ER falls in the final seconds to Jordan MatthewsPosted on September on 21, 2012 @ 23:18:00 by Fred Burgess
Eastern Randolph High School
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Jordan Matthews scores with 11 seconds remaining and gets a two point conversion to pull out a 14-13 victory.
I watched the Wildcats play ok at times in the game, but really I was amazed they were not losing. (Before all of you Wildcat fans start getting mad at me, please read the entire article.) They never trailed until 11 seconds remaining in the game, but I was surprised it took that long for the Jets to take the lead.
Just as I thought the Wildcats were going to escape with a victory, the Jets drove the length of the field in two minutes to win the game. It shows what I know, because throughout much of the game I was surprised the Wildcats were winning and shutting out the Jets. Finally, I knew Jordan Matthews could not drive 93 yards in the last two minutes to win the game. I was proven wrong.
I do not know how to describe this game, so I am going to describe it as the good, the bad, and the ugly.
First the GOOD.... 1. I was pleased to see Josh Randolph on the field for the Wildcats tonight. Even though I saw him make a few mistakes tonight, which is to be expected after not playing for six weeks, the guy still makes plays. He had some big hits, forced some fumbles and just gives it all he has on every play. He made a terrific sack on the Jet quarterback to force a fumble in the first half. He is the best tackler on the Eastern Randolph team. I will explain more about this when I get to the BAD.
2. I was pleasantly surprised with two Wildcat players tonight: Joey Pippin and Blue Price. Both went in and played most of the game on defense when starters Cole Muehlbach and Diquan McKiver went out for injuries.
I watched both of them throughout the game make several good plays. Pippin made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage inside the five late in the third quarter to force the Jets to attempt a field goal. They would miss that field goal and the Wildcats would take over at the 20 yard line.
Blue Price was able to get in the back field many times and made several tackles from his defensive line position. Blue is a senior, but a first year varsity player. I was very impressed with his effort. He made a very good tackle near the goal line on the last drive of the night that gave the Wildcats some hope in the final seconds, but they needed one more of those tackles in the end.
3. Though I am a Wildcat fan, I have to tip my hat to Hunter Causey of Jordan Matthews. I have watched him play for two straight weeks now, and I have been very impressed. He finished tonight with 237 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and an unbelievable catch to set up the winning score.
The Jets' coach Marty Scotten said Causey was hurt and could not get his breath at halftime. He spent much of the time in the ambulance during halftime. I do not know what kind of kid Hunter Causey is, but I know what kind of football player he is. He is an old school player. He is not flashy. He is not going to be brought down by arm tackles. He is a player who does whatever is needed for his team to win. If you love football, you have to love watching him play. I just wish he was not always playing against the team I am pulling for.
4. The last GOOD that I will mention is the special teams of ER. When I thought the Wildcats were going to win this game, I had already pointed to this as being the difference in the game. Paris Martin returns a punt for the only ER touchdown on the night. Julio Diaz had some great punts to put the Jets in bad field position. Diaz also made two field goals and an extra point. The Wildcats clearly had an advantage on special teams tonight. Had they won, it would have been the difference in the game.
Now the BAD...1. This is where I need to explain my earlier statement about being surprised the Wildcats were not losing early in this game. I was completely surprised the ER defense was pitching a shut-out for over three quarters of this game when 75 percent of their tackles were arm tackles.
Wildcat fans do not get mad over this because if you really look at this game objectionable you will agree with me. As a matter of fact, you can look at many of the pictures I took during the game and you will see hands on the running backs, not shoulders.
Don't get me wrong. I am not calling out the Wildcat defense on their effort. The defense was flying around and getting to the ball carriers, but often times it was five and six defenders grabbing jerseys and pushing the Jet ball carrier to the ground. The effort of the defense to get to the ball carrier was there, however the toughness and technique to tackle the ball carrier was not.
I know some of you will disagree with me, but Josh Randolph is the only Wildcat defender I see who consistently puts his shoulder into the ball carrier. The ER defense does a great job of stripping the ball and creating fumbles, but often they are not securing the tackle before trying to strip the ball. This leads to ball carriers dragging defenders for extra yards.
3. I do not want to leave Jordan Matthews out of the BAD also. I have always thought Jordan Matthews was a very well coached team. Coach Marty Scotten and his staff have a great reputation among other coaches in the area, but even the good coaches make mistakes once in awhile.
The Jets were running off tackle and power plays for five and seven yard gains on their first drive. Hunter Causey was dragging Wildcat defenders down the field. For some reason the Jets called a half back pass and had Causey throw the ball into the endzone. The ball was picked off by a Tyrell Watt and he made a great return to get the ball back to near mid field.
I do have to admit, as a Wildcat fan I would rather see Hunter Causey throwing the ball than I would running the ball. I am sure that is one the Jet coaching staff would like to have back.
4. Penalties, penalties, penalties. Eastern Randolph had 172 yards of offense and 80 yards of penalties. You will not beat many teams with those numbers. Most of the penalties were silly penalties: false starts, lining up off side, and not putting mouth pieces in. Jordan Matthews' defense is too good to penalize yourself 80 yards and expect to win.
Finally the UGLY...1. No one hates to lose any more than I do, but I saw some ugly things when the game was over. Fans yelling at players. Players yelling at fans. I even saw one guy come out of the stands after he and a player on the field exchanged words. ER athletic director Eric Hall headed that one off pretty quick. Thank you Eric.
No one likes to lose, but it is time to grow up and have some character.
The best thing is, it is only one loss in the conference. A win over rival Providence Grove next week will go a long way in getting the Wildcat team back on track. I know enough of the ER players that I expect them to play well next week. Coach Baxter and his staff know the importance of next week's game, and I imagine it will be a good week of practice.
(Before anyone starts complaining about my opinion of this game, think about how this game really looked.)
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I'm a Wildcat fan and hate nothing more than losing!!! I have to agree Fred! The tackling had us talking all night...sigh... I'm also glad to see Josh back and hope Cole and Diquan are playing next week! Let's go Cats!!
Keep your head up WILDCATS and as for the fans anybody that knows me knows I have a short fuse when it comes to FOOTBALL games at ER but to be yelling at players that is over the line and immature they are kids and you might can expect them to do or say something but we are adults those players were frustrated after a tough loss.There is too much PRIDE in that GREEN and GOLD I expect to see a different attitude next Friday night.I WANT TO HERE BAXTER SAY HOW BOUT THEM WILDCATS.
Fred, I just can't wait to read your analysis of the ER-PG game this Friday night. I'm sure that will be a dandy. Whose sideline you gonna be on?