Out of the gate
07/23/03 Don Yeager Jr.
Welcome once again to yet another edition of “Out of the Gate,” my article devoted to the 2003 NIFL Atlantic Conference Champions, the Ohio Valley Greyhounds! I have to say, one of the things I enjoyed the most was handing a member of the LandSharks’ coaching staff their copy of the game film and saying “Enjoy your off season!” I also hope they enjoy the footage of the trophy presentation after the game was over.
I will give Lake Charles credit, they played us tough, but in the end they were just another pretender to the throne. Rayshawn Askew played an unbelievable game, scorching the Lake Charles defense on the ground, through the air, and on special teams. I think the best moment was when he jumped into the “Chris Miller Best Seats in the House” and chilled after one of his touchdowns. The team was pumped all night long. Tim Buffone was constantly trying to fire the crowd up, and was successful. Even with the “Superbowl of Country Music” a few miles away, we still had a great turnout for one of the most important wins in franchise history. Freddie Harrison passed for nearly 300 yards and 5 touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough. He did have great protection all night long, but the Lake Charles line is huge. They blocked pretty cleanly, but our front did collapse them a few times. I would have thought that they would have attempted to run more with the size of their blockers, but for some reason they must have thought that we had poor passing defense or something. I admit Harrison had a decent night, but for the most part his passes looked like wounded ducks that were lucky enough to fall into the hands of Lake Charles players. The main benefactor of this was Jermaine Martin who finished with 193 yards and 5 touchdowns.
One player I had to feel for was the LandSharks’ running back David Winbush. After hearing about how good this guy is, he barely touched the ball, and one of the few times he did, Harrison tossed him a screen pass and left him out to dry as Joey Flora knocked him into the next zip code. I imagine the huddle was really interesting after that. I was also unimpressed by Warren St. Junious. The Greyhounds coaching staff was able to devise a game plan to completely take the defensive ace out of the game, as he only recorded a few tackles.
The extra week between the conference championship and IB3 will definitely do both teams some good. The ‘Hounds win was hard fought, and I am sure that there were many guys hurting after the game was over. The same can probably be said for Utah. They had the game iced headed into the fourth, much like we did, and Omaha came back just enough to make it somewhat interesting, just like Lake Charles. It would seem that this game would be a classic East-West showdown as the Pacific Conference champions will bring their West Coast Offense, and we will bring real Smash Mouth football. The Warriors did run the ball some the other night, however the team seems to rest on the shoulders of Ragsdale. The ‘Hounds, however are not that one-dimensional. Sure, Ohio Valley had two death marches the other night that chewed up about a total of 13 minutes and resulted in 14 points, but we are not powered by just the run. Mark Bonar is an offensive genius and knows how to pass as well. Utah can watch as much film as they would like, but they will never know what is coming. The ‘Hounds have run so many different offensive sets this year that defensive coordinators have melted down during games plenty of times, and having 213 on their cases hasn’t helped. The defense could be the key to this game though. The Pacific Conference may be high scoring all the time, but there is a reason for that; they don’t “D-Up.” We have plenty of bell ringers on defense, and all of that finesse type passing doesn’t cut it when you are playing a team that hits like we do. Our guys are great at separating the receiver from the ball cleanly, and that equals hesitation. Hesitation is the death of any timing based offense, as was proved when we pasted Lexington 70-27.
The fan group membership is up to 25, and there are plenty of spots remaining. More pictures will be posted this week as I get them. If you are interested in joining, check it out at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ovgreyhounds/
Also, if you are into the fantasy football scene, I have opened a 14-team league at yahoo. The league name is “NIFL” and if a password prompt appears, it’s “hounds”
Well, my time is up. Questions? Comments? Concerns? E-mail me at:
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