Out of the gate
05/21/03 Don Yeager Jr.
Hello faithful readers and welcome to yet another edition of “Out of the Gate,” where “The Animal Show” has been canceled for something much better.
I would like to start this week’s article off on a serious and somber note. I want to extend my condolences to the families of both Derek Hoffman and Kyle Faulkenstien. Derek was a three-sport standout at St. Clairsville while I was there and graduated in ’98. He went on to Bethany College to play football and basketball. He had just graduated from BC earlier in the day. Kyle was a great basketball player for Scooter Tolzda and I think was a wide receiver on the gridiron for Dave Caldwell. He helped make the Beallsville Blue Devils fun to watch and had some great dunks in him. He had just finished his sophomore year at Youngstown State. Losing both of them is a great loss to their respected communities and my prayers and thoughts are with them.
What a performance this weekend from the Greyhounds. It’s funny because I have seen so many people on the message board bag on our play calling, even the writer of “War Between the Walls” took a shot at it this past week. Now who’s laughing, eh? See, it’s gotta be personnel that makes all the difference. What a difference a running back that runs North-South instead of dancing like he’s on Broadway makes. For the record, anyone who is into numbers will find this interesting. With his 5 touchdown, 141-yard effort this weekend, Lloyd “Big Dog” Clemons has, in three games, 239 yards and I think 7 touchdowns (6 rushing, 1 receiving). The former back had 260 in the previous six games with 5 TDs. Butchie looked great as well. The former Akron Zip was on all night long. One of the best plays was his fading 43-yard toss to Vagades who made a great move on his defender to make a spectacular catch and be hauled down at the 1. Another good-looking play was when he hit Muckerson on the slant. I think if the LB had been juked a bit more, Muck would have been gone.
The offensive explosion was only enhanced by yet another defensive gem. The D harassed the ThunderHawks all night long and really made them look bad. Steve Christie was sacked 8 times for a loss of 38 yards. Help me out here…didn’t Steve Christie kick for the Bills? Anyway, I was glad to see Birdie get a TD. He made a good move on a couple of defenders and was home free down the stretch. It would be his only really good run of the night though, accounting for 25 of his 40 yards. Bunny looked good on D and special teams. His INT early in the game looked like it was going to turn the momentum to the ‘Hawks immediately, but a hold nullified a great return. I think Bunny borrowed Michael Johnson’s shoes too. The gold just didn’t quite match the uniforms. His fumbled kick return late in the game seemed to sum up the whole game, looked good to start off, but fundamental mistakes are costly. I couldn’t believe the play of our new addition, IUP’s Roger Wilson. Adding him to our defensive front could really cause havoc over the next few weeks. Wilson teamed with Eddie “The Truth” Bynes, Tim Buffone, whom I may add also had a great game, and Curteese Poole when he returns from his injury should be enough to give line coaches all over the league fits. I believe Bynes sack count is now at 16 ½ but I am not totally sure. I wonder if Dejuan can hear the footsteps catching up to his record clear down in Cape Fear?
By all means this week’s game is the most important game of the season. Lexington’s only loss was their first game ever, against Lake Charles. Given a rematch, I guarantee that Lexington would beat them by 20 now, at the very least. Bonner is playing very well and is on a very good touchdown and yardage pace. That is, however, all the “props” I am going to give to the Horsemen. Yes, going into Rupp Arena will not be easy, and yes the Horsemen look great. We are still the number one team in the league though and until we lose, if we lose, we are still the favored team heading in. If the Greyhounds play as well as they did against Tennessee, they will win. I think Bonner will try to pass like he usually does; however I guarantee he hasn’t seen a defense like ours yet. Those big horses blocking for him will have their hands full. The thing Bonner better look at is the hits that Christie took from the line and from “The Sandman” (Hackett) and what happens to receivers that try to go over the middle or play the defenders soft. That’s no man’s land my friends, and if you go there, you may not come back conscious. The line is listed as OV by 3 ½ and the over/under as 95…over I think. I’ll take the over as the century mark easy…the line? Hounds by 12.
The question of the week this week is:
Who’s hit was the best this week?
A.) Hackett’s hit on Christie at the release of the ball
B.) Chonn Lacey’s DX salute hit on a WR when he nailed the guy and was giving an “X” chop before he was even up.
C.) Shawn Hackett laying out the RiverHawks’ WR going over the middle, arriving at the exact same time as the ball.
E-mail me your opinion!
And on that, my time is up. Questions? Comments? Answers to the QOW? E-mail me at:
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