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Linton Miners vs North Knox Warriors


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Warriors have great kids on their teams always have. Record seems really good until you look at the records of teams they have played. I think they are really over their head this year with the Miners. Hope no one gets hurt either side. Any thoughts?

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well.... they really rolled over us at Linton last year....it was truly embarrasing to see the MIner D get man handled.  I think to an extent Linton under estimated NK last year going into the game.. but when they had such success running the ball.. it was obvious the Warriors had their offense gelling.  NK definitely has skill guys back in Sheren & Doades,  and because of their run prowess the pass has been successful... Lyons with 7 TDs.. and it looks like they've got sophs and freshmen  who are stepping up.  We all know Beau Noland is a beast on both sides... but they've got what they do down very very well.  3 seniors and 2 juniors on the line with  a TE... they just over power and then eat a ton of time off the clock.  If they get ahead...you have to score because you may not see the ball but 4 times a night.

Linton is a better team this year on both sides of the ball.  The linebackers-- Eslinger, Brenneman, Smith and now Lynn (With JOhns out)... are gonna be uber-counted on.  The DB's are gonna have to be sure not to bite and give up the long ball..   the down linemen are gonna have to eat up space to cause the Olinemen trouble in pulling.  So many things have to happen.  Doades is a big play guy, Sheren the workhorse in the Warrior tradition.  Linton offense is much more potent in 2021, and the passing much more evident.  The Oline will have to give Gennicks time, but Gennicks is a heck of a play maker too..  containing him will be key for Warrior D.

I don't think it's wrong to say that the Miners have had this one circled heading into this season.  NK put 407 rushing yards on the sheet BUT ALSO held Linton to just 110 rushing.  Don't forget that.  LInton had just 195 total yards to 430 for NK.  RHett Sheren ruled the night with 262 yards, 3 TDs on 26 carries.  Holtman Doads added 82 on 13 touches.  Linton's best was 38 yards from Gennicks.  Linton was shut down offensively and could not stop NK defensively.  

NK lost Hammelman at QB, and Zach Boyles at HB, and both TE'S in Brocksmith and Long... but return 4 of 5 lineman up front in Thompson, Noland, Bond and Worstell. They also lost Boyd who had 16 tackles against Linton...   The Miners lost 5 seniors from last year... but this is week 7... not week 1 or 2...  so those new starters or young kids playing for the first time are experienced by now.

This should be a  slobber-knocker.  If you do comparisons in opponents it's hard  to ignore NK lone lose of the year.. .to Sullivan 35-6.  Linton beat the Arrows the next week 34-21.  But.... last year NK was also beaten by Sullivan in week 1 48-19.... while LInton had beaten SUllivan in Overtime.... and yet 27-14 over Linton... so... throw that out the window.  A more reasonable comparison would be Boonville.  NK won a dogfight 27-26 a couple weeks back, a week before Linton had a 35-14 dominating win over the Pioneers.  Again.. I don't know that it means anything....  there will be a heated spark in the air at Warrior Field...There was a lot of celebration in handing the Miners that loss on homecoming at the Roy.. not just from the players but from the fans....and justly so....They had not beaten Linton in the last 14 meetings, and 26 of 27 since 1997.   So... yeah it was big news and an upset in most eyes.  

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19 hours ago, Miner_Pride said:

well.... they really rolled over us at Linton last year....it was truly embarrasing to see the MIner D get man handled.  I think to an extent Linton under estimated NK last year going into the game.. but when they had such success running the ball.. it was obvious the Warriors had their offense gelling.  NK definitely has skill guys back in Sheren & Doades,  and because of their run prowess the pass has been successful... Lyons with 7 TDs.. and it looks like they've got sophs and freshmen  who are stepping up.  We all know Beau Noland is a beast on both sides... but they've got what they do down very very well.  3 seniors and 2 juniors on the line with  a TE... they just over power and then eat a ton of time off the clock.  If they get ahead...you have to score because you may not see the ball but 4 times a night.

Linton is a better team this year on both sides of the ball.  The linebackers-- Eslinger, Brenneman, Smith and now Lynn (With JOhns out)... are gonna be uber-counted on.  The DB's are gonna have to be sure not to bite and give up the long ball..   the down linemen are gonna have to eat up space to cause the Olinemen trouble in pulling.  So many things have to happen.  Doades is a big play guy, Sheren the workhorse in the Warrior tradition.  Linton offense is much more potent in 2021, and the passing much more evident.  The Oline will have to give Gennicks time, but Gennicks is a heck of a play maker too..  containing him will be key for Warrior D.

I don't think it's wrong to say that the Miners have had this one circled heading into this season.  NK put 407 rushing yards on the sheet BUT ALSO held Linton to just 110 rushing.  Don't forget that.  LInton had just 195 total yards to 430 for NK.  RHett Sheren ruled the night with 262 yards, 3 TDs on 26 carries.  Holtman Doads added 82 on 13 touches.  Linton's best was 38 yards from Gennicks.  Linton was shut down offensively and could not stop NK defensively.  

NK lost Hammelman at QB, and Zach Boyles at HB, and both TE'S in Brocksmith and Long... but return 4 of 5 lineman up front in Thompson, Noland, Bond and Worstell. They also lost Boyd who had 16 tackles against Linton...   The Miners lost 5 seniors from last year... but this is week 7... not week 1 or 2...  so those new starters or young kids playing for the first time are experienced by now.

