|9/25/2012 10:55:00 AM ||Email this article Print this article |
|Red Hill 12, Palestine 8|
Salukis buckle down, notch first win of season
PALESTINE - The fun of sports is winning.
Red Hill High School's football team found that out for the first time this season Friday, when it scored a pair of first-half touchdowns, then kept host Palestine off the scoreboard until the final minute, on the way to a 12-8 Little Illini Conference Eastern Division victory.
"I feel excited for the kids, for all the hard work they've put in," said Red Hill coach Billy Gray, a former standout quarterback at the school who notched his first win as the Salukis' coach. "To get that monkey off our backs is a big step for the kids, and for the program to get back on its feet."
Red Hill (1-4, 1-2 LIC Eastern Division) won the game by overpowering the Pioneers (1-4, 0-3 LIC Eastern) at the line of scrimmage. The Salukis dominated the time of possession, 31:18 to 16:42.
"We've said that's the way we need to play the game," Gray said. "Offensively, we powered the ball, four yards at a pop. We dominated the line of scrimmage, just like I hoped we would. The big kicker is, we didn't have any turnovers and our penalties were limited. I think if we can do that, we can continue to win ballgames."
Red Hill established the tone for the game immediately, moving 63 yards in seven plays on their first possession. Derek Clevy put the first TD on the board, running 40 yards for a touchdown on fourth and 1.
Two possessions later, the Salukis moved 47 yards in 11 plays for their second score of the game. Junior Max Andersen scored on a 5-yard run on fourth and goal with 8:54 to play in the opening half.
The Salukis ran the ball 50 times for 143 yards and finished with a 157-131 advantage in total offense.
The Pioneers didn't score until the game's final minute, thanks to some help from the Salukis. Facing fourth down from its own 12 with 39 seconds to play in the game, Gray ordered punter Dalton Murray to run out of the end zone for an intentional safety.
"I decided to take the safety, because they'd still have to score twice (to win the game)," Gray said. "I gave up the shutout. The kids didn't want to do it, but I told them, 'This is how we're going to win the game.' It was the best thing to do."
The Pioneers then scored a meaningless touchdown on the game's final play, bringing the final score to 12-8. Dylan Webster capped the scoring drive with an eight-yard run, but since time had expired, the Pioneers weren't allowed to even try for the extra point.
"The kids needed this," Gray said. "They earned it. They continued to work hard each week. It's a huge boost, and I hope next Friday we'll have a shot at another win,"
Salukis 12, Pioneers 8
Score by quarters
Red Hill 6 6 0 0 - 12
Palestine 0 0 0 8 - 8
First downs 11 10
by rushing 10 9
by passing 1 1
by penalty 0 0
Rushes-yards 50-143 32-113
Passing (C-A-I) 1-4-0 2-16-0
Passing yards 14 18
Total yards 157 131
Penalties-yards 8-60 8-45
Punts-average 4-27.0 4-29.5
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-2
Possession 31:18 16:42
RH - Derek Clevy, 40 run (Pass failed), 7:45, 1st qtr. RH 6, P 0.
RH - Max Andersen, 5 run (Run failed), 8:54, 2nd qtr. RH 12, P 0.
P - Safety, Red Hill punter Dalton Murray ran out of end zone, :39, 4thq tr. RH 12, P 2.
P - Dylan Webster, 8 run, :00 4th qtr. (Converson not attempted). RH 12, P 8.
Rushing - Red Hill: Clevy 16-75 (TD), Tyler Scaggs 16-70, Andersen 10-26 (TD), Devon Moore 2-0, Murray 6-Minus 28. Palestine: Kyle Myers 10-83, Webster 10-40 (TD), Matt Schmidlin 4-15, Joe Eckert 4-(-8), Cade Fulling 4-minus 17.
Passing - Red Hill: Murray 1-4-0, 14 yards. Palestine: Fulling 2-6-0, 18 yards.
Receiving - Red Hill: Clevy 1-4. Palestine: Eckert 2-18.
Punting - Red Hill: Jacob Wirth 3-61, 20.3 avg. Palestine: Treyver Ferguson 3-89, 29.7 avg.
Punt returns - Red Hill: Matt Yong 1-3. Palestine: Eckert 1-30.
Kickoff returns - Red Hill: Garrett Harper 1-19. Palestine: Schmidlin 1-31, Ben Martinez 1-4.