SPASH Football vs. DC Everest
August 28, 2013Stevens Point Area Senior High
SPASH’s defense shines, Panthers shut out D.C. Everest
Posted by Brian Kalish on 23 Aug 2013 / 0 Comment
By Brian Kalish
August 23, 2013
Stevens Point– In talking with SPASH head coach Pete McAdams before the season started, he said that the one real strength of the 2013 Panthers would be their defense. If SPASH’s performance against D.C. Everest on Friday night is any indication, the Panthers’ opponents are in for a world of trouble this season as SPASH’s defense came up huge in a 21-0 victory.
The dominance of SPASH’s defense in this one would be hard to overstate. The Panthers allowed only three Everest first downs in the game and limited the Evergreens to only 95 yards of total offense. SPASH also had one interception and forced three fumbles, one of which they recovered in grand fashion.
With just under four and a half minutes to play in the second quarter, SPASH defensive back Trevor Thomas recovered an Everest fumble on the Evergreens’ 33 yard line and returned it all the way to the 1 yard line for what would culminate in a 1-yard touchdown run by Ethan Clark to give SPASH a 14-0 lead heading into halftime.
“On that play, I was reading the tight end on the side,” Thomas said. ”He blocked down so I went in for the tackle and our outside linebacker and defensive end kind of rolled over and the ball popped up right into my hands, so I jumped over him and took off.”
Thomas narrowly missed scoring a touchdown on the play as he was chased down from behind just before crossing the goal line.
“I thought I was going to make it,” Thomas said. “I looked over my shoulder once, then over my other shoulder and I thought I was going to make it, but he just grabbed my back shoulder and I couldn’t stretch it quite far enough.”
Two plays later, Clark, who led SPASH in rushing with 83 yards, sealed the deal, which, according to McAdams, is just how he likes to see it done.
“Anytime you have a big turnover like that, it is a momentum shifter,” McAdams said. ”Sometimes I think it’s even better if the defense doesn’t get it in the end zone and then the offense gets to kind of reap some of the rewards from what the defense just did– to kind of get the entire team a piece of that momentum. And that’s exactly how it worked out.”
Despite a number of miscues on offense– namely false start penalties and 3 turnovers– the Panthers’ offense showed flashes of brilliance.
Quarterback Mitch Mallek rushed for 38 yards and scored the game’s first touchdown– a nine-yard scamper through the heart of the Evergreens’ defense.
Clark ran the ball with both power and finesse. Senior Joey Flowerette scored SPASH’s third touchdown on an impressive 20 yard scamper and led the Panthers in receiving with three catches for 51 yards. Finally, Mark Sebree got into the act, rushing for 25 yards.
So how does McAdams feel about the Panthers’ stable of running backs?
“You know, it’s different this year,” McAdams said. ”We don’t have the one tailback who is going to run the ball 30 times for us. We’re going to mix it up a little bit more with different kids. Hopefully that develops into a good thing for us and creates less of a key for opposing defenses.”
Still, as impressive as the running attack may become for SPASH this season, this game was all about the defense.
“Our goal as a defense is to allow fewer than 13 points,” said SPASH’s Sean Van Helden. “And we were able to do that. One of the keys to our game plan was to pressure the quarterback.”
Van Helden, unofficially, had two and a half sacks in the game. Noel Winch, Andrew Ruzek, Aaron Winch and Jon Barnes all came up with big plays for the Panthers’ defense.
“It was just a great game by our defense,” McAdams said. ”Kevin Deates has done a great job as our defensive coordinator.”
SPASH won’t have much time to enjoy the victory. The Panthers turn around and travel to Wausau West on Thursday night. The Warriors scored an upset victory over Marshfield 10-9.
SPASH Notes: McAdams attributed at least some of SPASH’s numerous false start penalties to mental mistakes and fatigue. ”A lot of those false starts, those are mental things. That’s the result of guys not being relaxed and I think they were a little bit nervous. Our kids are young, so I think it’s being nervous, but couple that with the fact that they were tired. Our kids were getting gassed out there. And that comes on us as a coaching staff…” SPASH’s first scoring drive (Mallek’s touchdown) ate up 64 yards in 8 plays. CWS live streamed this game to the masses. You can see recordings of the first and second halves at our YouTube channel.