KICKOFF CLASSIC

JEFFERSON COUNTY SWEEPS OLDHAM COUNTY:

Manual Rides Third Quarter Surge to beat South Oldham, 42-14;

St. X Hangs On to Top Oldham, 24-13

 

Crestwood – After going 0-2 in last year’s Oldham County Kickoff Classic – the first time the two Oldham schools had failed to win a game in the annual event – the South Oldham Dragons and Oldham County Colonels looked for revenge against the teams that topped them last year, the DuPont Manual Crimsons and St. Xavier Tigers. But despite significant improvement by both Oldham teams, the end results were the same, as the Crimsons and Tigers both walked out of Crestwood with victories.

Manual 42, South Oldham 14 – Last year’s contest was a game for a half, with the two teams going into the locker room locked in a scoreless tie. But Manual exploded for three touchdowns in the third quarter en route to a 24-0 victory, launching the Crimsons on what would eventually be a 9-2 campaign, while South struggled to a 3-7 slate.

With a talented defense returning, and a much more experienced offense, South figured to be much more competitive this year. Head Coach Brian Schutte had implemented his preferred offense, a wide-open passing attack, and he had second-year quarterback Josh Moll to throw the ball, along with Division I prospect Ryan Schumm at tight end to catch it. With Manual replacing seven starters in the defense, primarily on the line and in the defensive backfield, the Dragons seemed in the perfect position to knock off the sixth-ranked Crimsons in front of the home crowd.

The Crimsons got on the board first, after linebacker Mike Riley blocked a Derek Bowman punt deep in South territory. Linebacker Byron Tinker scooped up the loose ball at the Dragon twelve and dashed into the end zone with nine minutes remaining in the period. Richard Cooksey’s point after gave Manual the early lead, 7-0.

Matt Kusnir gave South superb field position on the ensuing kickoff, returning the kick to the South Oldham 49 yard line. Moments later, the good news became bad: Starting tailback Alex Sutton suffered a serious leg injury and left the game, apparently with a broken leg. Still, Moll moved the Dragons quickly downfield, keyed by a 22 yard completion to Ryan Donohue. But a poor throw into the end zone was picked off by Manual, and the Dragon threat died.

With that, the defenses stiffened, and first downs became practically non-existent. The South defense was particularly stifling: at the end of the first period, Manual had just thirteen yards of offense and was 0 for 2 through the air. The Crimsons had yet to get a first down.

With the South defense dominating, the Dragons maintained field position, and this resulted in the first score of the night for South. With 11:07 to go in the half, Manual’s Riley tried to punt out of his own end zone. The Dragons got a fierce rush straight up the middle, and someone got a hand on the ball, which popped almost straight up. Linebacker John Burba fielded the ball cleanly on one hop at the six yard line and ran, untouched, into the end zone. Rob Wooley’s extra point tied the game at seven.

Manual finally got their offense going after the South score, and began stringing together first downs. Starting at the South 31 yard line, Manual pieced together a five play, 69 yard drive, capped by a 37 yard touchdown dash by R. J. Young. The score put Manual ahead to stay, 14-7.

The visitors from Louisville would threaten once again before the half ended, but Nick Phelps pounced on a Manual fumble at the South 28 yard line, and South Oldham headed to the locker room, still trailing, 14-7.

Then came the disastrous third period. It started ominously enough; Matt Kusnir took the opening kickoff and promptly fumbled it. He recovered the ball, but the Dragons were stuck deep in their own territory at their own 14 to start their initial drive. The Dragons went three-and-out, but Derek Bowman’s deep punt appeared to save field position for South as he forced Manual to start from their own 30. Instead, it merely delayed the avalanche.

The Crimsons struck paydirt for the first time in the period with 6:49 to play, when R. J. Young scored his second TD of the night on a 44 yard dash. The kick failed, but Manual’s lead was 20-7. Barely a minute later, star quarterback / safety Keenan Burton picked off a Moll pass and dashed 57 yards for the score. Sophomore quarterback Austin Tiller threw to Charlie Pfister for the two-point conversion, and the lead was 28-7 with 5:22 showing in the quarter.

