Mississinawa Valley football team tunes up for week 1 with scrimmage at Dixie


NEW LEBANON – Mississinawa Valley journeyed down south to Dixie for a jamboree football game to end its preseason scrimmages.

The Blackhawks started slowly in the scrimmage, and initially it looked like it would be a long night for the visiting team. Dixie made the first three scores of the night and had the Blackhawks reeling. But the team settled in and went to work. By night’s end they had caught up and made things interesting.

The Blackhawks allowed the Greyhounds to break big plays in the first quarter and on offense they were pretty much three and out on their first few possessions. The team seemed to be in a daze.

But Nate Gladdish ended the Blackhawks’ shutout with a nice 65-yard touchdown run. The team seemed to realize from that point on that it could play with Dixie.

Still at the end of the first quarter the score stood 27-6. But with a quiet determination Mississinawa Valley went back to work on the second quarter. Another run for a TD closed the gap some more. The defense adjusted and whereas before Dixie had scored on every possession – now the team was getting stops – holding Dixie at midfield on a critical fourth and 2 play.

So at halftime it was 33 to 20 – suddenly it was competitive.

Quarterback Trent Collins had several nice throws and closed the gap. It was 33-32 in favor of Dixie. Those missed extra points were making a difference.

The Blackhawks recovered a fumble on the Dixie 7 but failed to punch the ball in for a go-ahead score when they fumbled the ball back on the next play.

Mississinawa allowed Dixie to score one more time before the varsity teams left the field so it was 39-32 when the junior varsity teams took over in the scrimmage. The MV junior varsity players were able to score, but like their varsity counterparts they fell short when they failed to convert the extra point, leaving the final score for the jamboree 39-38.

Dixie is a Division V school while the Blackhawks are Division VII so Dixie had a definite size advantage on the front line. But this gives the Blackhawks some valuable experience for their opening game when they play their crosstown rivals Union City, who is also a larger school. The Blackhawks showed they can score, but they need to come hard out of the gate early and also learn to finish games if they expect to end their team’s winless streak.

“I am proud of our guys,” Mississinawa Valley football coach Mike Griffin said. “We spotted them three TDs. We did not give up like maybe we would have done in the past. Dixie was bigger than us with a big line and good speed. So we came out a little big eyed and a little intimidated. But our kids came out and played hard. The offense finally got things going, and the defense figured out the speed of the game and adjusted. We got some stops then we got some turnovers.

“They had some guys getting cramped up and getting gassed at the end of the scrimmage. They even have more guys than us. But some of our guys have to go both ways, and we worked on conditioning, and it made a difference. We didn’t slow down. “

Mississinawa Valley opens on Friday against Union City.

“They are good at what they do,” Griffin said. “We will see them go outside and use misdirection on offense. Defensively they like to bring guys and blitz both the run and the pass. Tonight was a good matchup for us because a lot of the things we saw Dixie do is what we will see against Union City. We are looking forward to the game.”

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Mississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_DSC_3871.jpgMississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon. J. C. Tilton | For The Daily Advocate

Mississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_DSC_3881.jpgMississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon. J. C. Tilton | For The Daily Advocate

Mississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_DSC_3893.jpgMississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon. J. C. Tilton | For The Daily Advocate

Mississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_DSC_3913.jpgMississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon. J. C. Tilton | For The Daily Advocate

Mississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_DSC_3918.jpgMississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon. J. C. Tilton | For The Daily Advocate

Mississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Trent-Collins-WEB.jpgMississinawa Valley’s Trent Collins throws a pass during a scrimmage against Dixie on Friday at New Lebanon. J. C. Tilton | For The Daily Advocate

By J. C. Tilton

For The Daily Advocate

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