Friday, September 14, 2018

Football 2018: Week #1: At North Carolina Wesleyan

(I am trying to blog at least once a week about our football season this year at Thomas More. Over the last four years I have tons of notes, pictures,  and scribbles about the adventures of coaching small college football. One day I hope to put it all together in a book.)
First game at North Carolina Wesleyan
What can I say but that it was a real heartbreaker with no one else to blame but ourselves. We were down 21-0, tied it at 28. They hit a Hail Mary with under a minute left to take the lead. We marched down the field and hit on a Hail Mary on the last play of the game, only for it to be waved out of bounds by a ref. If we would've came out and played at the beginning like we played for most of the second half it would not have been a game. But give NCW credit, they came to play and went away with the win.
Some misc comments...
One of the refs in the game had to be taken out for heat related symptoms. It was well over 90 at kickoff and did not cool down as the afternoon went on. One of the refs told me afterward he dropped twenty pounds over the course of the game.
Someone tell North Carolina Wesleyan that they are not the real Battling Bishops.
The trip down there was not good. Heavy holiday traffic and road work projects made the trip down there take longer than it should have. Then on the way back the air conditioning in one of busses blew out and that turned into quite the ordeal.
Nothing like eating at Golden Corral with 80 of your best friends.

We ate not one but two meals (lunch on Friday, breakfast on Saturday) at Golden Corral. The key to eating multiple meals at Golden Corral is not to eat the same thing both times, excluding the fruit and salad bar.
A North Carolina sunset on the way to Rocky Mount for our game against North Carolina Wesleyan.

Watched a lot of bad and one classic movie on the bus coming and going. The classic was the first and original Jaws, which a lot of the kids on the team had never seen before. Made before this era of animated special effects, the movie holds up well and kept the kids attention. The worst of the other movies was Tag. What studio spent the big money it took to make this movie? Stupid, very few laughs, a waste of a pretty good cast.
I listened to a lot of music and read a good book. The book was Trunk Music, one of the Bosch books written by Michael Connell. I have been loading a lot of good stuff onto my computer and iphone, and amongst the things I listened to were Traveler by Chris Stapleton; the first Marshall Tucker album; the Essential Waylon Jennings (I think "Wurlitzer Prize" might be my favorite Waylon tune of all time); America's Greatest Hits; Dwight Youkum's Greatest Hits (I'm really digging him after all these years); the second Almon Brothers live album from the 90s 2nd Set with "Soulshine" and "Where it All Begins"; and the first self titled Warren Zevon album, before Excitable Boy, with his versions of some great songs we first heard Linda Ronstadt sing, including "Hasten Down the Wind", "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", and "Mohammed's  Radio".

This week we stay closer to home, traveling 90 minutes or so west to Hanover College. It's a mid afternoon on Monday as I write this and it is over 95 degrees outside. Another scorching week of practice. At times on Saturday we looked really good, now we just need to do it for 60 minutes. Go Saints!

(ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.) – The Thomas More football team opened the 2018 campaign today (Saturday, September 1, 2018) with 35-28 setback to N.C. Wesleyan College at the Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
First Quarter
    N.C. Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead when Nate Gardner connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ben Dorfman and Caleb Mann added the PAT with 6:57 to play.
    Battling Bishops increased the lead to 14-0 with 3:54 to play when Trey Lancaster caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Gardner and Mann added the PAT.
Second quarter
    Gardner connected on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dupre Falls and Mann added the PAT with 10:15 to play to extend N.C. Wesleyan's lead to 21-0.
    Saints cut the lead to 21-7 when first-year wide receiver Nick Hall (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) scored on an eight-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Justin Post (Macedonia, Nordonia) and junior kicker Cole Mathias (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) added the PAT with 3:03 to play.
Third Quarter
    Senior running back Luke Zajac (Edgewood, Ky./Dixie Heights) scored on an 11-yard run and Mathias added the PAT to cut the lead to 21-14 with 5:15 to play in the quarter.
Fourth Quarter
    Battling Bishops increased the lead to 28-14 with 6:38 to play when Gardner scored on a five-yard run and Mann added the PAT
    The Saints closed the deficit to 28-21 when senior wide receiver Logan Winkler (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) scored on a 30-yard pass from Post and Mathias connected on a the PAT with 5:43 to play.
    Thomas More tied the game at 28-28 with 3:07 to play when senior running back Hjavier Pitts (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mt. Healthy) scored on a 24-yard run and Mathias added the PAT.
    N.C. Wesleyan scored the eventual game-winning touchdown with 46-seconds to play when Gardner connected on a 46-yard touchdown pass to Lancaster and Mann added the PAT for the 35-28 score.
    Post was 18-of-31 passing for 238 yards and two touchdowns and also had four rushes for 14 yards.
    Pitts had 19 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes for 56 yards.
    Zajac had six rushes for 62 yards and a touchdown and also had three catches for two yards.
    Winkler pulled in four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.
    Junior wide receiver Mitchell Hogue (Harrison, Ohio/William Harrison) had four catches for 56 yards.
    Junior linebacker Cody Coffey (Anderson, Ohio/Anderson) had seven tackles (six solo/one assisted), including one tackle for a loss.
    Sophomore defensive back Devon O'Bryon (Oregonia, Ohio/Clinton-Massie) had seven tackles (five solo/two assisted).

    Junior defensive back Thomas Williams (Oregonia, Ohio/Clinton-Massie) had seven tackles (four solo/three assisted).

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