Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tide is fifth

Here is a link to the updated District 3 Class A power ratings:

Rally falls short

It was the end of the half, Northern Lebanon had just stopped a potential Columbia scoring drive.
Would the Vikings and rookie coach Roy Wall -- take a knee and go into the break with a 14-7 lead; go for the "Hail Mary" in an attempt to take a bigger lead; or run a quarterback keeper and run out the clock.

Well, Northern Lebanon took option number three -- a quarterback keeper by quarterback Tanner Dresch.
Not only did the Vikings choose a safe option, but they ran out the clock as Dresch sprinted 63 yards, basically untouched for a score to give the Vikes a 20-7 lead at the half.

That score was the difference in the gae as NL hung on for a 20-15 win over the Crimson Tide.

In fact Dresch was a one an wrecking crew against the Tide Friday night in Fredericksburg. He rushed for 191 yards and two scores. He also completed three of four passes for another score.

Dresch, who finished the night with 191 of the 340 yards that Northern Lebanon rushed for, scored on touchdown runs of 75 and 63 yards. It was the 63-yard sprint on the final play of the first half that broke the Tide’s back.

Columbia had just moved to the Viking 37 where a fourth down pass fell incomplete. At the time, NL led the game 14-7 and two things could have happened on the last second play. Many expected the Vikings to take a knee and head into the locker room. Or, have Dresch drop back and fire a “Hail Mary.” Instead, Dresch on a keeper and went up through the middle of the Tide line and once he got past the linebackers, it was all over.

That late score gave the Vikings a 20-7 lead and ended up being the difference in the game.

NL had a chance to score before they actually found the end zone.

Late in the first quarter, the Vikings moved to the Tide 16 where Dresch coughed up the football.

On their next offensive possession, the Vikings did score.

Dresch raced 75 yards, basically untouched to give the Vikes a 7-0 lead with 10:43 left in the first half.

But back came the Tide. Quarterback Tyler Harrison was huge, going 4-for-4 on the drive, completing passes to Keenan Edmond and Michael Burke, before finding Seth Lefever for a 19-yard score. With 7:40 left in the first half, the game was tied at 7-7.

Columbia averted disaster on the Vikes next possession. Ryan Daub found daylight for a 59-yard run, which would have been a score, but the Vikings were called for a hold, negating the score.

But not the drive. Nine plays later, the Vikes found the end zone again as Dresch went up top and found Colton Ryan for a 17-yard score to give NL a 14-7 lead with 2:49 left in the first half.

Again, the Tide came back. Harrison completed passes to Burke, Lefever and Nick Nobile to nove the ball to the Viking 30. But on second down, Harrison was sacked and two pass incompletions later, it looked like the half would end with the Tide trailing 14-7.

It wasn’t so.

On their second possession of the second half, the Vikings moved in for the kill. Ryan fumbled at the Tide 16, but two plays later, the Tide gave it right back as Harrison was picked off.

But the Vikings couldn’t score off the turnover and later in the fourth quarter picked Harrison again, but didn’t convert.

They put the Tide in a big hole with about seven minutes left. The Vikes punted but Burke alertly fielded the ball at the 2 and almost broke one for a score, getting tackled at the Viking 46. With new life, the Tide failed to score.

Now on defense, the Tide cae up big again. They stopped the Vikes at the Tide 26 on fourth down.

With time running out, Columbia needed to make something on offense. They moved to the Viking 36 and were faced with a second down. Harrison went up top for Edmond, but NL was called for pass interference and also a personal foul, giving the Tide the ball at the NL 12.

Three plays later, Harrison and Lefever combined for their second score of the game and then the Tide QB hit Burke for the two-point conversion. It was 20-15 with about 60 seconds left.

For a miracle finish, all Columbia needed to do was recover the onsides kick. Following a scramble near midfield, the Vikes came up with the ball and ran out the clock.

Week six notebook

The jinx continues
This is one that if you are a serious follower of Columbia High School athletics as a player, coach, fan or myself you tend to believe.
Columbia had a day off school on Friday. It got the players out of their normal routine and it showed early as the Tide struggled for the first half, giving up 20 points, including a score on the final play of the first half.
Once the Tide got back to to playing "Columbia Football," things were much better.
So, when was the last time Columbia won a game in say football or basketball when they played on a day they didn't have school? They are tough to remember.

Looking at the first six games
Last season, the Tide stood at 0-6 after six games. Of those six games, three ended in mercy rule losses and in two others, the Tide gave up 40 plus points. This season, the Tide stands at 2-4 overall. Of their four losses, only one Daniel Boone was a real blow out. The Tide lost to Northeastern by six; NL by five and Boiling Springs by 15. Columbia was in all four of those losses, including the Boone game, when they were stopped at the Boone 5, trailing 14-13. By the time Columbia scored again, they trailed by three scores.

Two straight
For the second time this season, or the first time since the opener against Eastern, the Tide made two consecutive PATs. Seth Lefever easily made the first PAT and the second PAT was a two-point conversion from Tyler Harrison to Michael Burke.

Columbia has now lost three straight games to Northern Lebanon. Friday, the Tide will be out to stop a two-game losing streak to Annville-Cleona. The Dutchmen, who were knocked off by Donegal on Friday, beat the Tide 21-14 last year and 35-0 in 2008.