This should be a  slobber-knocker.  If you do comparisons in opponents it's hard  to ignore NK lone lose of the year.. .to Sullivan 35-6.  Linton beat the Arrows the next week 34-21.  But.... last year NK was also beaten by Sullivan in week 1 48-19.... while LInton had beaten SUllivan in Overtime.... and yet 27-14 over Linton... so... throw that out the window.  A more reasonable comparison would be Boonville.  NK won a dogfight 27-26 a couple weeks back, a week before Linton had a 35-14 dominating win over the Pioneers.  Again.. I don't know that it means anything....  there will be a heated spark in the air at Warrior Field...There was a lot of celebration in handing the Miners that loss on homecoming at the Roy.. not just from the players but from the fans....and justly so....They had not beaten Linton in the last 14 meetings, and 26 of 27 since 1997.   So... yeah it was big news and an upset in most eyes.  

I cant honestly answer this...but, we always play a bad game verses Sullivan...

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This Friday night will probably be pretty quiet in the streets of Linton, Bicknell, Sandborn, Oaktown, Freelandville, Westphalia, Bruceville and beyond.  The Reason?  It could be the game of the regular season for the two high schools these towns call their own.  Sure, Linton has always had a big target on their back in terms with the success of the Miner Football program, and for many years the bully on the block to the bulk of area rivals.  Linton has always had an intense rivalry with Sullivan, and over the years North Daviess, and certainly North Knox. 

 

The Warriors have a rich history in football with a state final appearance in 1974, and dominating team in the 70’s plus an undefeated 1968 team that went 10-0.  This rivalry goes beyond North Knox of course and Linton and Bicknell as I see a score from 1906 of a Miner 65-0 win!  Bicknell went 9-0 in their last year of existence 1962.  The Miner-Warrior feud met about every year except periods from 1959 to 1965. Linton had dominated and won 19 of 21 meetings between ’36 and ’58.  It appears to have started again in 1966 thru 1971 with North Knox winning 5 in a row.  After a 2 year break the game resumed from ’74 to ’79 with NK winning 4 of those 6 games.  The series again took a 3 year break picking back up for good in 1983.  Linton had won 12 meetings in a row from ’97 to ’08, broken with a 15-7 Warrior win in 2009 at Warrior Field.  Linton had big revenge though with a rematch in sectionals and a 44-0 win.  Counting that win, Linton reeled off 14 straight wins most by large margins before last year’s 27-14 NK win at the Roy.

 

                Coach Josh Chambers brings in his Warriors at 5-1, having won their last 5 in a row.  They had started 5-1 in 2019 in much the same manner then lost to Vincennes Lincoln 12-0 and Linton 28-13 finishing in the Sectional 40 championship losing to Mater Dei 35-6. That 8-4 record was their best since a 9 win 2014 season.  They were 6-3 last year but those losses came to Sullivan, Renssel41 are Central and Mater Dei in the opening round last year. They were in a battle with the Wildcats despite the 30 to 19 result they were in the game late.  Linton is off to a 6-0 start, their best start since the Championship run of 2016.  Linton has rebounded from their only losing season since 1996 in 2018 (5-6) with a 9-2 2019 followed by last year’s 8-4 campaign. 

 

                Both teams have been primarily known as rushing juggernauts.  The Warriors certainly have maintained that reputation with 1,748 rushing yards, 291.2 p/g, 21 rush TD’s and a 6.8 per carry average.  Sr Rhett Sheren has been the workhorse with 638 yards on 97 carries and 10 TDs.  He torched the Miner D in ’20 with 262 yards on 26 carries and 3 TDs.  In fact NK put up 407 rush yards on the Miners, the most since Sullivan ran up 462 yards in 2004.  Sr Holtman Doades has been the playmaker at WB with 561 yards on 61 carries and 5 scores.  He had 82 against Linton last year.  Doades is also the leading receiving with 8 catches for 240 yards with half of those being TDs. Throwing the ball is 1st year QB is Jr Mason Lyons who has thrown 40 times hitting 16 for 449 yards with 7 TDs against 2 picks.  Jr Devin Kent has caught 4 for 81 yards and a score.  Lyons has 3 rushing TDs on 24 carries for 90 yards.  Linton has rushed for 1,549 yards, 258.2 per game, 6.8 per carry and 26 rush TDs.  Linton is led by Jr QB Hunter Gennicks with 614 yards on 78 carries with 5 TDs.  Sr Gabe Eslinger has had big TD runs and has 399 yards on 41 catches and 6 scores.  Sr Drew Smith adds the inside game with 205 yards and 3 scores. The Miners lost WB Hunter Johns, who had 204 yards and 6 rush TDs, to a shoulder injury against Boonville.  The passing game in 2021 has been a major contributor with Gennicks hitting on 56% of his passing (42 of 75) for 730 yards, 13 TDs and just 1 interception.  Sr Eli Poe (12-185-4) Sr Ayden Riggleman (4-55-1) and Jr Logan Webb (6-121-2) have given Gennicks a solid receiving corps, and Eslinger (10-172-3) as well as Sr’s Kaulin Padgett (2-48-1) and Jaydan Miller (2-31-1) all make plays out of the backfield.

