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Since Miner fan Tom Dawson, aka, ITISWHATITIS, has unfortunately lost his long battle with cancer and can no longer start the Linton Miner game thread each week, I thought I would fill in for him at least this once to start this new season.  Tom used to go by USNAVYRET.  Back in the day when the Linton team threads sometimes got a bit more "contentious" than they do nowadays,  Tom could be sort of abrasive at times.  I'm sad that he's gone and I'll certainly miss him.  He moved to Linton from Ohio and had a son that played for Linton several years ago,  He had resided in Bloomington for the last several years although he remained a staunch Linton fan and went to most games when his health permitted. 

Linton has never beaten Southridge but they have a good shot at getting a win Friday night.  Southridge graduated most of the starters on both sides of the ball.  The Miners return almost everyone from the 8-4 team last year.  In last years opener at Southridge, Linton had no offensive punch and lost 28 - 0.  Linton moved the starting QB to WB and promoted the Soph backup QB to starter and responded by beating a good Sullivan team the second week. I'm thinking this this will be the best Miner team since the undefeated !A championship team of 2016.  The big question is can the be good enough to beat Mater Dei in the 2A Sectional.  They never have yet.  We'll worry about that later.  

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Looking forward to see how LInton responds to a "down" season in Linton terms. Most teams would kill for a 8-4 season but that's a down year for Linton. I'm expecting Linton to win this one. Don't think it'll be a blowout but Linton should win. Would love to see Linton rebound and have a great season. Wish we still played Linton, miss those hard hitting games.

Good luck to the Miners!

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I agree with kingtut that this should be the best team since the 2016 team. From what I saw in the scrimmage I liked the defensive change to a 3-4. It should help with the pass defense, and like the fact that Gennicks is playing one of the safety’s. He’s our best tackler in my opinion and I think he’ll be a playmaker there. I liked the move of Drew Smith to OLB. He’s a smart discipline kid that I feel will always do his job and it allows Brenamen to play ILB where I thought he looked really good when he filled in last year. 

As for the offense I thought our first set of plays was rusty, but seemed to kinda click after that. Passing game was hit and miss. I thought it looked like Eslinger and Gennicks have made big jumps.
 

I don’t know much about southridge and would hope somebody that does would come on here and give us a little information from their side.

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That’s the 64 dollar question. Southridge.  The last few years the Raiders have enjoyed consistent success. Some years better Than others , but successful non e the less.  
So if they reload, I’m inclined to go with Southridge. 
You guys know your football in Miner country, and from what your saying it will be a fun year at Linton.  

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On 8/15/2021 at 11:25 AM, kingtut said:

Since Miner fan Tom Dawson, aka, ITISWHATITIS, has unfortunately lost his long battle with cancer and can no longer start the Linton Miner game thread each week, I thought I would fill in for him at least this once to start this new season.  Tom used to go by USNAVYRET.  Back in the day when the Linton team threads sometimes got a bit more "contentious" than they do nowadays,  Tom could be sort of abrasive at times.  I'm sad that he's gone and I'll certainly miss him.  He moved to Linton from Ohio and had a son that played for Linton several years ago,  He had resided in Bloomington for the last several years although he remained a staunch Linton fan and went to most games when his health permitted. 

Linton has never beaten Southridge but they have a good shot at getting a win Friday night.  Southridge graduated most of the starters on both sides of the ball.  The Miners return almost everyone from the 8-4 team last year.  In last years opener at Southridge, Linton had no offensive punch and lost 28 - 0.  Linton moved the starting QB to WB and promoted the Soph backup QB to starter and responded by beating a good Sullivan team the second week. I'm thinking this this will be the best Miner team since the undefeated !A championship team of 2016.  The big question is can the be good enough to beat Mater Dei in the 2A Sectional.  They never have yet.  We'll worry about that later.  

 

I believe North Knox will be a serious contender in your sectional as well as I believe they have several players back from last year’s team.

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I think Southridge is a mystery to everyone including the Southridge fans at this point. We lost a lot of speed from last year but I think there is more size on the line. This game will be a good test and show us a lot more than the scrimmage. 

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Southridge Versus Linton 2021

 

When the rumors started going around a random post game fire one night that perhaps we might line up Southridge as our first week opponent in the coming years everyone was both excited and concerned.  Of course, Linton is never afraid to take on all comers on the football field, so in that spirit that was enthusiasm at facing one the stellar then 2A southern Indiana programs right off the bat.  It hit in reality in fall of 2017 when the Miners hosted the Raiders at Roy Williams Field.  The Raiders had reached the State Final in 2A twice since 2000, losing both times (36-30 to Ft. Wayne Luers in 2002; and 20-7 to Ft. Wayne Harding in 2006). Head Coach Scott Buening took over after the very successful run Kelly Murphy had, and in his first year led the Raiders to a 10-3 record in 2013 winning a sectional before losing to a tough Paoli team in Regional 24-20.  Linton replaced 3A Corydon Central at the Raiders opening game.  Southridge had never had a traditional opening game- Corydon was a 3 game series, and like previous 3 game series with Clarksville then Sullivan, they won them all.  In fact, Southridge has won 13 straight opening week games.

 

Linton has been there victim in each of the last 4 years, and overall in 7 meetings the Miners have had no luck in notching a win. They lost in post-season meetings 40-0 in 1982 and 26-14 in 1995.  Linton brought in history of their own, coming in fresh from back to back state title runs, and finally winning it all in 1A in 2016 34-20 completing an undefeated season with a senior class who had a combined 53 wins and only 4 losses.  They had won sectional titles in each of their 4 years as well, in fact the Miners had won 9 of the last 10 1A sectional 48 trophies.  But that phenomenal class had graduated, and many questions loomed as the Miners were forced up to 2A due to the state’s success factor policy.  Many thought Linton would put in their 2 years in 2A, then return to 1A; but the increase in smaller private/parochial/home school/charter etc would keep Linton in 2A to this day. 