After the Dragons’ went three-and-out again on their next possession, disaster struck again. On the punt, the snap sailed over the head of Bowman into the end zone. Bowman retrieved the ball and advanced it to the South Oldham three yard line, but it only took one play for Manual to put it into the end zone from there. This time, it was Burton taking the handoff from Tiller and dashing the three yards into the end zone to stretch the lead to 35-7 with 3:58 to play in the third.

The Dragons continued to play the part of the gracious host, as they fumbled the ball away on their own 28 on the ensuing series. With 1:06 remaining in the third, Burton then scored his third consecutive touchdown, running it in from eleven yards out. Cooksey’s kick made it 42-7, and the game was essentially over.

In the waning moments of the game, Moll and Company put together a six play, 65 yard scoring drive. Lance Smither took it in from the one, and Rob Wooley hit the point after to account for the final score of 42-14.

South Oldham will next go into action on Friday, August 30, against the Seneca Redhawks, at 7:30 pm in Crestwood. Seneca is coached by former Oldham County great Lonnie Oldham, a former linebacker and fullback in the early 80s.

Statistics: Special thanks to the professional statistician, who handles Manual’s stats, for providing the following game statistics of the South Oldham – Manual game.

 

GAME STATISTICS

South Oldham

DuPont Manual

First Downs

7

14

Rushing

27 carries – 12 yards

42 – 271

Passing

136

29

Total Offense

148

300

Passing

12 – 26 – 2

0 TDs

2 – 8 – 0

0 TDs

Fumbles – Fumbles Lost

7 – 2

3 – 1

Sacks

1

3

South Oldham Individual Statistics

Rushing – Cory Kincaid 4 carries – 29 yards; Ryan Donohue 3-13; Nick Phelps 1-9; Lance Smither 2-8; Mike Bierman 2-6; Brian Kennedy 1-5; Bennett Gatto 3-1; Alex Sutton 2-1; Kevin Hull 1-0

Passing – Josh Moll 12-25-1 136 yards Donohue 0-1-1

Receiving – Ryan Schumm 3 catches – 45 yards; Kevin Hull 2-31; Ryan Donohue 2-27; Drew Deptola 2-19; Nick Phelps 2-13; Brian Kennedy 1-1

Leading Tacklers – Matt Kusnir 3 solo tackles-4 assists; Ryan Donohue 3-3; Nick Phelps 1-6; Ryan Schumm 0-8; John Burba 2-3; Marc Battoe 2-2; Mike Bierman 1-3; Bennett Gatto 0-3; Taylor Scherer 0-3; Chris Bennett 0-3

 

St. Xavier 24, Oldham County 13 – The second game of the night didn’t start until 10 pm, but hardly anyone left their seats as the 8th-ranked Oldham County Colonels locked horns with the 5th-ranked St. X Tigers. Last year, the Tigers returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and never looked back in a 24-6 victory; this year the outcome was in doubt until the final minute, but the Tigers prevailed yet again.

The first quarter produced a scoreless tie as the defenses held sway. A bad snap on an Oldham punt gave X the best chance at a score as they got the ball at the Oldham County 29. But the Tigers managed to gain just six yards on three plays, and Leo Fante’s 40 yard field goal attempt was no good with 52 seconds left in the period.

Fante got a second opportunity midway through the second period, and this time made good on a 37 yard field goal with 8:48 left in the half to give St. X a 3-0 lead.

Another bad snap on a punt again gave St. X superb field position – this time at the Oldham 22 – but the Colonel defense shut the Tigers down on downs. In fact, the Colonels drove St. X backwards, and Oldham County took over at their own 27 with 4:41 to play in the half.

That’s when senior quarterback Derek Miller and senior halfback Miles Brewer stepped up. A short pass from Miller to Brewer over the Miller turned into a 73 yard scoring play as Brewer repeatedly broke tackles, then pulled away from the defense to put the Colonels on the board. Nick Hoover’s point after gave Oldham County a 7-3 lead.

