they did in my son.

-- Posted by beautiful978 on Thu, Oct 4, 2007, at 1:39 PM

The answer is in your paragraph, but it's not how hard you practice, it's whether or not your parent calls the coach. I have struggled with this all season and now I wish I would've contacted him. It looks like after you called him, your son actually got to play. I have tried to point out the positives to my son…he's in the best shape of his life, he's hanging out with a good group of kids, etc. But if I had known all that it took was a phone call to the coach, I would have done it. While I know that sometimes kids don't "practice like they want to play", there are also those that do practice hard and still stand on the sidelines.

-- Posted by sportsfamily on Thu, Oct 4, 2007, at 2:53 PM

Yeah and I should have known that you would have taken it that way. It is not because I called the coach that he got to play it is because he was not practicing as hard as he should have. I did not even talk to Coach Russell it was Coach Burns that I talked to. I mean look at Northview there are some 40 players or more on that team and not all of them get to play in a game. My cousin plays on Northview and he is on Varsity and there are some games he does not get to play at all. There were games that he did not play when he was in Seventh and Eighth grade but he still stuck with it and went on. Just like in Pro Football there are 40 some players on the team and not all of them get to play either. It had absolutely nothing to do with talking to the coach because he still sat out after that. It was not until he talked to the coach that he finally found out that he needed to be tougher and practice harder to get to play. It was after that, that he finally got to play. I mean seriously I used to ask him, don't you practice hard, and he would say yes, but it was not until I watched him one night that I found out he did not put in the effort like the other kids did. I guess that there are going to always be some kids left out and if they don't stick with it then they will never learn the game and go on to be good atheletes. This was my son's first year to even play football and he learned a lot. He found out that he was the one that made him not be able to play not the COACH. I did not even call the coach I talked to him after one game. I just wanted to actually know what I could do to teach him the game. I never thought that he would ever get to play because I knew that there were kids on the team that had previous experience playing football. It is not like I looked at the coach and said you need to put my son in the game, I just wanted to know what I could do to help him learn the game better. I would rather have him be on the team and not play then go out for the team like in basketball and be cut because he does not have the right last name, and you can't tell me that does not happen. At least he is on a team and he is learning the game. I mean I am sorry for taking an interest in my child and trying to improve his game so that he could go on to be a better football player. Last time I looked in the stands there were no spotters trying to recruit them to a college team. I saw last night team work and a very satisified team when they won. By the way not that it really matters but my son hangs out with a good group of kids too and a straight A student. Neither one of those made him play the times that got to play. It was the effort that HE put in that made him be able to play.

-- Posted by beautiful978 on Thu, Oct 4, 2007, at 3:35 PM

If any of the young men in Clay county learn anything about being part of a team and the idea that hard work will be rewarded, it will be a surprise. I don't have any children in middle school, so I should probably stay out of the discussion, but I do know that the division of playing time is geared 100% around winning the game at every level in the school system unless we have a 40 point lead. As my username suggests, my family is almost through the system, and not a moment too soon. My son HAS learned football technique and strategy at school, and sportsmanship, teamwork, and how to be a responsible young man, at home.

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Thu, Oct 4, 2007, at 4:20 PM

Great Job guys!

-- Posted by loulou on Fri, Oct 5, 2007, at 8:02 AM

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