 

That first meeting was everything people thought it would be; and another heartbreaking loss for the Miners.  However the 17-16 loss proved Linton could play with the Raiders even though statistically Southridge’s running game had proven dominating. The difference on the scoreboard being a failed 2 point conversion by Linton, and a 33 yard field goal by Southridge.  The two would meet again in Sectional 2A 40 round two in Huntingburg amidst a downpour.  Of course Southridge had and still has stellar facilities with turf field so there weren’t the mud piles and pits of water to deal with.  The game would go to the half still at 0-0; indeed a dogfight with both teams missing golden opportunities along he way.  Linton reached the Raider 4 and failed on a endzone pass on 4th down, then reached the Raider 16 and again failed on a pass on 4th and 9.  Both were 10 play run dominated drives.  But the 2nd half was Southridge as they scored the first 3 times they have the ball in the 2nd half. Linton was moving the chains, but could not get the key play they needed when they needed it most.  It was a 20-0 final, ending Linton’s season at 7-4, while the Raiders would churn at the way to Indianapolis with the 2A title finishing 13-2.   

 

2018 was a game certainly Miner fans would as soon forget with a 35-7 loss at Huntingburg.  Linton forced the Raiders into a 3 and out on their first possession only to fumble the punt.  Southridge would seize that chance by scoring, and didn’t look back.  They scored on their next possession then we fumbled the kick off and they scored 2 plays later.  28-0 at half with the Raiders calling off the dogs. The only bright spot was a 57 yard Luke Lannan TD run.  Then 2019 was another dogfight down to the last minute at Roy Williams and everything fans could want in a game.  Linton fumbled 2nd play from scrimmage, and Miner fans thought, here we go.   Southridge looked like they were going to drive down and score, but they coughed it up at the Linton 1 yard line!   The Miner served notice by driving 96 yards to the Southridge 4 only to be stopped on downs.  Southridge answered back with a 76 yards catch and run on a 3rd and 8.  Linton then handed another golden opportunity with a fumble at their own 28, and this time the Raiders took that gift, and led 12-0 at the end of 1.  Linton would then march 74 yard on 17 plays to score from 3 out and make it 12-7.  The excitement lasted up to the last second of the opening half as the Raiders for to the Miner 4 and on the last play Gavin House picked off Chase Taylor’s pass in the endzone.  It was back and forth in the 3rd, when finally made noise on a Goodman to Robertson 63 yard play and 2 plays later Goodman went in from the 1 and Linton had a 14-12 lead in the 4th.  The Miner defense made a big play with a screen pass was picked off by Luke Lannan and pushed in another TD on a Goodman to Avery Pucket 13 yard pass making it 20-12.  The Pat would make it a 9 point 2 score game, but the snap was bad.  This would come back to haunt.  The Miners had fallen victim to the long pass play several times in the game, but this 62 yard TD pass to Brad Spinger was huge with just 5:53 left in the game.  The Raiders went for 2 to tie with big Cale Calvert going in.  20 to 20.  Linton punted, and Southridge looked poised to get into field goal range, but elected to go for a 4th and 4 at Linton’s 32 and failed.  2:06 left with a deadlock score what could happen?  Snap issues sudden arose as they had the prior series.  This time Southridge recovered.  And again the pass play did Linton in.  Taylor hitting Garrett Voegerl from 24 out with just 1:13 left and an easy 2 point tacked on making it 28-20.  Linton did not give up, with Goodman launching passes downfield but no success.  Linton would lose the ball on downs and come away with a win many thought the Miners almost had in the bag.  Southridge 9-3 in a season full of injuries to key players and bow out in sectional championship to Heritage Hills.  Linton would not lose again, running the table until the lights went out at the Reitz Bowl in a disastrous start falling 44-20 to  Mater Dei.

 

It was a young Miner squad that took the field at Southridge High School in 2020, and they showed promise on their initial drive but a huge loss on a 3rd and 7 forced a punt.  Southridge did the same but got to the Miner 15 and on 4th and 7 Goodman picked Taylor off to keep the Raiders off the board. From then on it really was a defensive battle with both teams struggling to move the ball.  Southridge mounted a 15 play drive from their own 18 that reached the Miner 24 when time ran out after Tayler had scrambled trying to make a play.  Yes, it was still 0-0 at the half and Miner Fans were impressed with the effort.  Linton stopped Southridge on 3 and out to start the 2nd half, but game them ball right back on an interception by Camden Gasser that he returned 48 yards to the Miner 15.  Matt punched it in from 3 for a 7-0 Raider lead.  The Turnover gift card was open immediately and another as Aiden Jochem grabbed a Goodman pass putting them at the Miner 20. This time Taylor kept the ball himself from 4 yard out, and it was 14-0 halfway through the 3rd stanza.  Still the defenses controlled this on both sides until Linton failed on a 4th and 2 from their own 20 leading to another Taylor TD run.  Then the 3rd interception on the night happened with 6:11 left with Reid Schroeder taking it to the house from 19 yards out to put the finishing touches on a 28-0 disappointing Miner loss.  As it turned out, these Raiders were far from rebuilding, and they rolled through the season winning sectional and regional before a loss at Semi-State to Danville 30-7 finishing 13-1.   Linton would make big changes in the weeks after the Southridge loss that paid dividends, and would win their next three, and lose a heartbreaker to Boonville in OT. The team really began to going into the final weeks of 2020, and managed to get past the favored Tell City Marksman on the  road in mudfest, but eventually it was the Mater Dei Wildcats who came to “the Roy” and ended the Miners hopes 37-20 and an 8-4 campaign. 