 

                The real battle will be in the trenches where games are won and lost in reality.  The Miner offensive line has settled into a steady group with Jr Center Nathan Watson (6’0 255), LG Jr Wrigley Franklin (6’3 225) LT Sr Cameron Goodman (6’3 200) RG Jr Aiden Giles (6’3 215) and RT SR Donovan DeBruhl (6’ 0 275).  They will line up against DTs Sr Gunner  Thompson (5’11 250) and Jr Dylan Bond (5’11 225) and NT Sr Beau Noland (6’2 225).  Noland leads the team with 47 tackles.  The LB corps of NK will see Sr Declan Alchin (Sr 5’10 200) and Soph Carter Lemberg (5’9 150) in the inside, with Jr Kale Jones (5’10 185) and Sr Rhett Sheren (6’0 195) on the outside.  Lemberg has 46 tackles, Alchim 36. 

 

                The Warrior Oline returns 4 of 5 starters from that dominating 2020 game with the only newcomer at Center with Robert Cross (Sr 6’1 165).  Coming back on the left side is G Jr Dylan Bond (5’11 225) and T Jr Landyn Worstell (6’2 185) and on the right side Sr G Beau Noland (6’2 225) and SR T Gunner Thompson (5’1 250).  Add to that Tight Ends Fr Brennan Messel (5’11 160) and Jr Devin Kent (6’0 220).  You can add FB Jr Kale Jones (5’10 185) as NK lines up tight most of the night using manpower to overwhelm defenses.  The Miners 3 man front starts with Sr Jackson Fields (6’0 205) at Nose Tackle, Jr’s Aiden Giles (6’3 215) and Wrigley Franklin (6’3 225) at DE’s.  We’ve also seen Ty Boyd of late (Soph 6’1 190) and also Sr Cameron Goodman (6’3 200) at DE’s.  Linton’s LB group has been led by leading tackler Sr Gabe Eslinger (6’0 205) along with Sr Bracey Brenneman (6’2 200) on the inside, with Sr’s Drew Smith (6’2 215) and Jackson Lynn (6’0 185) on the outside.  Eslinger has been a force with double digit tackles in each game and a total of 68 with 9 TFL.

 

                Each team’s defensive backfield will clearly have to be aware of the pass and not be tempted to run support too early.  Linton has a senior laden group with Kaulin Padgett and Eli Poe at Corner and Hunter Gennicks and Jaydan Miller at Safety.  Miller made his return to the field last week after missing 3 games.  Sr’s Ayden Riggleman and Logan Webb have both seen plenty of time in that group as well.   NK returns Sr Holtman Doades as the primary cover corner and only returning starter, with Sr Will Sloan joining him.  Jr Mason Lyons and Soph Caleb Bottum will man the safety spots, Bottum with 46 tackles tied for 2nd on team. 

 

                This game should be maxed out on emotion and intensity.  I would expect turnout Warrior Field to be standing room only.  I know the NK fans will be out in full voice, and I will say Linton’s crowds have been very vocal and out in numbers to support the Miners in the last several games.  I hope they bring they shut down the town and bring everyone to make this an incredible environment for these kids to witness.  It has been since 1992 that North Knox defeated Linton back to back seasons, in fact they won 3 in a row 1990-92.  The weather looks be perfect for Friday Night, the teams will hopefully be at 100% or close to it.  We know Linton is without Hunter Johns on both sides of the ball, and Fr Hank Gennicks (a starter at Tackle in week 1) is improving week to week.  By week 7 no football team is 100% healthy!  I do believe it will be a game that you have to maximize possessions, and certainly cannot afford turnovers.  We know that NK can burn time off the clock in huge chunks and if they have a lead and the ball they will be content on eating the clock.  Linton has shown the ability to churn out long drives, but also big plays in both rush and pass games.  Linton will undoubtedly use the pass more that NK has seen Linton do because there are more receivers who can make plays this year than we have seen in recent years.  You can’t just cover one guy.  On the flip side, Linton cannot play NK as a rush only 10 in the box defense because the Warriors have hit on big pass plays and have confidence in that part of their game.

 

                As always, I’ll be in the broadcast booth at Warrior Field Friday Night for Media Five Sports on WQTY on 93.3 FM… as well as online streaming at www.wqtyradio.com with my partner Kevin Rader. 

               

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20 hours ago, Miner_Pride said:

This Friday night will probably be pretty quiet in the streets of Linton, Bicknell, Sandborn, Oaktown, Freelandville, Westphalia, Bruceville and beyond.  The Reason?  It could be the game of the regular season for the two high schools these towns call their own.  Sure, Linton has always had a big target on their back in terms with the success of the Miner Football program, and for many years the bully on the block to the bulk of area rivals.  Linton has always had an intense rivalry with Sullivan, and over the years North Daviess, and certainly North Knox. 

 

The Warriors have a rich history in football with a state final appearance in 1974, and dominating team in the 70’s plus an undefeated 1968 team that went 10-0.  This rivalry goes beyond North Knox of course and Linton and Bicknell as I see a score from 1906 of a Miner 65-0 win!  Bicknell went 9-0 in their last year of existence 1962.  The Miner-Warrior feud met about every year except periods from 1959 to 1965. Linton had dominated and won 19 of 21 meetings between ’36 and ’58.  It appears to have started again in 1966 thru 1971 with North Knox winning 5 in a row.  After a 2 year break the game resumed from ’74 to ’79 with NK winning 4 of those 6 games.  The series again took a 3 year break picking back up for good in 1983.  Linton had won 12 meetings in a row from ’97 to ’08, broken with a 15-7 Warrior win in 2009 at Warrior Field.  Linton had big revenge though with a rematch in sectionals and a 44-0 win.  Counting that win, Linton reeled off 14 straight wins most by large margins before last year’s 27-14 NK win at the Roy.

