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Sparkplugs handle Tiger Cubs

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SPEEDWAY -- Coming into the 2008 season, GHS coach Mike Meyer said his team would show its youth during the year. They are a team with plenty of young talent, but the talent is just that -- young.

Greencastle's Pat Richardson breaks off a 13-yard gain in the third quarter at Speedway Friday night. Richardson rushed seven times for 31 yards.
The Tiger Cubs' youth showed Friday, as they stood toe-to-toe with Speedway for stretches of the first half, but ultimately committed costly mistakes that the veteran-laden Sparkplugs made them pay for.

Speedway came away with a 42-6 victory over the Tiger Cubs.

"That's a good football team. Unfortunately, we've played against two good ones right off the bat," said GHS coach Mike Meyer.

The Tiger Cubs have suffered back-to-back losses on the field, but are officially 1-1, as Monrovia had to forfeit its week one win over GHS due to an ineligible transfer player.

But whatever the record officially states, Meyer knows he saw a better team on the field this Friday than last. With young players starting in key positions, it's nice for the coach to see the improvement.

"Our guys are getting better," Meyer said. "We're better than we were last week, but we've still got a long ways to go. We made some crucial mistakes. We were with them, but we made the mistakes. You can't make mistakes like that against a good team. We're playing catch up too much."

After kicking off to Speedway (2-0, 2-0 WCC) to open the evening, GHS opened with a solid first series. On the first play from scrimmage, GHS sophomore linebacker Kenny Buchanan stood up Speedway's star running back Jaron Avance for a one-yard loss. Two Kyle Linville incompletions and a punt later, GHS had the ball.

The opening series looked good for GHS, as they picked up 31 yards and a pair of first down on their way to a 43-yard field goal by Buzz Deer that had yardage to spare.

Greencastle led 3-0 with 7:45 remaining in the first quarter.

That would be the last scoring the Cubs did for three quarters, though.

Speedway came right back, but this time they ran over the GHS defense. The Sparkplugs marched 80 yards in 9 plays on their way to an 18-yard touchdown run by Avance.

The Courtney Walton kick made it 7-3 Sparkplugs.

After a GHS three-and-out, Speedway struck quickly. Linville took the ball on a quarterback draw and ran 49 yards to the GHS three-yard line. From there, Keith McGavoch punched it in. The Hubbard PAT made it 14-3 Speedway.

GHS followed with another nice drive, but this one came up short. Taking possession in the final two minutes of the first quarter, GHS went 55 yards in 18 plays and held the ball for much of the second quarter.

However, the drive stalled at the Speedway 16, and the Deer kick was no good.

In the second, Speedway rotated in Jonny West at quarterback, and he torched the GHS secondary. The junior was 4-for-5 for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the second frame. A Michael Hubbard catch put the Plugs up 21-3, and a touchdown grab by Avance made it 28-3 with 13 seconds left in the half.

After the break, Linville was back under center for Speedway, and he struck with his own touchdown pass, finding Eric Law for a nine-yard TD to make it 35-3 with 5:38 left in the third.

Speedway scored the final touchdown when West found Wes Shambaugh on a 15-yard strike 32 seconds into the fourth.

Walton completed her perfect night with her sixth PAT in as many tries.

Deer scored the game's final points when he booted a successful 42-yarder with 8:10 remaining. The senior finished the night 2-for-4 on field goals.

Jordan Hickam was the leading rusher for GHS, carrying 11 times for 37 yards. Avance had eight carries for 75 yards for Speedway.

In the passing game, Greencastle senior Graham Shuee was 10-for-24 for 95 yards and an interception. Keegan Remsburg caught three passes for 34 yards. Ashton Marshall and Kyle Nobles had two grabs.

West led the Plugs' air attack, going 6-for-7 for 122 yards and three touchdowns. Hubbard caught three balls for 91 yards.

For the Tiger Cubs, it's about trying to remain healthy and looking toward another week of improvement. Hickam was hurt Friday and did not carry the ball in the second half.

"We had a couple of kids get hurt, but hopefully everybody will come back next week and we'll be fine," Meyer said.

Heading into next week's game with Edgewood, Meyer is looking for fewer mistakes and a solid defensive gameplan.

"We need to minimize the mistakes and contain the quarterback. That's going to be the big problem next week is we have another good quarterback who can run around and do some things in the Collier kid. So we have our hands full," he concluded.

Greencastle hosts Edgewood (1-1) at 7 p.m. next Friday.

At Speedway

Greencastle 3 0 0 3 -- 6
Speedway14 14 7 7 -- 42

First Quarter

GHS -- Deer 43-yard FG 7:45

Spd -- Avance 18-yard run (Walton kick) 3:58

Spd -- McGavoch 3-yard run (Walton kick) 1:39

Second Quarter

Spd -- West to Hubbard 18-yard pass (Walton kick) 3:51

Spd -- West to Avance 6-yard pass (Walton kick) 0:13

Third Quarter

Spd -- Linville to Law 5-yard pass (Walton kick) 5:35

Fourth Quarter

Spd -- West to Shambaugh 15-yard pass (Walton kick) 11:28

GHS -- Deer 42-yard FG 8:10


First downs1411


Greencastle (1-1, 1-1 WCC):

Rushing (34 carries, 74 yards) -- Hickam 11-37, Richardson 7-31, Rickenbaugh 6-19, Shuee 5-(-13), Marshall 2-2, Hesler 2-(-2)

Passing (10-24-0-1, 95 yards) -- Shuee 10-24, 95 yds, 1 INT

Receiving (10 catches, 95 yards) -- Remsburg 4-22, Marshall 3-34, Nobles 2-22, Hickam 1-7

Speedway (2-0, 2-0 WCC):

Rushing (25 carries, 189 yards) -- Avance 8-75, McGavoch 5-17, Hubbard 4-33, Dunn 3-12, Linville 2-49, Law 2-4, Snyder 1-(-1)

Passing (9-15-4-0, 158 yards) -- West 6-7, 122 yds, 3 TD; Linville 3-8, 36 yds, 1 TD.

Receiving (9 catches, 158 yards) -- Hubbard 3-91, Shambaugh 1-38, Linville 1-8, Dunn 1-7, Avance 1-6, Law 1-5, Shaw 1-3

Next game: Greencastle (1-1, 1-1 WCC hosts Edgewood at 7 p.m. next Friday.

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