 

 For the most part this has been a great series, and it surely helps us focus on what we have to do to get better. I don't think there has been a game where we haven't come out stronger in week 2 because of the competition level and learning experience our miners absorb. 0-5 on paper doesn't look great for us, but there have been some really tight to the bitter end battles... and it's just been great to have experienced the Raider Nation down in Huntingburg as well as see the success Southridge has had in multiple sports over these years.  I know this senior group of Miners would love to get a “W” against this respected program. But I also know the Raiders, despite the loss of several key senior players from 2020 do not ever use the work rebuild.  They will have their kids ready to play from start to finish, and that’s somewhat was Linton Football was known for as well.  It promises to be a tremendous game, and a tremendous opportunity for Linton folks to come out and pack out Roy Williams Field this Friday as a show of force and support to these Miners.  Southridge will bring the noise; we should never be outdone in our home field. 

 

 

 

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Heading into week one, it is the moment these Miner football players have looked forward to since the lights went down at the Roy on November 6 2020.  What a crazy year 2020 was with the Pandemic essentially shutting down attendance, and some schools cancelling games and seasons completely.  We were so lucky and through diligence played a full season with little issue.  That was through the caution of the coaching staff, the players, the school… everyone connected.   We thought we would be clear of that issue coming into 2021, but it obviously isn’t.  So again, we come into a season with a health issue that is quite serious. 

 

Linton brings in 13 seniors into 2021, on a roster of 51 which is much better than the low point of 42 in 2020.  Each of these 13 seniors have been 4-year players.  They come into their final year off an 8-4 2020 season that was a unique challenge unlike any prior season I have seen!  Many if not most of these returning seniors were key players as juniors and will provide a lot of leadership.

 

That starts in a strong defensive side of the ball led by a corps of linebackers that includes 3 of those seniors.  #2 Gabe Eslinger, #44 Bracey Brenneman man the inside with #13 Drew Smith and #12 Hunter Johns on the outside.  Eslinger (6’0 205) and Smith (6’2 215) led the Miners in tackles from ILB last year with 102 and 100 respectively.  They both led in TFL as well with Eslinger’s 19.5 leading the way.  Late in the season Eslinger was moved to various defensive positions (NT, DT) and Breneman (6’2 200) was impressive with 40 stops.  With Johns, a junior (5’8 170 & 4th in tackles with 60), a starter as a sophomore at OLB, this are should be a strongpoint for Linton.  Add to that Seniors Jackson Lynn (6’0 185, who missed pretty much all of 2020 to injury) and #62 Cody Jackson (5’10 195)  to that OLB mix. ILB could also see  Junior #5 Brayden Cox (5’10 165) and Soph Ty Boyd (#9 6’1 190). The DL also brings back experience with seniors #58 Donovan DeBruhl (6’0 275), #63 Jackson Fields (6’0 205), #17/54 Cameron Goodman (6’3 200) and Juniors #51 Wrigley Franklin (6’3 225), & #56 Aiden Giles (6’3 125). DeBruhl was 8th in total tackles with 40, Fields with 23.  Goodman missed most of the 2020 season, but came on strong as a starter at DE at season’s end. Both Franklin and Giles were OL starters who will be involved in the Defense in 2021.  Add incoming Jr #74 Nathan Watson (6’0 255), So #77 Jacob Breedlove (6’5 255) and Fr #69 Hank Gennicks (6’2 235) to the depth list.  The entire defensive backfield returns in tact with the 3rd leading tackler back in safety #32 Jaydan Miller (5’8 150).  Miller had 62 tackles, and 3 of the Miner D’s 19 Interceptions last year.  #7 Kaulin Padgett (5’9 190) led the team with 7 picks, and added 25 tackles, while #24 Eli Poe (6’2 175) had 4 interceptions and 30 tackles. These 3 seniors should benefit from their continuity the last couple of years.  This year will see Jr #14 Hunter Gennicks (6’0 195) join Miller at safety, and certainly will benefit from Sr #20 Ayden Riggleman (6’0 170) and Jr #23 Logan Webb (6’4 170) able to contribute. 

 

Offensively there are just as many positives, and it starts with the QB position.  Hunter Gennicks took over at QB1 in week 2 of 2020 as sophomore and became a dual threat to defenses.  His ability to scramble and make plays launched him to lead Linton with 916 rushing yards.  He could have easily been over 1,000 had there not been games he and other starters sat 4th quarters out in lop sided wins.  Stronger, faster and with a year’s experience under his belt as well as the tutelage of his father (offensive Coordinator Jake Gennicks), he should be fun to watch in 2021.  The skill unit returns nearly every contributor from 2020. The biggest replacement would be WB Trey Goodman’s 542 rushing and 281 receiving yards, and 12 TDs combined.  Drew Smith was an old-fashioned bruising fullback in 2020 with 448 yards and 4 TDs, and both Gabe Eslinger and Bracey Brenneman capable of the same role.  As noted above, all three over 6’0 and 200+ they will be a load to bring down.  Kaulin Padgett missed the opening 2 weeks of the 2020, but immediately brought the much needed speed from WB in week three and had 443 yards rushing and 4 TDs.   Eslinger was injured in week 2, but came back strong albeit on the defensive side of the ball most the way.  He did have 6 carries for 60 yards in the semi-final win over North Posey, and no doubt could have stepped in at any time.  In 2021 he will be a strong part of the Miner Offense at WB.  The Miner rushing attack is always a source of pride, and ran for 2,763 yards, 38 TDs and 230.8 per game in 2020, but the 1,136 passing yards certainly help that cause.  No doubt Linton will try to push the air attack to loosen defenses prepared to stop the Miner run.  Gennicks throw for 1,099 yards on 70 of 139 passing with an amazing 17 TDs’ against only 2 picks.   He returns his top target in Sr Eli Poe at SE.  Poe was targeted twice and many times as any other receiver (62 passes his way, 36 to Goodman), and led the Miners in catches (32), yards (392) and receiving TDs (6).  Expect to see Linton use more receivers in their basic set in 2021 to go with that passing focus.  Ayden Riggleman saw action in 2 SE’s situations in ’20 and Logan Webb will definitely be in that mix.  Consider that all three have height (6’2, 6’0 and 6’4) and at 170 pounds, their athleticism could cause coverage issues.  2020’s starting TE at the end of the year was Goodman, who had 2 catches, 1 for a TD in the Sectional Championship. With Ty Boyd and Jackson Lynn expected to be in the TE mix, combined with Goodman 6’3 200 lb frame and experience he looks to be earmarked for one of the tackle positions on the line.

