Despite the elements, we held onto the ball for 48 minutes and didn’t give Tillamook an opportunity to capitalize on any mistakes. What was an unfortunately consistent error of ours last fall has been cleaned up this season. What was a deficit for us in 2012 has emerged as one of the most positive stats in our favor this season.
Special Teams Score
From our work in analyzing game film we felt that there would be an opportunity to expose Tillamook in the Special Teams category. What a way a great way to start a football game: Max Beaudoin made a great effort to block the punt on Tillamook’s first possession and the ball was ultimately covered in the end zone by Aaron Tadei for a touchdown. Having a kick blocked in any situation is a demoralizing event for a football team. To have it happen on the first series proved to be simply too much for Tillamook to overcome and it was apparent that the tone of the game had been set early on.
Next Man Up
Despite some injuries that occurred early in the game we never lost our stride. A theme for our team since the first day of the season has been “Next Man Up.” Regardless of who is unable to play, whether for a single down, a series, or even an entire game, our young men know that every one of them must be prepared to step in at a moment’s notice and fill that assigned role. We had a few guys really step up in the absence of some starters: Kyver Hamilton, Alex Barker, Austin Eagon, Josh Chesnut, and Kyle Rees embraced their time on the field and capitalized on opportunities which ultimately is what any team requires to be successful.
Although our offensive stat line didn’t look that impressive at the conclusion of Friday’s contest, I thought we put together drives that chewed up the clock and took advantage of the great field position we were given all night. We scored on all but one drive in the evening, ran the ball effectively, and threw it successfully when we needed to. Kevin LaCoste has continued to improve his decision making each week which has led to his seven TD passes and zero interceptions.
Tennis Shoes in the First Half
For those of you that weren’t there it is really hard to explain the amount of rain that fell on Friday night. I have been playing or coaching football in the Northwest for over 30 years and I’m not sure that I have ever seen such unrelenting weather. In pregame there was a light mist and I thought the rain had pretty much blown through. A few minutes after kickoff it started to pour…and it never let up. The tennis shoes I was wearing in the first half let me down. Fortunately the dry socks and rubber boots I brought “just in case” were waiting for me in the locker room at halftime. It is a true testament to our kids and their focus on taking care of the ball that they did not turn the ball over on Friday night.
Keeping Kids Safe
For those of you who know me and my coaching philosophy, you know I will never credit a victory or blame a loss on the work of the officials. Officiating is a tough job that comes with very little praise from onlookers. I know there are going to be questionable calls made and calls that are missed, it simply comes with the territory. However, one thing that I will never accept is when officials don’t fulfill their obligation of keeping kids safe. I felt that there were a number of times that our players were being blindsided well behind the play and the officials failed to hold our opponent accountable for those actions. I think our young men deserve kudos for not getting “chippy” or retaliating with any unacceptable or unsportsmanlike behavior. That attitude and discipline exhibits our team credo of MOC.