After Oldham County stopped St. X on a fourth and one play at midfield on the next series, the Colonels took over at their own 48 with 2:38 remaining in the half. The opportunity to extend the lead was there, but bad luck intervened. Miller – who hit on 3 of 5 passes in the second quarter – was picked off on a deep throw intended for Brandon Gathof, and the Tigers took over at their own 29 with just over a minute left.

From there, it took just 53 seconds for quarterback Ryan Joyner to lead St. X seventy-two yards to their first touchdown of the night. The final 61 yards came on two pass plays, a 24 yard pass to running back Matt Rives and a 37 yard touchdown strike to Andrew Oldenburg with just thirteen seconds left in the half. Fante’s kick pushed X to a 10-7 lead heading into the locker room.

Oldham County came out of the locker room strong. After stopping St. X on downs to start the half, Oldham County took over at their own 20. Miller then took the Colonels on a ten play, 80 yard drive to paydirt. The Colonels ran the ball five times and passed five times, but it was through the air that Miller excelled. He completed all five of his passes in the drive for 72 yards, including the final 15-yarder to Miles Brewer for the touchdown. Brewer caught three passes for 52 yards on the drive and ran the ball once for nine yards. Brandon Gathof caught the other two passes for 20 yards.

The time-consuming drive put the ball in the end zone with 4:17 to play in the period. Nick Hoover missed the PAT, but Oldham led, 13-10.

Things seemed to be going Oldham County’s way when St. X went three and out on their next possession, and Oldham took over near midfield after the punt. But the Colonels fumbled the ball away on their first play from scrimmage, and once again, the Tigers followed a takeaway with a touchdown. Matt Rives one yard touchdown run with 1:17 to play moved St. X back out in front, and Fante’s PAT made it 17-13.

Unfortunately for Oldham County, the fumble turned out to be a harbinger of things to come, and the Colonels went three and out on their next series. After the punt, St. X got a special teams’ break, returning the ball to the Oldham 21. From there it took only a couple of plays for the Tigers to score, with Joyner hitting Brett Silverhorn for the score from fourteen yards out. Fante’s kick made it 24-13, Tigers, with 11:00 to play.

The Colonels then went into self-destruct mode, and the next two possessions ended with a fumble and an interception. Fortunately, the defense played heroically, and St. X failed to register a first down.

With 3:28 to play, Oldham County took over on their own 28, but turned the ball over on downs at their own 39. The Tigers kept the door of opportunity open just a crack, though, by fumbling the football back to Oldham with 2:07 to play at the Oldham 34. Miller drove the Colonels to the St. X nine yard line with just over a minute to play, and apparently hit Jason Rimmer for a touchdown. But the score was called back when the Colonels were flagged for an ineligible receiver, and Oldham County ultimately turned the ball back over to St. X on downs at the Tiger 8.

Miles Brewer won the games outstanding offensive player award for Oldham County with an outstanding performance that included 42 yards rushing, 202 yards receiving, and two touchdowns.

Derek Miller had one of the most prolific passing nights for an Oldham quarterback in some time, throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns. After misfiring on seven of his first eight pass attempts, the senior completed 12 of his next 15, including both touchdowns. He finished 15-32-2, and would have had a third TD except for a penalty.

Unofficial Sports Zone 105.7 FM Stats:

Game Stats

Oldham County

St. X

First Downs

12

7

Rushing

30 carries – 64 yds.

41 – 156

Passing

266

129

Total Offensive Yardage

330

285

Passing

15 – 33 – 2

2 TDs

7 – 19 – 0

2 TDs

Fumbles Lost

2

2

 

 

 

Individual Oldham County Statistical Leaders:

Rushing: Brewer 11 carries – 42 yards; Jeremy Edgar 8 – 28

Passing: Miller 15 – 32 – 2, 2 TDs, 266 yards

Receiving: Brewer 7 catches-202 yards, 2 TDs; Gathof 7-66

THE NEXT SPORTS ZONE BROADCAST will be on Friday, August 30, 2002, when the Central Yellowjackets visit Bell Field in Buckner to play Oldham County. The live broadcast will go on the air at 7:00 pm, with kickoff slated for 7:30 pm on AM 1600, WTSZ.