 

That offensive line will have new faces having to replace the twin Giles brothers Damien and Landon. 2 starters return as juniors in another Giles- #56 Aiden (6’3 215), and #51 Wrigley Franklin (6’3 225) both at Guards.  To be honest it’s still a working mix but it’s clear there are several players that will be involved, just a matter of where.  #58 Sr Donovan DeBruhl (6’0 275) saw starting time as a tackle in 2020, and JV starter now Jr #74 Nathan Watson (6’0 255), Frosh #69 Hank Gennicks (6’2 235) and aforementioned Goodman all seem to be set up for any of the positions going into this Friday.  #62 Sr Cody Jackson (5’10 195) is in that mix as well.  There are several young sophs with good size that I’d expect coaches to look for who step up and impress in both practices and in JV games. Depth is always a plus in small school football.

 

Special Teams I can only go on last year stats, and that was Jaydan Miller handling place kicking and punting duties.  He had been a great asset punting with a 35.9 average, but more importantly placing opponents inside their own 20, as well getting off much needed punts when Linton has been in poor field position.  He didn’t start kicking PAT’s until week 8 and finished up hitting 10 of 15 (66.7%).   Kickoff duties were with Drew Smith with typically short pooch type kicks designed to hit around the 20-25 sideline… or straight out squigglers down the middle of the field. These often produced turnovers and opponents would not be able to handle the ball before immediately being hit.  With Smith expected to be on the field nearly every play, I’m sure there are others getting a look in these days leading up to possible get Smith off the field… although he would not want to. 

 

One thing returning to Miner Football last year that has been missing was the big special teams play.  Hunter Johns made the memorable punt return TD at Boonville late that seemed to seal a victory for the Miners,  and Hunter Gennicks had a kickoff return TD against North Posey.  Add to that 19 pickoffs, and Hunter Johns interception return TD against Sullivan… all this mean is more excitement and another level of concern for opponents. 

 

So we count down the minutes until the Roy opens up the gates, and hopefully people will come out in full force to support this edition of Miners as they take the field.  I was talking with a couple of young sophomores, who didn’t play last year, about that thrill of running out on the Roy that first time under the lights and hearing the crowd.   Course…it’s not under the lights actually, and because of Covid there was little to no crowds in 2020.  But honestly the attendance at home games has been not near the level of past years.  And it’s a real shame with the level of football we have been privy to at Linton.  The kids need to see, hear, and feel the Miner Faithful when they are laying it on the line.  Every single play in football could be their last.  There is that risk with every snap.  They need our 100% support!!

Southridge comes in from another impressive season at 13-1 halted only in the semi-state loss to Danville 30-7.  Danville would lose the state title game to Chatard 42-14.  The 2020 Raider roster was loaded with Seniors, 16 in all, and several key ingredients to their success.  From last year’s starting lineup against Linton, I see all only one starter back on offense, with only returning from the defensive lineup.  One of those is Aiden Jochem (#8, Sr, 6’1 181) who has started since his sophomore year at Tight End/Safety.  He will be an obvious main focus as he moves to the RB position in 2021.  The Raiders have always done damage with the ground game, and last year featured three 1,000+ yard rushers in Chase Taylor, Camdon Gasser and Matt Springer.  Miner Fans certainly recall Cody Calvert, Colton Montgomery, Tucker Shank, & Jayce Harter- all 1.000+ rushers the Miner have had to try and contain. 

Jochem looks to be in the same mold and Schank with physical toughness, and playing to the end of the whistle.  The only other returning starter is Reid Schroeder (#28, Jr, 6’1 198) who played with Jochem at safety in 2020.  Schroeder is listed as the starting WB and OLB this year but was in street clothes in their scrimmage last week against Perry Central.  He wasn’t on crutches, or in any visible distress so I would plan on seeing him on the field. 

