NEW CARLISLE – How’s that old football saying go? “The battle is won in the trenches?”
John Glenn’s defensive line has been pretty good in trench warfare this season. But New Prairie’s offensive line has been even better.
That’s a big reason why the turnaround Cougars are 6-1 under first-year coach Russ Radtke. And it’s the main reason why New Prairie whipped the Falcons, 41-14, Friday night at Amzie Miller field.
New Prairie’s backs rushed for 393 yards with a punishing, straight-ahead ground game that yielded almost eight yards per carry. Zach Brassell – the Cougars’ backup quarterback – led the way with 143 yards and two touchdowns. Nick Dobkins rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns.
“It was a tough matchup,” said Glenn coach Justin Bogunia after watching his team drop to 3-4. “They send double tight ends at you and they’ve got big guys who are a load to handle.”
Glenn, in contrast, totaled only 102 yards on the ground and 59 yards through the air. And the Falcons’ biggest play didn’t come from the offense. Midway through the second quarter, defensive back Zach Combs recovered a Cougar fumble and ran it back 43 yards for a touchdown.
Adam Dodson – running extremely hard all night – did what he could, rushing 15 times for 83 yards and a TD. But the Falcons simply let too many opportunities pass by.
In the first quarter, for instance, Falcon quarterback Kyle Liedtky found Combs uncovered and all alone downfield, but what could have been a sure touchdown pass was thrown a little too long. And in the third quarter, a successful fake punt play that could have kept a promising drive alive was called back on a holding penalty.
Glenn recognized that New Prairie had a weak pass defense, but simply didn’t have the weapons to exploit it. “If you are going to beat this team, you have to pass the ball, and that’s not our strength,” said Bogunia.
New Prairie jumped on top early, driving 65 yards for a score with 5:59 left in the first quarter. Noah Kampa reached paydirt from three yards out. Then, the Cougars scored again a couple minutes later after Brassell completed a 60-yard run to set up a two-yard TD dive by Dobkins.
“They had it going early and they had a good push early,” said Bogunia of the Cougars. “We’ve got underclassmen in a lot of key positions, and they were battling a lot of bigger, experienced guys.”
• NEW PRAIRIE 41,
JOHN GLENN 14
At New Carlisle
John Glenn 0 7 0 7 – 14
New Prairie 13 8 7 13 – 41
NP – Noah Kampa 3 run (Collin Szymanski kick), 5:59.
NP – Nick Dobkins 2 run (run failed), 3:52.
NP – Zach Brassell 3 run (Zach Brassell run), 6:55.
JG – Zach Combs 43 fumble recovery (Michael Schmeltz kick), 4:08.
NP – Zach Brassell 38 run (Collin Szymanski kick), 4:59.
NP – Nick Dobkins 2 run (Collin Szymanski kick), 11:36.
JG – Adam Dobson 14 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 6:16.
NP – Nick Dobkins 61 run (kick failed), 5:55.
Glenn New Prairie
First downs 10 17
Rushes-yards 40-102 50-393
Passing yards 59 64
Passing 5-16-1 4-9-0
Punts-avg. 9-29.7 4-36.5
Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 4-25 6-60
RUSHING – John Glenn, Adam Dodson 15-83, Kyle Liedtky 4-(-23), Zach Combs 8-28, Derek Hiler 11-13, Michael Schmeltz 2-1. New Prairie, Zach Brassell 13-143, Wade Young 16-73, Nick Dobson 10-105, Noah Kampa 4-25, Tyler Weller 3-38, Gage Nierzwicki 3-9, Dalton Escobedo 1-0.
PASSING – John Glenn, Kyle Liedtky 5-16-1-59. New Prairie, Zach Brassell 4-9-0-64.
RECEIVING – John Glenn, Jake Strong 3-29, Zach Combs 2-30. New Prairie, Noah Kampa 1-4, Nick Dobkins 1-31, Luke Stanisci 1-13, Tyler Weller 1-16.