 

                Coach Josh Chambers brings in his Warriors at 5-1, having won their last 5 in a row.  They had started 5-1 in 2019 in much the same manner then lost to Vincennes Lincoln 12-0 and Linton 28-13 finishing in the Sectional 40 championship losing to Mater Dei 35-6. That 8-4 record was their best since a 9 win 2014 season.  They were 6-3 last year but those losses came to Sullivan, Renssel41 are Central and Mater Dei in the opening round last year. They were in a battle with the Wildcats despite the 30 to 19 result they were in the game late.  Linton is off to a 6-0 start, their best start since the Championship run of 2016.  Linton has rebounded from their only losing season since 1996 in 2018 (5-6) with a 9-2 2019 followed by last year’s 8-4 campaign. 

 

                Both teams have been primarily known as rushing juggernauts.  The Warriors certainly have maintained that reputation with 1,748 rushing yards, 291.2 p/g, 21 rush TD’s and a 6.8 per carry average.  Sr Rhett Sheren has been the workhorse with 638 yards on 97 carries and 10 TDs.  He torched the Miner D in ’20 with 262 yards on 26 carries and 3 TDs.  In fact NK put up 407 rush yards on the Miners, the most since Sullivan ran up 462 yards in 2004.  Sr Holtman Doades has been the playmaker at WB with 561 yards on 61 carries and 5 scores.  He had 82 against Linton last year.  Doades is also the leading receiving with 8 catches for 240 yards with half of those being TDs. Throwing the ball is 1st year QB is Jr Mason Lyons who has thrown 40 times hitting 16 for 449 yards with 7 TDs against 2 picks.  Jr Devin Kent has caught 4 for 81 yards and a score.  Lyons has 3 rushing TDs on 24 carries for 90 yards.  Linton has rushed for 1,549 yards, 258.2 per game, 6.8 per carry and 26 rush TDs.  Linton is led by Jr QB Hunter Gennicks with 614 yards on 78 carries with 5 TDs.  Sr Gabe Eslinger has had big TD runs and has 399 yards on 41 catches and 6 scores.  Sr Drew Smith adds the inside game with 205 yards and 3 scores. The Miners lost WB Hunter Johns, who had 204 yards and 6 rush TDs, to a shoulder injury against Boonville.  The passing game in 2021 has been a major contributor with Gennicks hitting on 56% of his passing (42 of 75) for 730 yards, 13 TDs and just 1 interception.  Sr Eli Poe (12-185-4) Sr Ayden Riggleman (4-55-1) and Jr Logan Webb (6-121-2) have given Gennicks a solid receiving corps, and Eslinger (10-172-3) as well as Sr’s Kaulin Padgett (2-48-1) and Jaydan Miller (2-31-1) all make plays out of the backfield.

 

                The real battle will be in the trenches where games are won and lost in reality.  The Miner offensive line has settled into a steady group with Jr Center Nathan Watson (6’0 255), LG Jr Wrigley Franklin (6’3 225) LT Sr Cameron Goodman (6’3 200) RG Jr Aiden Giles (6’3 215) and RT SR Donovan DeBruhl (6’ 0 275).  They will line up against DTs Sr Gunner  Thompson (5’11 250) and Jr Dylan Bond (5’11 225) and NT Sr Beau Noland (6’2 225).  Noland leads the team with 47 tackles.  The LB corps of NK will see Sr Declan Alchin (Sr 5’10 200) and Soph Carter Lemberg (5’9 150) in the inside, with Jr Kale Jones (5’10 185) and Sr Rhett Sheren (6’0 195) on the outside.  Lemberg has 46 tackles, Alchim 36. 

 

                The Warrior Oline returns 4 of 5 starters from that dominating 2020 game with the only newcomer at Center with Robert Cross (Sr 6’1 165).  Coming back on the left side is G Jr Dylan Bond (5’11 225) and T Jr Landyn Worstell (6’2 185) and on the right side Sr G Beau Noland (6’2 225) and SR T Gunner Thompson (5’1 250).  Add to that Tight Ends Fr Brennan Messel (5’11 160) and Jr Devin Kent (6’0 220).  You can add FB Jr Kale Jones (5’10 185) as NK lines up tight most of the night using manpower to overwhelm defenses.  The Miners 3 man front starts with Sr Jackson Fields (6’0 205) at Nose Tackle, Jr’s Aiden Giles (6’3 215) and Wrigley Franklin (6’3 225) at DE’s.  We’ve also seen Ty Boyd of late (Soph 6’1 190) and also Sr Cameron Goodman (6’3 200) at DE’s.  Linton’s LB group has been led by leading tackler Sr Gabe Eslinger (6’0 205) along with Sr Bracey Brenneman (6’2 200) on the inside, with Sr’s Drew Smith (6’2 215) and Jackson Lynn (6’0 185) on the outside.  Eslinger has been a force with double digit tackles in each game and a total of 68 with 9 TFL.

 

                Each team’s defensive backfield will clearly have to be aware of the pass and not be tempted to run support too early.  Linton has a senior laden group with Kaulin Padgett and Eli Poe at Corner and Hunter Gennicks and Jaydan Miller at Safety.  Miller made his return to the field last week after missing 3 games.  Sr’s Ayden Riggleman and Logan Webb have both seen plenty of time in that group as well.   NK returns Sr Holtman Doades as the primary cover corner and only returning starter, with Sr Will Sloan joining him.  Jr Mason Lyons and Soph Caleb Bottum will man the safety spots, Bottum with 46 tackles tied for 2nd on team. 