 

One thing that you can’t help by notice is how much experience and offensive numbers graduated last year.  But we’ve seen this before.  Southridge seems to reload and put players in the system and they execute and succeed.  Out of 4,459 rushing yards last year only 230 of that is returning this year, and Jochem was at TE.  As always though, it starts of with the efforts of the offensive line, and Southridge will have new faces at each position.  Let me say this first of all… I don’t know beyond that opening game with Linton in 2020 what might have changed in the season as per starters and playing time for the Raiders.  I can only look to the stats, which give good info, but offensive line-wise there isn’t any real way to know who might have ended up a starter, or got a lot of rotations.  I do know that from watching the Perry Central scrimmage, and information from Coach Buening that it looks to be anchored with 3 seniors in the middle led by center Cameron Fuesler (#75, 6’2 221) with guards #73 Hunter Eckert (6’2 187) and #57 Matt Altmeyer (5’10 173).  Eckert was a skill player last year and made the move to OL.  The Tackles are both Juniors- #68 Juan Mendoza (5’10 232) and #51 Crew Gerber (5’10 194).  The Raiders always use the TE, and with Jochems’ move to RB, it falls to #14 Cabeb Kramer (6’2 193) with #43 Luke Meyer (Jr, 6’3 174) in the mix as well.  With the obvious successful rushing numbers year in and out with Southridge, you know this line will be well versed in the fundamentals!

 

At Quarterback will be Jr Levi Neukam (#2, 6’0 162) who looks to be athletic and able to throw and run well.  He only threw 1 pass in 2020,  and had 12 carries for 106 yards in duty backing up Taylor.  As mentoned, Jochem is at RB and looked strong in the scrimmage.  The WB’s are Schroeder, who had 27 rushes for 209 yards and a score last year.  In the scrimmage it was #25 JR Joe Witte (6’0 176) at that spot.  Opposite WB is Sr #18 Kaden Neukam (6’1 181).  He had 4 carris for 77 yards in sparse duty 2020.  At SE is Sr #5 Carter Whitehead (6’0 171) who wasn’t on the roster last year.  The Receiving corps lost most all of it’s experience in the graduation of Gasser who had 610 of the total 910 yards, and 26 of the 47 catches.  In past meetings with the Raiders, their ability to has success in the deep pass has hurt the Miners, so despite their rushing prowess, the DBs have to stay honest.  The Scrimmage showed that Neukam isn’t afraid to go deep to Whitehead, alons with #44 Cole Wirthwein or #89 Keaton Allen.  Certainly, like Linton, the WB’s play a role in the passing game, besides those mentioned already there is #24 Myles Kerhoff, #23 Gage Werner and #6 Yamil Arroyo as backups. 

 

Defensively again it is nearly all new faces, at least as starters from the 2020 Linton game.  Jochem returns at Safety, had 87 tackles (4th on team) with 4 TFL last year.  #18 Neukam is the other safter (37 tackles in 2020 so he had field time for sure).  The Corners are Whitehead, and Witte, neither with a recorded stop last year.  The QB Neukam can also be out there but likely not.  The LB’s are always a key element to any teams success, but Southridge has always had outstanding backers, and this year they will be #73 SR Eckert (28 tackles 2 TFL in2020) along with Jr #14 Kramer (36 and 2).  On the outside will be Schroeder (if he is healthy) who started as a sophomore last year and had 80 tackles with 10 TFL.  Certainly he would be missed on both sides of the ball should be not play.  In the scrimmage it was #60 Cayden Andrews (Sr, 5;9 167) who had no tackles in 2020.  On the other side it was #6 Yamil Arroyo (5’9 173) who is starting as a Sophomore.  Up front it is #43 Luke Meyer (JR, 6’3 174) at nose with #57 Altmeyer and Jr #76 Eric Vanegas (5’11 238) at DE’s.  Altmeyer had 11 tackles in 2020, Meyer 1, and Vanegas 1 as well.   Others who may see action:  OLB’s #55 Owen Hunefeld (So 5;10 162), #24 Myles Kerkhoff (So 6’2 172) and #33 Hudson Allen (So 6’1 158).  At ILB #27 Anthony Laughlin (Jr 5’9 156) and #23 Gage Werner (So 5’11 157).  Up front with #75 Fuesler and #68 Mendoza (both OL starters), and #79 SR Noah Abbott (6’2 221 and #74 Xavier Vanagas (So 6’0 316).  At DB #44 Cole Wirthwein (Jr 6’0 142) and #89 Keaton Allen (So 6’2 153)

 

Taylor also handled punting duties in 2020, so that falls as well on Jochem this year, with #87 Max Jessee (Sr 5’10 240) and/or #12 Emiio Flores (So 6’0 168) handing kicking. 

 

 

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Linton played hard the entire game and came away with a well deserved win. Southridge played well for the first half and then the wheels kind of fell off in the 2nd half. Too many kids on the ground with cramps for the Raiders in the 2nd half.

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46 minutes ago, sr1 said:

Linton played hard the entire game and came away with a well deserved win. Southridge played well for the first half and then the wheels kind of fell off in the 2nd half. Too many kids on the ground with cramps for the Raiders in the 2nd half.

Seems like reoccurring theme around the state this year. Getting dehydrated ain’t no joke. 

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18 hours ago, sr1 said:

Linton played hard the entire game and came away with a well deserved win. Southridge played well for the first half and then the wheels kind of fell off in the 2nd half. Too many kids on the ground with cramps for the Raiders in the 2nd half.

indeed... it seemed like every play there for about 6 plays there was a kid on the ground.  I know on the Miners 19 yard score in the 3rd.. our 1st score...  Jochem, Kramer and Neukam were off the field... that's your OLB, ILB and safety.  I admire they way they kept hanging it there... Kramer particularly....  The Miner Defense definitely played well other than letting a couple receivers get wide open...fortunately only one cost us... but a couple could have been TDs I think had the passes been on mark...altho Padgett (#7) made a great play knocking one down last minute.  I was just aghast at halftime being down 13-0... Fumbles and miscues killed that 1st half do Linton.. but it could have been worse that 13-0 at half, and who knows how that would have affected things.  Coming out after that score with 47 seconds before the half, AND, the Raiders receiving the kickoff... I thought that was do or die time.  Much respect for Southridge as always... I am a Raider Fan any other Friday, and I hate hate hate that we are no longer playing each other after this one.  Going to Southridge was always a high point  I looked forward to every year... though not getting handed our butts a couple times.  We had some doozie ball games, and I am real proud and happy for the kids finally get a W against such a program.  I've seen some great players in these last 5 years.   I thought Eckert and Kramer played hard at ILB... I had them each with double digits tackles.  of course I thought Jochem was a tough kid.  I knew he would be from prior years.  Not having Schroeder hurt I'm sure at WB and OLB... but the #6 kid made plays and just a sophomore.  

