One high school football team showed the value of one player, the other its offensive diversity Friday night as Terre Haute South visited Northview for controlled scrimmage action to open the 2013 season.
Eventually spreading the wealth worked better — although size and speed were probably a factor too — as the visiting Braves scored seven touchdowns in three varsity segments while the Knights tallied four times.
The Knights had three touchdowns to South’s one at one point, after each team scored in the series starting from its own 35-yard line and Northview got two touchdowns in the goal-line sequence of plays starting at the opponents’ 10. Sophomore Tucker Stewart scored from 21 yards out on what appeared to be a quarterback draw and also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Kimball.
The Braves got four scores in their 10 plays from the 10-yard line, however, then added two more — to Northview’s one — as each varsity team ran plays starting from the opponent’s 35.
“I think we did some good things in all three segments,” coach Mark Raetz of Northview assessed as junior varsity players took the field. “Obviously we did some bad things, things we need to work on for next week [when the Knights open at Indianapolis Broad Ripple].”
“It took us awhile to get going,” noted Tim Herrin, Raetz’s successor as South’s head coach. “Inexperience. We missed a few blocks and we missed a few plays.”
Stewart, who started as a freshman for the Knights last year, was his team’s leading rusher and its only passer; Northview didn’t use a varsity backup quarterback.
“He’s a tough kid,” Raetz said. “He can throw, he can run … we’re counting on him to make quite a few plays this year.”
South used two quarterbacks, Timmy Herrin and Taxi Brown; had seven other players carry the ball; got two scores from returning receiver Jacob Johnson and a touchdown reception from LaMarkis Stevenson, who had some varsity experience last year; but otherwise had newcomers — to their positions — crossing the goal line.
Sophomore receiver Justin Jenkins scored on a reverse, Logan Deady — a linebacker the last two years — had two touchdown runs and 300-pound lineman Junior Berry rambled 10 yards for a score on one of his two carries.
While Berry may be more of a novelty, or at least a short-yardage specialist, Deady figures to be busy. He matched returnee Michael Watt for the most carries for the Braves while still making several key defensive plays.
“It was real fun,” the senior said after the varsity part of the evening was over. “I was strictly a defensive player since my sophomore year. I want to play defense in college, but in high school I want to play both.”
His reaction to learning he’d get to carry the ball?
“I was really ecstatic,” Deady said. “I’ve always wanted to carry the ball and score touchdowns.”
Asked what he liked best about South’s performance, Herrin said, “I liked our enthusiasm. Defensively there are mistakes to fix, but I saw 11 white jerseys flying to the ball all night.”
The Braves’ enthusiasm may have been helped by looking across the field Friday night.
“It was fun playing against our ex-coach,” Deady said. “[Raetz is] a really good guy and a really good coach … but we wanted to show him what he left.”
South plays next Friday at Evansville North.
Northview’s other two touchdowns were runs by Jacob Dean and Ben Girton.