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Wildcats Top Dog At Milan Jamboree
By David Sharp
Milan scored on a 74 yard romp during their first possession of the 2011 Milan Jamboree. Knox County’s varsity defense could do little to stop the run oriented Wildcats.
The Eagles got better as the evening went on, but generally did not play well at Milan.
Donovan Edwards scored the lone Knox County touchdown on a 29 yard reverse play against Milan JV players near the end of the KC offensive set.
The Eagles could not score off Princeton or Putnam County. The Eagles did not allow a Midget score. Coaches said after the scrimmages that the team should not be satisfied with a stalemate.
Princeton went 10-2 in 2010, finishing in the Class 1 playoffs with a loss to eventual state runner up Westran. Tiger standout running back Vance Purdun signed a football scholarship with Lindenwood University of the St. Louis area.
Princeton scored at least twice off Knox County. The Eagle JV moved the football against opposing JV teams, generally better than their varsity counterparts.
Princeton decisively won their battle against Putnam County. The Midgets are a young, athletic team much like Knox County. The Putnam County vs. Milan rivalry produced spirited contact. The Wildcats were playing without both their starting offensive guards due to injury.
Putnam County was without wide receiver/defensive back Trey Ream and running back/linebacker Cash Middleton due to injury. Several Midget players were ineligible because they had not completed the required number of practices.
Knox County senior receiver Sharri Edwards joined the Eagle football team on the first day of school. Edwards was ineligible to participate in the jamboree due to not having completed the required number of practice sessions.
Opposing defenses pressured Knox County’s offensive backfield throughout most of the first sets. The Eagles did a relatively good job standing up to a talent laden Princeton team for a time.
Knox County was unable to win the line of scrimmage, especially during the series against Milan. “We came out flat,” Knox County coach Alex VanDelft said. “We were not prepared to play football in that first game.”
“Milan is a team that fires off the football and stays low. They play some hard nosed football,” Coach VanDelft said. “They came out ready to play and we didn’t. Bad things were going to happen (for Knox County.)
“We were driven back four or five yards off the line. They scored two or three touchdowns. We were not very good on the defensive side. We tried to refocus them,” Coach VanDelft said.
“Nothing good came until they put their JV in and our varsity scored off them. We just weren’t ready to go,” Coach VanDelft said. “We came around after that second game. We were flying around and having fun. I’m not content with where we are but we were better than the first game.”
Knox County took on Milan first, then Princeton and Putnam County. “We did not allow Putnam County to score. We caused a couple of turnovers, which we are going to have to do in order to be a successful team.”
“We did all right for five or six plays against Princeton, but then they ended up breaking a big play and they scored. The effort on defense was good, but we need to see more.”
“Our quarterbacks and running backs did a pretty good job of figuring things out,” Alex VanDelft said. “They were getting pressured the entire time. When they had creases, they did a pretty good job of making plays.”
“We have to have leadership,” Coach VanDelft said. “On that first series, I didn’t see any leadership. Sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed. That’s what we are hoping to get from this jamboree.”
Westran and South Shelby emerged as the top two teams at the North Shelby jamboree. The Hornets and Cardinals moved the football on Paris and North Shelby. Coaches were split after the contests on who was the best team at North Shelby.
South Shelby probably got the better of head to head competition with defending Class 1 runner up Westran. The Hornets got their licks in, especially when Westran had the football.
The Raiders dressed 14 players for the jamboree. Raider coaches said their team played hard, but just didn’t have enough players at the time. North Shelby currently has 18 players out for football.
Paris scored three touchdowns at the jamboree. The Coyotes were playing without senior all district quarterback/linebacker Alex Thomas, who missed the contest with a broken hand. North Shelby scored at least once on Paris.