For Linton... Gennicks showed he can make a big play in the run department, but we gotta get that passing to contribute and help loosen defenses.  We have some workhorses with Smith and Eslinger... Eslinger showed his surprising speed on that 55 yard sprint down the sideline... but he's a physical guy... both of these guys are on both sides of the ball.  I saw Eslinger deliver some big hits from offensive lineman trying to hit him downfield.... sort of a reverse pancake situation.  Hunter "Papa" Johns was really our big player on offense... he had 84 or so yards total.. but it seemed like he had a big run just when we needed it...   Wrigley Franklin at DE #51, as well as Cameron Goodman #54 both were in on a lot of plays defensively... and for the most part the DB's were in good coverage.  It was as expected a physical battle, and this year I think the Miner experience and perhaps their physical shape won out.  Course, there were Miners who were battling that cramping issue... but it seemed to hit the Raiders very hard.. especially right after the half.   

Best of luck the Raiders... I think they are still gonna notch up a lot of wins in 2021.   ANd congrats to my Miners for coming out and responding to a mistake riddled 1st half and rallying for a 2nd half performance more to what we expect.  Miner Defense did a great job all night.  Best yet.. I don't think I saw anyone on either side injured in the course of the game.  Linton had lost a projected starter on the Wednesday before the game...and I hated that... but hopefully he can be back soon.  I know Shroeder is always dealing with an injury and hopefully he can be back on the field soon as well.  

I want to thank Coach Buening personally for the time he took to let me know starters and the pre-game interviews over the years.  he's got a great laugh, and is always gracious in our conversations...  also the Southridge folks I've met over the last few years in doing the games at Huntingburg.... there is certainly mutual respect.

 

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2ND Half Domination leads to Miners 1st victory

     If you waited until halftime to come to the Roy, or tune in the broadcast; well you might have thought how could the Miners be down 13-0 coming out of the locker room?!   Perhaps the Miners came out with opening game jitters, but the Miner defense had kept it from being worse. Halftime adjustments and perhaps a bit of old time re-focus paid dividends immediately that led to a 27-0 2nd half performance and the Miners first win over Southridge in 8 meetings. 

     Actually, the offense looked sharp on their opening series with a short pass from Junior QB Hunter Gennicks to Senior Wideout Eli Poe gaining 8 yards, followed by a straight ahead churn of 5 yards from Senior Fullback Drew Smith.  Then disaster struck as Gennicks tried to make a last minute pitch in the midst of several Raiders draped over him, and the ball was knocked free by Linebacker Caleb Kramer, with Aiden Jochem falling on the ball at the Miner 27 yard line.  However this experience Miner Defense had no plans to let Southridge take advantage, and stuffed the vaunted Raider running game down in 2 plays, then QB Levi Neukam saw the ball ever so slightly slip out of grasp, perhaps courtesy of Miner Senior ILB Gabe Eslinger.  It squired forward to the Miner 18 where Senior Free Safety Jayden Miller landed on it.  Series two ended with Gennicks 9 yard run just short of the needed yardage, and Miller punted 32 yards to Jochem, and again the Raiders started in Miner territory. But the Defense for the 2nd time shut down Southridge in 3 plays resulting in a Jochem punt into the endzone with 5:06 in the first.

                The Miners showed offensive life with a 10 yard run from Junior WB Hunter Johns, followed by a 22 yard Raider-dragging run from Gennicks that set Linton up at the Raider 49, but Southridge rose up to make 3 stops, and Miller pinned the Raiders at their own 9 on a perfect punt fair caught by Kaden Neukam.  Linton had a chance to play the field position game with a stop, and had a great chance on a 3rd and 7 at the Raider 12 when Kaden Neukam got free space on an excellent fake to Jochem, and rambled 16 yards to the 28 before Johns and Miller made the tackle.  Another 3rd down apparent stop went aside when Junior DE Wrigley Franklin was tagged with a facemask call just after dropping the Raider QB at the line of scrimmage.  The Raiders would get their 3rd first down of the drive and reach the Miner 40 but a holding call pushed them back to their own side of the 50.  After Smith nearly picked off an attempted screen, Neukam nearly hit a wide open Carter Whitehead on the hash marks but Senior DB Kaulin Padgett cause just enough disturbance for an incompletion.  Jochem’s ensuing punt rolled dead at the Miner 4. 

