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Floyd sends Owls back to barn
September 16, 2009With starting quarterback senior Max Guenther sidelined and sophomore Garrett Shanks at the helm, some might have thought Floyd Central would have been a little nervous going into its home game with Hoosier Hills Conference-rival Seymour Friday night at Ron Weigleb Stadium. It was no problem, however, as the Highlanders sent the Owls packing, 37-10.
"We came out with a lot more intensity," Floyd Central coach Brian Glesing said. "We haven't had that intensity, and that's good. That was much better. I was happy with the intensity level. We kind of enjoyed ourselves. I think we had fun more than we've had the last three weeks."
Both teams sputtered on their first possessions, but the Floyd Central defense made its first big play of the game when John Boyle intercepted a Seymour pass after it bounced through the hands of Logan Ude. The Highlanders had to settle for a 29-yard field goal but still got on the board first for a 3-0 lead.
Seymour coughed up the ball late in the first period, and Floyd Central then worked on its ground attack, led by Aaron Sparks and Shanks. This time, however, the Highlanders didn't have to settle for a field goal as Shanks hit Jeffrey Thompson in the end zone, giving Floyd Central a 10-0 lead.
Just minutes later, Floyd Central scored again, as Sparks ran into the end zone from one yard.
A third Highlander touchdown came with just seconds to go in the half, this time courtesy of Daniel Deere, as Floyd took a 24-3 lead to the locker room.
"Our offense has been clicking all year," Glesing said. "We're a boring offense, but it's getting the job done: ball control and keep their offense off the field."
For just over eight minutes in the third period, the Highlanders kept the ball on the ground with 15 straight running plays. Sparks made it pay off, pushing the ball in from just a yard from the end zone, to give Floyd Central a 31-3 lead.
Sparks scored again early in the fourth period, but the Highlanders missed the extra-point kick attempt, leaving the score at 37-3.
Floyd Central, however, didn't meet its goal of keeping the Owls out of the end zone, as Chris McIntire threw to Kevin Ude with 3:16 to go for the touchdown. However, that would be all Seymour would get, as the Highlanders won 37-10.
"If we had kept them out of the end zone there, we would have gone six quarters without giving up a touchdown, going back to last week's halftime," Glesing said. "We had five straight quarters where we didn't give up a touchdown. That's a big deal for us. Hopefully, we can build on that."
Floyd Central gained the majority of its 270 yards of offense on the ground, with Sparks, Shanks, Deere and Kyle Bramble scrambling for 240 of those. The Highlanders threw just seven passes, completing five for 30 yards.
"Our game is on the ball," Glesing said. "We do have to throw the ball if they're going to put 10 or 11 guys up there, and we were able to do that. We were able to keep them honest a little bit, and they had to stay back and that gave us a chance to be able to run the ball."
"Our front seven did a great job," he said. "We hadn't been doing a very good well up there in our first three games, so this is a huge effort, defensively, for us. It was a big deal for us to get the defense going."
The Floyd Central coach also was pleased with the performance of Shanks, who was put into a tough situation with little time at the starting quarterback spot.
"Garrett did a great job coming in," Glesing said. "Our kids could have easily folded through the week when they knew Max wasn't playing. … He didn't make any mistakes and made some good throws. He made some big throws there in the first half and got some first downs for us. That's what he's going to have to do for the next three or four weeks, five weeks, six weeks or rest of the year."
Seymour finished with 215 yards of offense. The Owls carried the ball 16 times for 57 yards, and McIntire threw 33 passes, completing 12 with two interceptions, for 158 yards.
"The last two years Seymour has whipped our butts, so this is a good win for our seniors," Glesing said. "They had never beaten Seymour in their career."
The win kept the Highlanders' record spotless, at 4-0, something that hasn't happened for a long time.
"We haven't been 4-0 since 1981, so that's a big deal," Glesing said. "We're taking one at a time. Our goal is to play until November. It doesn't matter in the playoffs if you're 4-0 or 0-9 or whatever; it doesn't matter. We want to play into the playoffs. That's our goal."
Floyd Central, however, won't have long to celebrate as the Highlanders have two tough Hoosier Hills opponents coming up with Jeffersonville Friday and Columbus East the following week.
"Obviously, Jeffersonville is going to have a lot of speed and Columbus East is a great football program," Glesing said. "We've got a lot of work on defense. I wasn't happy we gave up that last touchdown, that we couldn't keep them out of the end zone, but a much, much better improvement."
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