Dixie hands the Tri-Village football team its 1st loss


NEW MADISON – Tri-Village took on Dixie on Friday in the Patriots’ home opener in non-conference action. When the rain stopped falling the Patriots were behind on the scoreboard 41-19, taking their first blemish of the 2017 season.

“It (the score) wasn’t as bad as it looked and wasn’t as good as it looked,” first-year Tri-Village football coach Robert Burk said.

On the first play of the game Dixie raced around the left end and up the sidelines untouched for a 65-yard touchdown to go up 7-0, just 15 seconds into the contest.

Tri-Village moved the ball on its first possession but a tipped pass turned into an interception on the 45-yard line, giving the ball back to the Greyhounds.

The Patriots held strong on the turnover, forcing a punt, but TV gave it right back after fumbling the punt return on the 10-yard line.

Dixie cashed in on the turnover, running the ball up the middle for the score and a 14-0 lead at 6:09 in the first quarter.

Tri-Village put together a successful six-play drive culminating with a 24-yard pass from Austin Bruner to Noah Burns, who hauled it in at the 1-yard line then juked the defender and tiptoed into the end zone, giving the home crowd something to cheer about. The extra point by Jacob Shaffer closed the gap to 14-7 at 4:05.

Dixie was looking to answer quickly, moving the ball down to the 10-yard line, but fumbled the ball that was recovered by Camren Munchel to thwart the drive.

It was a short-lived possession as the PATS threw the ball back to Dixie for the interception.

Dixie once again turned a TV turnover into points with a 20-yard run, but the extra point was blocked by freshman Dylan Finkbine, and Dixie led 20-7 in the early part of the second quarter.

Once again Tri-Village had no trouble moving the football going up the field, but another tipped ball at the line of scrimmage ended up as an interception on the 9-yard line for Dixie.

Five plays later, CJ Clark ran it in for Dixie to go up 27-7.

Once again TV put together a positive offensive series. This time it was Trey Frech airing out a 22-yarder to Burns, who made a great leaping catch and wrestled the ball away from the defender in the end zone for the score, and the Patriots trailed 27-13 with 1:35 to go in the first half.

Dixie didn’t waste any time coming up with a couple of big plays, moving the ball all way down to the 3-yard line.

The Patriots made a solid goal line stand, keeping Dixie at bay while trying to get to the end of the half. Facing a running clock on fourth down and 1 to go, Dixie got the snap off just before the clock expired and plunged into the end zone for a big score and a 34-13 advantage.

All told the Patriots turned the ball over four times in the first half.

“If we take care of the football and execute offensively a little better when in the red zone that first half could have been a different story,” Burk said.

The scoring pace slowed in the second half with Tri-Village electing to chew up a lot of the clock with its ground game and senior Jared Buckley bore the load.

Buckley had a lot of big runs in the second half and for the game rushed for just over 190 yards.

The offensive fireworks sputtered in the second half with both teams scoring one time. The Patriots got a touchdown from Frech on a QB keeper … but in the end Tri-Village came up short 41-19.

“We thought we had a pretty good game plan coming in … but when you put the ball on the grass on every punt and kick return in the first half, a couple we recovered a couple we lost, it puts you in bad situations,” Burk said.

“Our O-line has to get better. We had guys open, and even though we gave the quarterback time and had them blocked we just didn’t get their hands down, leading to tipped passes at the line of scrimmage and a couple of turnovers,” Burk added.

“Overall, our physicality was better. It’s still not good enough. We have to get better. It’s a process … we’ve been in the weight room since April and we’re going to stay in it. We just have to work on continuing to be more physical … if we can tackle people at the line of scrimmage l when we get to them that changes things,” Burk said.

“Offensively we ran the ball well offensively, and we can move the ball – those are positives – but we tonight we couldn’t overcome our own mistakes, and that was the difference,” Burk concluded.

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Tri-Village’s Jared Buckley carries the ball during a football game against Dixie on Friday in New Madison.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/09/web1_Jared-Buckley-WEB.jpgTri-Village’s Jared Buckley carries the ball during a football game against Dixie on Friday in New Madison. Dale Barger | For The Daily Advocate

By Dale Barger

For The Daily Advocate