Out of the gate
06/25/03 Don Yeager Jr.
Welcome once again to “Out of the Gate,” my weekly column dedicated to the Home Field Advantage-Holding, Number One Seed, Kickin You-Know-What and Takin Names, Take No Prisoners Ohio Valley Greyhounds!
First of all, I have to say that my Big Mac was mighty tasty this afternoon, especially at the expense of the Lexington Horsemen. I asked Wehrle after the game which kick was higher pressure, the kick to win the game in Lexington, or the kick for 70…always the consummate professional, Wehrle didn’t even flinch when saying “The kick to win the game in Lexington.” The throwback uniforms were sharp, and seeing so many former Wheeling Ironmen was a great look back to the history of sports in the valley. The fact that we won so convincingly seemed to make the evening even more special, and gave even more meaning to the 21 jerseys that lucky fans received.
I have to give props al over the place. First of all, Eddie “The Truth” Bynes was electric, sacking Dusty Bonner 3 times for a loss of 34 yards. Holtzman also got to him one time for a loss of 8. The offensive attack was very well balanced. Franzer turned in what are sure to be Player Of the Week stats, dusting the Horsemen D for 176 yards passing and 6 TDs. The best one of all of these occurred in the first half, when Lloyd “Big Dawg” Clemons caught a pass for what seemed like only 1st down yardage. The Dawg wasn’t happy with that though, and rumbled ahead. One Lexington defender clinched on and another jumped on his back, but were bucked off as Clemons rumbled to the end zone for one of the best TDs I’ve seen this season. The rushing attack was wisely spread out, as Lloyd, Askew, and Shane all toted the leather sparingly but effectively. Shane completed 12 of 16 for 176 yards, no picks, and 6 TDs. 5 receivers snagged passes on the evening. Shawn “Sandman” Hackett picked Bonner off twice, and Abdullah picked him off once. One of these picks was returned for a touchdown, but a flag called it back.
It was kind of funny to look at Lexington’s roster. Former UK Wildcats made up most of the players, but there were a few others from Valdosta State, Georgetown, and Marshall. I will hand it to the front office down there for putting people that fans want to see on the team, since they play at UK’s Rupp Arena. I am glad to say though, that our talent from all over the US brings in fans in droves, and makes little fan clubs for everyone. Poole’s Playaz, for instance have replica Curteese Poole jerseys and signs in the former Golden Gopher’s honor. I saw people sporting jerseys for many different players of this season, and seasons past. I think our front office has done an amazing job building a team with a mix of local faces, plus people that our fans know because of the conferences they played in, especially the Big East, Big 10, and MAC. I also think our front office has done great bringing in players from smaller schools that are more talented that some of the D1 guys on the other rosters, such as ONU’s Franzer and Vagades, Lackawanna’s Eddie Bynes, and many players from IUP.
I received a few E-mails after my column last weekend from people that I am guessing are Houma fans. So, here is the playoff picture that I screwed up last week. OV is the number one seed and has home field. Even if something happened and we lost the last two games, we own the first tiebreaker, division record, over LC. LC has the South won and the 2 seed sewn up. Houma is in win or lose because they own the tiebreaker. If Fort Wayne sweeps Lexington, they are in and will be visiting the Civic Center in the first round. If Lexington wins either game versus Fort Wayne, they are in and can come back for more of the Greyhounds in round 1. The Pacific is a train wreck with only Omaha being safely in. I am not even touching this one simply because it’s not worth the guesswork.
Looking at MB this coming weekend, I have to say the ‘Rays have improved. They dashed Fort Wayne’s hopes last week a bit and may have ultimately knocked them out of contention. By the same token, Myrtle is no Lexington. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again; the game is at the Home Dome, and we don’t lose at the Kennel. The ‘Hounds proved this weekend that they can beat a team many many ways, and no matter how much film you watch, you never know what to expect. I will take OV in a 55-24 game. I am only picking a couple games this weekend. I think that Fort Wayne will win game one of their 2 game shootout for the playoffs, and I am guessing that Evansville will beat a Houma team that will use its best players sparingly for their health’s sake for the playoffs.
Well, my time is done. Questions? Comments? Anything? E-mail me at:
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