 

                This game should be maxed out on emotion and intensity.  I would expect turnout Warrior Field to be standing room only.  I know the NK fans will be out in full voice, and I will say Linton’s crowds have been very vocal and out in numbers to support the Miners in the last several games.  I hope they bring they shut down the town and bring everyone to make this an incredible environment for these kids to witness.  It has been since 1992 that North Knox defeated Linton back to back seasons, in fact they won 3 in a row 1990-92.  The weather looks be perfect for Friday Night, the teams will hopefully be at 100% or close to it.  We know Linton is without Hunter Johns on both sides of the ball, and Fr Hank Gennicks (a starter at Tackle in week 1) is improving week to week.  By week 7 no football team is 100% healthy!  I do believe it will be a game that you have to maximize possessions, and certainly cannot afford turnovers.  We know that NK can burn time off the clock in huge chunks and if they have a lead and the ball they will be content on eating the clock.  Linton has shown the ability to churn out long drives, but also big plays in both rush and pass games.  Linton will undoubtedly use the pass more that NK has seen Linton do because there are more receivers who can make plays this year than we have seen in recent years.  You can’t just cover one guy.  On the flip side, Linton cannot play NK as a rush only 10 in the box defense because the Warriors have hit on big pass plays and have confidence in that part of their game.

 

                As always, I’ll be in the broadcast booth at Warrior Field Friday Night for Media Five Sports on WQTY on 93.3 FM… as well as online streaming at www.wqtyradio.com with my partner Kevin Rader. 

               

We lost to Mater Dei in second round last year...we beat forest park 59 to 15 in first round last year...fyi...lol

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23 hours ago, NorthKnox94 said:

I cant honestly answer this...but, we always play a bad game verses Sullivan...

… and it seems like Sullivan always plays a bad game against Linton.

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Posted (edited)

Never done this before in awhile. I believe in jinx. With NK its not even that. They could beat the Miners straight up and I wish them well. I say

42-20  Miners

 

Edited by globemstr3
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38-24 Miners...  never have I seen 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns against Linton in a single game.. ...  and both times it put the Warriors right back into the game.  It was an electric atmosphere for sure.  I think Linton's passing game was instrumental in the win.  Momentum swung mightily to both sides all night.  Holtman Doades broke a long TD run...and that was essentially all Linton gave up defensively.   A wrong alignment on a punt opened up another huge Doades run inside the 5.  But overall a good effort keeping Sheren in the barn, but I will say the backup kid had some great runs in the 4th as well.  Linton had 3 backs with 80+ yards...  I don't have the stats in front of me.. .but wanted to recognize both teamss in a hard fought effort.. 

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Linton gets 7th Win, And Revenge, in 38-24 Victory

 

                It was a game Linton had circled on their calendar, and a game I would bet the North Knox Warriors had circled as well.  Miner Fans remembered the Warriors coming to Roy Williams Field and putting a 27-14 win on Homecoming last year.  That win had halted a 14-game winning streak dating back to sectional 2009, as well as being the first North Knox at Linton since 1996.  It was a packed Warrior Field this past Friday as the 7-0 5th rankled Miners met up with old foe, and 12th ranked North Knox.  The black-clad Warriors won the toss, and elected to receive in what had to be the best weather yet for high school football high school style.  Jose Sevilla-Garcia put the ball in the air to get things started, and NK would bring their offense averaging 425 yards per game, and in particular a rushing attack averaging 291 yards per game onto the field.

 

                It was the Miner Defense that made a statement in the early going with a different look based on shutting the run game down.  In North Knox’ initial two possessions they managed a mere 7 yards on back to back three and outs.  Stops by Hunter Gennicks, Jackson Lynn, Drew Smith and Ty Boyd forced NK into the air on 3rd downs, and led to Holtman Doades’ punts.  Meanwhile Linton’s offense was ready to explode, and explode they would after Gabe Eslinger’s 10 yard run converted a 3rd and 5, as Gennicks let fly a deep pass that Eslinger caught in full stride at the Warrior 35 and rumbled into the end zone at the 8:38 mark. Sevilla-Garcia split the uprights, and Linton silenced the home crowd with a 7-0 lead.

 

                Linton would start possession two from their own 32, with each back contributing runs of 7 yards or more; Eslinger with 8, Smith with 7, Gennicks with 9.  But the biggest surprise was the return of Hunter Johns, who , who missed last week’s game after running off the field just before halftime of the Boonville win with a shoulder injury.  Smith would top off the 10 play 68 yard drive with a 2 yard dive with 4:38 in the first, and with Sevilla-Garcia’s PAT kick, the Miners were up 14-0.

 

                Football is certainly a game of emotion, and momentum can change emotion so very fast in high school.  At this point Linton had shut NK down with just 7 yards of offense, while the Miner’s two possessions ended in touchdowns while amassing 148 yards of offense.  Sevilla-Garcia’s kick off reached the 23 and bounced into the hands of sophomore Caleb Bottum, who found a gaping hole in the coverage and streaked down the middle of the field for a 67 yard Touchdown.  Doades PAT kick was blocked by Cameron Goodman leaving the score 14-6 Linton. 

 

                The Miners seemed to be ready to answer the bell as Gennicks ran for 8, then hit Eslinger for another 7 yards for a 1st down at the Miner 47.  However Gennicks was sacked for a 3-yard loss by Beau Noland and Kale Jones, and Jaydan Miller put the Warriors starting point their own 29.  Linton gave up the initial 1st Down to the Warriors on an offside penalty facing 3rd and 3.  Then Holtman Doades blasted through the left side untouched out-running the DB’s for a 59 yard run.  NK QB Mason Lyons tried to bootleg and pass to tie the game but the pass was overthrown.  However, with one play gone in period 2, the Warriors had put themselves back in the game trailing by 2, 14-12. 

