HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Linnear runs over Vikings
August 26, 2012Huntington North High School
By Greg Jones Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette | Saturday, August 25, 2012
FORT WAYNE -- Coming off the field at the end, North Side coach Ryan Hall reminded someone he had to be in Huntington at 7:45 a.m. Saturday for a junior varsity game.
That alarm probably came seemingly earlier for the North Side coach as his Redskins outlasted time and Huntington North 51-25 in a game that went almost to 11 p.m. Friday.
“It was going to be a long game because both teams throw the ball so much,” Hall said, almost expecting the duration.
The game was delayed in the first quarter for 30 minutes when an injured Vikings’ player, Alex Kaylor, remained on the field until an ambulance was called, and he was taken off on a stretcher.
Kaylor spent the night in the hospital and underwent surgery Saturday morning to repair abroken femur, according to Viking coach Trent Fine.
“We talk about dealing with adversity all the time,” Hall said. “Injuries are horrible, and I feel for that kid.
“After that happens, though, you have to get back and get refocused and motivated again to play a game.”
It didn’t help the two teams combined for 60 pass attempts and 17 penalties.
North Side senior running back/linebacker Anthony Linnear and quarterback C.J. Jackson each accounted for four scores.
Linnear ran for 248 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown, and also had two receiving touchdowns and returned an interception for a score.
Linnear caught touchdown passes from Jackson and backup quarterback Earrels Lewis.
Fine was disappointed in the Vikings’ defensive effort.
“We had Linnear in the backfield a number of times wrapped up and we couldn’t tackle him,” Fine said. “Twice he ran for touchdowns when it should have been a 2-yard loss. That’s just fundamentals.
“It’s fundamentals and doing your job. Two weeks in a row we’ve had guys not doing their job. Last week it was a couple guys and this week it’s a couple of different guys.”
Jackson threw for four first-half touchdowns and finished with 178 passing yards. He completed only one pass in the second half, for five yards.
“C.J. Jackson can make plays,” Hall said. “Tonight, it was the Anthony Linnear show. You have to decide whether you are going to try to stop Anthony Linnear or C.J.”
The Vikings’ pass coverage was also a concern.
“Going against a team that hasn’t thrown a pass of less than 15 yards and to get beat deep, there’s no excuse for that,” their coach said.
North Side improved to 2-0, while Huntington North fell to 0-2.
Cliff Thomas added 124 yards rushing and a touchdown for North Side.
North Side led 33-19 at halftime as the two teams combined for 521 yards of total offense – in the first half. North Side had 293, while Huntington North had 228.
“We played well the whole game offensively. We had 400 yards of offense,” Fine said. “When I needed them to, the defense couldn’t stop them.
“We threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns and ran for over 100 yards. We should be able to win games with that.”
For Huntington North, Drew Schnitz threw for 286 yards and four scores. He also threw three interceptions. Schnitz threw three scoring passes in the first half, two to Braydin Stell and one to Paul Ehler. Schnitz finished the half with 196 yards.
“We kept them honest on defense. We ran the ball 33 times and threw it 32. We were very balanced and I think it showed,” Fine said.
But the Redskins defense allowed only one second-half touchdown.
In the first half, Jackson threw four touchdown passes, two to Nick Cook, one to Taron Graham and one to Linnear.
Jackson threw for 173 yards in the first half, and Linnear rushed for 124 yards.
This loss bothered Fine much more than the defeat at Homestead.
“It bothers me for the reason I think we’re every bit as good as Fort Wayne North,” the coach said. “We scored on them. But we had three crucial turnovers when we were driving, too. We should have had touchdowns and instead we had turnovers. This one hurts for that reason.”
“I think we got outplayed at Homestead. This game we hurt ourselves doing dumb things.”
Fine gave the offensive line a pat on the back.
“Our blocking up front was much better this week,” he said. “We showed that if we can do that consistently that Drew can be dangerous.”
The Vikings remain on the road for the third week as they visit Logansport to start North Central Conference play.
Herald-Press sports editor John Dempsey contributed to this story.