Then…Disaster #2.  Eslinger burst through the line to the 10 looking for more but Jochem wrangled the ball out of Gabe’s arm at the Miner 9. The Miner Defense made the Raiders earn it, but Jochem out ran them to the right corner for the game’s initial score at 6:22.  Max Jessee nailed the PAT kick for a 7-0 Raider lead. Linton’s offense was stymied leading to a 3 and out and another Miller Punt.  All through 2020 Jayden had been an effective weapon punting the ball, as he had all game long, but something I hadn’t seen in many a year would lead to disaster #3… and unless my eyes deceived me, it appeared his punt went off the back of one of the three protector big men in the punt formation.  Carter Harris would jump on the ball at the Miner 24 with 4:53 in the half.  The Miner Defense once more refused to crumble and had a 3rd and 17 after back to back negative plays made by Smith (-5) and both Franklin and Sr DE Cameron Goodman (-2).  But the pass play missed earlier made a reappearance, this time with Whitehead making the catch at the Miner 9.  Still it came down to under a minute with 4th down at the1 yard line.  It looked like the Miners might make the stop, but Jochem was able to stretch out the defense and just get in on the outside of the end zone.  However, Jessee’s PAT kick was missed to the left, leaving the score 13-0 Raiders with just 48 seconds to wind down to the half. 

The Roy was a little shell shocked to be honest as the teams headed to the locker rooms.  My feeling was that it could have been a bigger margin deficit, and that the Linton defense had kept the Miners in the game, and that if the offense could eliminate their self-destruction; well there was 24 minutes left of football to be played.  Neither offense had looked good & both were under 100 yards of total yardage, and little to no passing game on either side (a collective 3 of 14).  Turnovers had been the big number for both teams not just Linton.  2 Miner fumbles and a punt implosion had put the Raiders put Southridge on the Miner doorstep three times while the lone Raider fumble took away a scoring opportunity.  Linton had more rushing (18 for 75, 4.17 per carry) while the Raiders could only muster 2.9 per carry (22 for 64).  The one Raider pass completion accounted for 22 yards giving Southridge the edge in yardage 86 to 84. 

Everybody knows the 1st series of a 2nd half is a key moment for both sides in a close contest.  It took two plays for that momentum to change.  After an opening 2 yard loss on a stop by Johns and Eslinger, QB Neukam lost the exchange with his RB and Drew Smith fell on the ball at the Raider 32.  Still, the Miner offense struggled as DE Matt Altmeyer, & ILB Hunter Eckert made defensive plays to force a 4th down and 6 at the Southridge 29.  It would be the strength of Gabe Eslinger who broke a couple tackles and eeked out the 1st down yardage by a yard.  With numerous Raiders going down with cramp issue multiple plays in a row, it was Hunter Johns taking the inside counter and with a large hole created by the offensive line cruised to a 19 yard score.  That line consisted of Tackles Senior Cameron Goodman and Freshman Hank Gennicks; Guards Wrigley Franklin and Aiden Giles (both juniors) and junior Center Nathan Watson.  The 2nd half also saw Sr Donovan DeBruhl was essentially an extra lineman at a Tight End position giving the Miners extra girth that seemed to spur the rushing game.  Jayden Miller hit the PAT and a 13-7 score at 8:56 of the 3rd Quarter. 

We spoke of disasters for Linton in the 1st half, Southridge faced their 2nd such disaster on the 1st play after the kick-off.  As Neukam rolled out to pass, Franklin applied pressure and the pass attempt went to Whitehead across the middle.  This time there were three Miners surrounding Whitehead, and Eslinger got a hand on the ball, tipping in air bound, then juggling, then making the interception then running 25 yards to the Raider 25.  A block in the back started the possession at the Raider 35.  But again, like the Miner D, the Southridge D refused to roll over particularly Jr ILB Caleb Kramer was involved in five consecutive stops.  Another 4th down and 6 faced Linton at the Raider 31, and this time it was Hunter Gennicks making a play with his feet for an 8 yard gain.  Linton pushed inside the 10 to the 6, and on 3rd down Gennicks would push through off tackle to tie the score at 13 with 4:33 left in the 3rd.  Miller would give the Miners the edge 14-13 with a solid PAT. 

Southridge seemed to dig deep realizing they needed to stop the bleeding.  Jochem opened with back to back runs for a 1st down and their own 37.  Kaulin Padgett made perhaps the play of the game on a 2nd and 7, as the Raiders popped out the pass play down the seam that had been open before, and appeared to be wide open again.  Neukam’s pass looked to be on the mark which looked to be a certain touchdown in the making.  At the last second Padgett, coming over from cornerback, leaped and knocked down the pass.  Jochem was stuffed by Sr NT Jackson Fields, and Sr ILB Bracey Breneman on 3rd down forcing a punt, but also pinning the Miners at their own 11.  It was Johns again with a 16 yard counter that moved the ball out to the 37, out of the shade of their own end zone.  The Raider D stiffened with Eckert and safety Caleb Neukam making stops.  Miller once more pinned the Raiders inside the 20 and the 4th quarter began.

Bracey Breneman brought the Miner faithful to their feet with a big hit on Neukam dropping the Raider QB to their own 10 on 1st down.  A 3rd down pass for Jochem on the sidelines was beautifully caught but solid defense from Eli Poe using the sideline barrier made it incomplete.  The Raiders were forced to punt facing a 4th and 11.  The explosion factor that has always been Miner Football chose this time to return to the forefront.  Gennicks kept the ball on the opening play from the Raider 46, and busted through tacklers and streaked down the middle of the field to pay dirt to push Linton to a 20-13 lead.  But the door was left just open as the PAT sailed left leaving the margin at 7 with 9:46 left.   Things got more nerve wracking as soph Yamil Arroyo returned the Drew Smith kick-off to the mid field stripe.  However the Miner defense had been on point all night, and maintained that in this key possession.  Goodman, then Eslinger made 1 yard stops on Neukam, then Johns read the swing pass to Jochem setting up a 4th and two at the Miner 42.  Electing to go for it, Southridge looked to have drawn multiple Miners offside; but, the official call was Procedure on the Raiders and that changed the decision to punting the ball.  Jochem did his job with a high punt that Miller fielded with a fair catch at the Miner 7.