 

                Drew Smith bulled through Warriors for 12 yards on the first Miner play of the 2nd Quarter, followed by a Pass Interference call put the Miners at the Warrior 37. Kale Jones would sack Gennicks for a loss of 2, but Eslinger would get a first down on a run of 13 yards.  From the NK 11 Gennicks kept to the Warrior 4, then it was Smith up the middle for a Miner score.  Sevilla-Garcia was left on the PAT, but Linton had answered the bell and silenced the home crowd to go up 20-12 with 10:16 in the 2nd.

 

                North Knox tried to answer, but Justin Fields and Drew Smith brought Rhett Sheren down for a yard loss on 3rd and 1. The Warriors rolled the dice on 4th and 2 at their own 43 with Sheren breaking through for 11.  But the drive took a big hit when Lyons tried to scramble from Jackson Lynn and Gabe Eslinger, and got rid of the ball resulting in an Illegal Grounding call that lost 24 yards and a loss of down.   Doades got 14 of those yards back finally stopped by Bracey Brenneman, but Eslinger stopped Sheren for a yard loss setting up a 3rd and 15 at the Warrior 49.  One more Lyons got pressure from Lynn, and his pass for Doades deep sailed high into senior Kaulin Padgett’s hands at the Linton 36.   A Hunter Gennicks run for 5 got the Miners 1st down at the Miner 49, then he launched a deep pass for a wide open Eli Poe at the Warrior 20 reaching the 15. 3 plays later Gennicks ran the final 2 yards for another Miner score at 3:42 of the 2nd Quarter.  Again he PAT was missed, but the Miner had gone 64 yards in 7 plays to take a 26-12 lead.

 

                Then lightning struck a second time as Sevilla-Garcia’s kick-off was intentionally short and into junior Devan Kent’s hands at the Warrior 30.  Like Bottum before, Kent round an opening and shifted right to the Miner Sideline wans was gone for a 70 yard score.  Two kick-off return Touchdowns accounted for 12 of NK’s 18 points, but more importantly, keep North Knox in the game.  It was 26 to 18 with 3:28 left until Halftime.  The Miners took a big risk in converting a 4th down and 1 at the Miner 43 as Gennicks went for 8. A holding call ended a Miner threat, and Miller punted to the Warrior 23 NK tried a couple Doades’ runs before the halftime horn sounded.

 

                Linton held a 258 to 147 total yard advantage in the 1st half, with 17 first downs to just 5 for the Warriors.  Holtman Doades 59 Yard TD had been the biggest part of that total, but the Miner Defense had essential shut down NK’s offense. The Miners had 148 on the ground and 110 in the air, while just 8 yards had come the NK passing attack on 2 of 8 passing. Take away 12 points from special teams and it would be 26 to 6 at this point.  One area of concern was the loss of Drew Smith on both sides of the ball.  Offensively he had run for 35 yards up the gut, and had two touchdowns, but more importantly was his effort at Outside Linebacker on defense.  His physical size at 6’2” 215 was key in busting up the lead block brigade NK utilizes with pulling guards and tackles.  The Tackle chart doesn’t show how much his efforts helped deter NK’s rushing offense, and I think Smith being unable to play the 2nd half played a part in some of the success the Warriors did have in the final two quarters.

 

                Linton started off strong in the 3rd Quarter as Eslinger busted a 22 yard run on the 2nd play of the possession.  From the Warrior 25, the NK defense stood strong on plays from Mason Lyons, Dylan Bond, Gunner Thompson and Rhett Sheren.  They were assisted on a holding call against the Miners on a 3rd and 4.  A long pass to the end zone intended for Logan Webb was broken up by Will Sloan, but then a 4th down pass for Poe down the Warrior sideline saw Sloan flagged for defensive holding.  All this left it a 4th and 8 from the NK 23, and a run by Gennicks that brought out the chains only to be deemed inches short.

 

                Down by 8 from their own 15, North Knox finally began to move the ball as they usually do.  Doades carried the ball 5 of the first 6 plays including two runs of 8 that led to a first down.  However, Miner DE Wrigley Franklin sacked Lyons for a loss of 12, but was also tagged for a 5 yard facemask. Sheren converted a 3rd and 1, then had 11 more to the Miner 38.  The Warrior crowd was enthused and very vocal with sirens blasted as Sheren fist-pumped the crowd.  Miner defenders Eslinger and Ty Boyd combined to stop Sheren for no gain, followed by Miner junior DE Aiden Giles dropping Lyons for a gain of 3 that set up a 3rd and 7 at the Linton 35.  It was Holtman Doades again from wingback who shot thru for 10 yards only stopped by Eli Poe avoided a TD run.  The play that NK will look back to as they evaluate game video would be play 14 of the NK drive.  Doades once more found running room, hitting the Miner secondary and fighting for extra yards.  With the NK faithful in full voice for the effort of Doades, Linton Free Safety Jaydan Miller punched the ball out, and it appeared to take an awkward bounce as well as apparent that nobody knew the ball was out. It was Wrigley Franklin who saw it and pounced on it at the Miner 15 yard line.  Gennicks and senior Donovan DeBruhl had both twisted Doades down after Miller punched the ball loose which kept Holtman from being able to retrieve his fumble.  It was a huge play with 1:45 in the 3rd quarter, as NK came up with nothing from a 14 play 65 yard drive that ate up 7:17 off the clock.  

