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home : local sports : local sports

9/18/2012 9:45:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Oblong 39, Red Hill 12
Panthers pull away from Salukis
BRIDGEPORT - Red Hill High School's football team controlled the clock Friday night, but rival Oblong controlled the scoreboard.

The visiting Panthers scored at least once in every quarter, on the way to a 39-12 victory in a Little Illini Conference Eastern Division game.

The homecoming loss dropped the Salukis to 0-4 in the season and 0-2 in the Eastern Division.

"We eliminated some of the mistakes and made some adjustments we needed to to make us a better team," said Red Hill coach Billy Gray. "It didn't show up on the scoreboard again, but we're making the progress I'm looking for. That's all I can ask for."

The Salukis ran 65 plays, compared to 40 for the Panthers, and held the ball for 11 more minutes. But Oblong scored a defensive touchdown and used a number of big plays to take control of the game.

The Panthers (2-2, 1-1 Eastern Division) never trailed after scoring in the game's first minute, on a 42-yard pass from Anthony Johnson to Chase Mendenhall.

The Salukis ran for 201 yards compared to 124 for Oblong. However the Panthers outpassed the Salukis 164-0 and held a 288-201 edge in total offense.

Max Andersen rushed for 95 yards and Derek Clevy picked up 81 to lead the Red Hill attack. Both players scored touchdowns, accounting for the Red Hill points.

Andersen's 8-yard run with 4:03 to play in the opening period pulled the Salukis to within 7-6. Red Hill then had a chance to take the lead, but Gerald Richardson returned an interception of Red Hill quarterback Dalton Murray 40 yards for a touchdown with 1:42 remaining in the opening period.

The Panthers added a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Anthony Johnson early in the second period, and led at halftime, 22-6.

"I told our players at halftime that we'd out-executed them," said Gray. "We had 37 plays and they had 13, but they had a pick-six, and the scoreboard wasn't showing that we were winning. In the second half our kids started to get a little sore and tired, and they took over the game."

Richardson's 27-yard field goal stretched the lead to 25-12 midway through the third period. Oblong scored on a 20-yard jaunt by Johnson and an 8-yard run by Keaton Neeley in the final period to turn the game into a rout.

Johnson completed 10 of 16 passes in the game, for 164 yards. He was intercepted once, by the Salukis' Isaiah Cavins.

"We didn't go after him. We wanted to keep him (in the pocked) and make him throw," Gray said. "More bad things can happen when the ball's in the air than when he's handing it to a running back. But their receivers really picked it up tonight, and that hurt us. We're young (in the secondary), but I think the kids we have there are improving."

The Salukis will travel to Palestine this week, as the search for the season's first win continues.

"We're not giving up on our seniors, and they're not giving up on us," Gray said. "We'll be back at it again on Friday. We'll keep trying."

Panthers 39, Salukis 12

Score by quarters

Oblong 15 7 3 14 - 39

Red Hill 6 6 0 0 - 12

Team statistics


First downs 12 16

by rushing 6 16

by passing 6 0

by penalty 0 0

Rushes-yards 12-124 62-201

Passing (C-A-I) 10-16-1 0-3-2

Passing yards 164 0

Total yards 288 201

Penalties-yards 1-5 3-16

Punts-average 1-35.0 5-27.2

Fumbles-lost 4-2 3-1

Possession 18:30 29:30

Scoring summary

O - Chase Mendenhall, 42 pass from Anthony Johnson (Gerald Richardson kick), 11:22, 1st qtr. O 7, RH 0.

RH - Max Andersen, 8 run (Kick failed), 4:02, 1st qtr. O 7, RH 6.

O - Richardson, 40 interception return (Richardson pass from Johnson), 1:42, 1st qtr. O 15, RH 6.

O - Johnson, 1 run (Richardson kick), 10:03, 2nd qtr. O 22, RH 6.

RH - Derek Clevy, 6 run (Run failed), 2:13, 2nd qtr. O 22, RH 12.

O - Richardson, 27 field goal, 7:36, 3rd qtr. O 25, RH 12.

O - Johnson, 20 run (Richardson kick), 7:00, 4th q tr. O 32, RH 12.

O - Keaton Neeley, 8 run (Richardson kick), :46, 4th qtr. O 39, RH 6.

Individual statistics

Rushing - OBLONG: Neeley 13-110 (TD), Johnson 8-23 (2 TDs), Collin Meese 1-minus 4 Kurtis Fleck 2-minus 5. RED HILL: Andersen 19-95 (TD), Clevy 21-81 (TD), Tristan Holtz 8-18, Tyler Scaggs 3-7, Devon Moore 3-5, Dalton Murray 8-minus 5.

Passing - OBLONG: Johnson 10-16-1, 164 yards (TD). RED HILL: Murray 0-3-2, 0 yards.

Receiving - OBLONG: Richardson 7-92, Meese 2-30, Mendenhall 1-42 (TD).

Punting - OBLONG: Mendenhall 1-35. RED HILL: Jacob Wirth 5-136, 27.2 avg..

Kickoff returns - OBLONG: Richardson 2-20. RED HILL: Holtz 3-47, Clevy 2-27, Moore 1-15.

Interceptions - Richardson 1-40 (TD), Johnson 1-0. RED HILL: Isaiah Cavins 1-0.


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