One more it was the legs of Hunter Johns with the big play, again on a counter catching the Raiders following Gennicks. Johns busted free for a 27 yard gain which just about cut out the lights on the game but not quite yet.  From the Miner 38, Gabe Eslinger powered through the Raider D with impressive strength and reached midfield on a game of 12, but Whitehead punched the ball loose with Carter Harris leaping on the pigskin at midfield.  With 4:02 left in the contest, Southridge had an opportunity down a score and PAT, and a lead with a 2 point conversion.  The Miners had not had good results in these type of endings against the Raiders to date.  With both fan bases on their feet, Neukam went deep on a wheel route Jochem with almost identical results to the early play.  Jochem leaped and caught the ball, but Poe’s hit put him out of bounds and incomplete.  After Drew Smith stuffed Jochem at the Miner 48, a 3rd and 8 pass for Whitehead was over thrown possibly affected from Wrigley Franklin’s pressure.  On 4th down, more pressure in the form of Johns from OLB forced Neukam to scramble.  He made a great effort refusing to go down, and appeared to be lunging for the necessary yards went Hunter Gennicks stepped in to bring him down just a yard shy.  Linton ball. 

It was quite the night for Gabe Eslinger, and knowing him I’m sure he beat himself up for the two fumbles. Besides a key interception that led to the Miner go ahead score, he would drive the nails in with a 55 yard run.  It showed speed I didn’t think he had as he reached the second level and darted to the Raider sideline about their 40 and turned on the jets keeping a mere inches in bounds and out running the defense to the delight of the South End Zone Miner Fans.  Miller drilled the PAT despite being hit after the kick but the celebration had begun as Linton took a 27-13 lead with 2:24 remaining.  Southridge would not surrender, and Neukam was forced to the air 8 times in a row.  Once he gained 11 on a scramble after pressure from Giles, but the passes didn’t provide the big play needed.  Neukam’s pass to Myles Kerkhoff bounced into his arms on 4th and 4 incomplete, and Linton would take a knee from their own 42 to achieve the win. 

The 2nd half numbers were vastly different from the opening half.  Particularly for the Miners.

Of Linton’s 320 total yards, 236 came in the 2nd half; All of that on the ground.  Southridge could only manage 136 total yards, and only gained 50 in the 2nd half.  Neither team was a threat in the air, Linton just 2 of 9 for 9 yards, and Southridge hitting just 4 of 20 for 35 yards.  The Miners tallied 311 rushing yards led by Hunter Gennicks’ 125 on 20 touches with 2 TDs.  Hunter Johns (7-84 TD) and Gabe Eslinger (9-80 TD) along with some bruising inside runs from Drew Smith (9-20) all made contributions.  Eli Poe had one catch for 8 yards, Eslinger the other for 1 yard.  Southridge combined for 101 rush yards on 36 carries, just 2.8 per carry.  Aiden Jochem let with 40 yards on 13 carries and 2 scores; Levi Neukam with 36 on 12 carries and Kaden Neukam 4 for 21.  Levi was 4 of 20 passing with an interception thrown.  Jochem, Neukam (Kaden), Whitehead and Keaton Allen each had a catch. 

          Eslinger led defensively with 8 total tackles, 2 assisted TFL’s, and a big interception.  Franklin was in on 3 TFL’s and 7 tackles (5 solo).  Hunter Gennicks with 7, Johns added 6 tackles, Smith 5, Miller 4.  Padgett was busy defending 5 passes, Johns with 4.  Smith and Miller each had Fumble Recoveries.  Caleb Kramer had a big night for the Raiders defensively with 15 total tackles, Hunter Ecker with 11.  Yamil Arroyo and Aiden Jochem both with 8 and 6 each from Matt Altmeyer and Kaden Neukam.   JOchem recovered 2 fumbles, Carter Harris the other.  Jayden Miller punted 5 times with a 31.8 average, inside the Raider 20 on 3 of those.  He was 3 of 4 in PAT kicks.  Drew Smith kicked off 4 times mostly squibs up the middle with a 27.4 average.  Jochem punted 5 times for a 46.2 average, 3 inside the 20 including a touchback.  Max Jessee was 1 of 2 on PATs and had 3 kickoffs with a 44.67 average.

     The Miners had 14 first downs to Southridge’s 6.   The Raiders had 8 penalties for 57 yards compared to Linton’s 5 for 45 yards.  Each team with 3 turnovers.  Linton 3-11 on 3rd downs, 2-2 on 4th Downs, with the Raiders 4-15 on 3rd and 2-5 on 4th.  Both teams were perfect in the red zone (each 2 for 2). Time of Possession was Linton at 25:30, Southridge at 22:30 with total play count about even at 56 for SOuthridge, 53 for Linton.  Linton had 4 explosive plays (20+ yards) versus just one for SOuthridge.  Linton’s Defense had 6 TFL for 17 yards included and 8 yard sack, while Southridge had 5 TFL for just 6 yards.

     Week 2 brings the 100+ meeting between Sullivan and Linton.  The Golden Arrows will bring a 1-0 record and a high scoring offense to the Roy after a 35-6 win over North Knox last week.  Linton won last year in an exciting 22 to 16 overtime battle at Sportland Field, and have won 2 in a row, and 5 of the last 6 meetings.  Southridge will host Boonville (0-0) in Huntingburg.  This was the last meeting in the regular season between Raiders and the Miners as Parke-Heritage will be in that slot in 2022.  I would expect a huge turnout next Friday as Sullivan is bound to bring a large entourage, and I would certainly more than expect Lintonians in full turnout.  It should be quite the setting albeit hot and a highlight of the season.               

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