 

                It took one play to turn the tide even more Linton’s way, and it came from Hunter Johns.  Johns himself wasn’t 100% as he wasn’t expected back in uniform until perhaps the last week of the season die to a shoulder injury.  He was assisted by a pancake block from senior Cameron Goodman that took out 3 Warriors, and hit the jetpacks for 46 yards where only Sloan stopped him with a push out of bounds and the Warrior 39.   Eslinger and Gennicks each had carries that put the ball at the 28 and another first down.  Hunter Gennicks pushed forward for 7 yards on a 3rd and 3 to the NK 14.  It would only be right that it was Johns who took the ball the final 11 yards fifty seconds into the 4th Quarter.  Linton failed on the 2 point play which left the score 32-18 with 11:10 remaining in the game.  And there would be no kick-off return TD’s after halftime as it appeared more starters were on that field on kickoffs.

 

                NK’s leading rusher Sheren had left the game on the Miner’s TD drive with a limp, and was on the sideline as NK started from their own 36.  Sophomore Carter Lemberg, likely Sheren’s heir apparent, made quite a splash and he ran for 29 yards on his first carry with Miller making a TD saving tackle at the Miner 35.  However the Miner defense rose up on his next two carries with stops by Eslinger, Gennicks and Brenneman setting up 3rd and 3.  Lyons was looking for Doades who was one on one with Linton’s Kaulin Padgett on a wheel route at the Miner 20, but Jackson Lynn was in Lyons’ face on the throw, and Padgett was there to knock the ball away.  Lynn would then seal NK’s fate with a sack of Lyons on 4th and 6 and a loss of 4 and Linton getting the ball with 9:25 to go at the Miner 31.  Linton was determined to drive the point home as Gennicks bolted for 14, then Eslinger another 10 to the Warrior 43.  Eli Poe then made a leaping high to make a superb catch over top of solid coverage from Will Sloane. It was a gain of 35 yards and gave Linton a first and goal at the 8.  Gabe Eslinger would score his 7th rush TD of 2021 and 11th over-all putting the Miners up 38-18 with 8:43 remaining in the contest. 

 

                A holding penalty on a first down run put the Warriors behind the chains and the Miner Defense shut down runs from Doades, Lembert and Bottum leaving a 4th and 21 at the NK 33.  With Doades back to punt the ball, I could hear the Miner coaches in the booth mention that Linton was misaligned defensively.  Those voices turned into intense yelling as the snap came back to Doades, who obviously saw there was no defender to the wide side of the field.  He would find nothing but green running uncontested for 61 yards to the Miner 6 where only Hunter Johns, who was back to receive the punt, stopped him.  It was another unusual self-inflicted error that in a tight game could be the play to decide the game, but up by 20 with 4 minutes left it would be something for film day to discuss.  Doades benefitted from it as in two plays he had 120 rushing yards, but in his other 14 carries just 85 yards.  The Miners stuffed carries from Bottum and Sheren, but Rhett would get in on 3rd down from the 4 with 3:38 remaining.  Bottum’s run for 2 was stopped by Jackson Lynn making the scoreboard read 38 to 24 Miners.

 

                Things would get more intense as Doades executed a perfect on sides kick which Linton expected and had the “hands” team on the field.  Eslinger was set to catch the ball but it took a Warrior-Friendly bounce that bounded off Eslinger’s helmet and Brennan Messel recovered at the Miner 49 to keep hope alive at Warrior Field.  Lyons hit Doades for a quick 8 yards to the Miner 41, but it was Sheren on a 3rd and 2 with his biggest run of the night of 26 yards to the Miner 15.  Fans were very aware that the margin was an even 14 points, and a Warrior score could pull to a minimum 8 point deficit, or with a 2-point play down to 6 point difference.  But time was against them.  On 1st down Wrigley Franklin smacked Sheren for a loss of 2 back to the 17, then Lyons rolled to his right and tried a toss to Doades inside the Miner 10.  Holtman made a gallant stretch for the ball, but Jaydan Miller has also come in to make the hit and the ball fell off Doades hands.  3rd down saw Bracey Breneman and Ty Boyd stop Doades at the 14, a 3-yard gain.   It came down to 4th and 9.  Lyons was immediately under pressure from Lynn as well as Giles, but it was Franklin with yet another pass tipped at the line.  This time the ball went straight up, and Franklin got under it for his first interception of the year, and the 2nd by a defensive lineman, and the teams 8th of 2021.  He ran it back out 10 yards to the Miner 25 with only 1:46 left to play.  Gennicks ran one play to his right then took a knee in Victory Formation for a Linton victory 38-24.

 

                The numbers would definitely be misleading in the end.  Although Linton would wind up with 447 yards of total offense, North Knox would outrush the Miners 303 to 302.  For NK the rushing total accounted for almost all of their 311 total.  Mason Lyons only hit on 1 pass out of 8 attempts for 8 yards.   The Miners ability to pass with success proved to be added offensive power with 145 yards to go with the 302 on the ground.  The misleading rushing totals come from the 61 yard Doades run on the miss-aligned punt return defense, and the 59 yard Doades TD run accounting for 120 of that 303 total. In NK’s other 41 carries they had rushed for 183 yards with a 4.5 per carry average (still the highest average Linton had given up to date).  Linton ran the ball 49 times with a 6.2 per carry average led by a tri-fecta of Gabe Eslinger (11-97-TD), Hunter Johns (10-87-TD) and Hunter Gennicks (19-75-TD).  Drew Smith added 35 yards on 7 carries with 2 TD’s in the 1st half only.  Bracey Breneman had 2 carries for 8 yards.  North Knox had a big outing with Holtman Doades’ 205 yards rushing on 16 carries with a TD.  However, they held leading rusher Rhett Sheren to 67 yards on 16 carries with a TD.  Carter Lemberg added 33 yards on 4 touches, Caleb Bottum 11 yards on 3 carries; Mason Lyons had 4 carries for (-13) yards which included 2 sacks that lost 16 yards combined. 

 

                As mentioned in the pre-game write-up, Linton’s passing game was a different animal this year.  With Hunter Gennicks experience as a starting QB coming into the season, 6’2 Eli Poe returning as the main target, but the emergence of 6’4” Logan Webb and 6’0 Ayden Riggleman at wide-outs giving the Miner opponents much more to worry about.  Gennicks hit on 5 of 9 passing for 145 yards that featured long passes to Poe and Eslinger, as well as nearly connecting with Webb.  Gabe Eslinger caught 3 for 74 yards with a TD, while Poe had 2 big catches for 71 yards.  Doades had the only reception for the Warriors on the night for 8 yards.  I think it is important to note that NK had an average of 8.8 yards to go on 3rd Downs, and of 14 3rd downs, they had to get 5 yards or more on 10 of them, converting just 3 of them.  Passing situations were not good for NK to be in. 

 

                Defensively it was the 1st non double digit tackle night from leading tackler Gabe Eslinger, but again numbers mislead.  Against the NK power running formation, it’s more about busting up that train of linemen and other backs leading the ball carrier into the hole sometimes with 6 players coming at you from the opposite side.  You have to throw yourself into the mass to bust up the flow, and fight off blockers to contain and force the action inside.  So, you may have made the play with your effort and not get anything in the stat column.  Everyone has a job to do to lead to team success.

 

 Linton came out with a 5 man front for the 1st time this year basically putting Smith and soph Ty Boyd at DE, Giles and Franklin at DT and senior Jackson Fields at NT.  Hunter Gennicks came up as an OLB and was key in the run defense with 9 over-all tackles (1 TFL), as well as Jackson Lynn (7 Tkls, 1 TFl, 1 Sack).  This left Kaulin Padgett and Jaydan Miller as DBs.  Of course, having Breneman and Eslinger (who had 5 Tkls, 1 TFL) at ILB makes for a solid defense.  In obvious passing situations though, we saw Gennicks slide back at Safety.  Miller had 5 passes defended, Padgett with 4.  Lynn was a terror to QB Lyons with 5 Hurries, and Linton has pressure on all 8 pass attempts.  Boyd, with his first start of the year, had 7 tackles, Miller with 6 from Free Safety, 6 from Wrigley Franklin who had an interception, 2 TFL, 1 Sack, a Fumble Recovery and a Hurry.  Padgett had his 2nd Interception of the year as well.  North Knox had big performances from Caleb Bottum with 13 tackles from Safety, and Mason Lyons another 11 from the other safety.  8 Tackles each from Carter Lemberg, and Beau Noland, and 6 each from Kale Jones (2 TFL) and Will Sloan. 

               

 

                Turnovers and Special Teams played a big role in the game without a doubt.  2 Interceptions (1 in the Red Zone) and a huge fumble lost at the Miner 15 (Red Zone) were costly to the Warriors.  Kick-Off Coverage was a problem for Linton, giving up 102 yards on 6 returns, but 2 of those being Warrior Touchdowns and half the NK point total.  Add to that the 61 yard run by Doades came on a defensive mistake in alignment in a punting situation that led to another Warrior Touchdown.  On the plus side again was the performance of the Miner offensive line that I had 18 pancake blocks, with a game high 7 from Wrigley Franklin, 3 from Donovan DeBruhl and 2 each from Aiden Giles and Nathan Watson.   Cameron Goodman had 1 pancake block that led to 3 Warriors hitting the ground!  That shows in a season high 26 first Downs for the Miners, 11 for North Knox.  Linton was 5-9 (55.6%) on 3rd down, 1 of 2 on 4th down while NK was 7-14 (50%) and 2-4.  The Miners were in the Red Zone 6 times, scoring on 5 rushing TDs, and NK was 1 of 2 in the Red Zone, although they fumbled on a play that got into the RZ as well. 

 

                Linton will take their 7-0 record and 4th ranked coaches’ poll (#6 in AP) Miners to face 1-6 Eastern Greene near Little Cincinnati on Friday Night.  The Thunderbirds under 3rd Year Head Coach Roy Bruce are coming off back to back road losses to 3a #13 6-1 Owen Valley 67-0 and 4-1 2a Paoli 55-0.  Their only win came in week 4 to 3-2 1A North White 28-27.  By comparison EG lost to both North Knox 47-9 and North Daviess 35-0 which were both Miners wins 38-24 and 47-0.  In 21 meetings Linton has won 20, starting the series in 2003.  The Miners won the first 17 meetings before a loss in 2017 35-12 in a season that saw the T-Birds start 14-0 and lose to Pioneer 42-14 in the 1A State Championship.  Coach Bruce came to EG in 2019 and has had back to back 1-9 campaigns.  North Knox falls to 5-2, and will host 4-3 North Daviess in a Southwest Conference game.

 

               

               

 

                 

               

 

 

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