KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - If last week’s beatdown of Umatilla High was referred to as a runaway train, tonight’s matchup against the visiting Interlachen Rams was a steamroller show as the running game …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - If last week’s beatdown of Umatilla High was referred to as a runaway train, tonight’s matchup against the visiting Interlachen Rams was a steamroller show as the running game started on the first play, and just decimated the Rams defense with 354 rushing yards.
“We came out and set the tempo in the first series,” said Keystone head coach Chuck Dickinson. “I keep telling the kids, we have to be the most physical team every Friday night. So far we have been and we have to continue to do that.”
The Keystone Indians defense held the Rams scoreless through four bruising quarters of a very physical matchup to push their team to an undefeated 5-0 with a dominating 44-0 victory.
After Interlachen lost the coin toss, the Indians took the ball and throughout the game, cycled in seven different runners in the offensive backfield to rock the Rams back on their heels and keep them there all night. Keystone pounded the rock so hard; Fred Flintstone and Mr. Slate would be jealous. The opening drive was classic Indian smashmouth, in your face football led by Hollingsworth and Jenkins to get the ball to the Rams three yard line. When Hollingsworth was asked about the weapons his team has in the backfield, the Senior replied “I like it because everyone is playing for the team. There is not an “I” guy back there wanting all the carries. Everyone wants the carries for the team. Once you get tired, you say I’m done and the team needs somebody better because I’m not at my best at that point so it’s better to get somebody else in there.”
The rotation works like magic as the Indians just wear down the defense with constant fresh legs coming at them. With Interlachen backed up to their three yard line, keying on Hollingsworth, Sophomore Quarterback Conner Guy (one for two, one touchdown pass) showed a great fake handoff, pulled back to roll to his left to find Bryar Schenck all alone in the endzone for the score. “We’ve thrown the ball six or seven times all year. I thought that play would be there. Our tight end did what he was supposed to, blocked long enough to release. I thought the pass would never get there. That was a floater. It worked great and we only go to it once every three or four games.” Asked about his ability to rotate in so many players in the backfield, Dickinson said “We’ve got to because those guys are defensive starters too. That’s why we moved Tyler Jenkins from Quarterback to put back in the backfield to get into that rotation. It gives those guys some rest on offense and not defense.”
The Rams heavily depended on the legs of Junior Quarterback Reginald Allen Jr who carried the entire first set. Although a quick cutter, and fast runner, the Indians defense shutdown the attack every way the Rams tried throwing it at them. The Rams only other tool in the toolbox was Junior running back Ricky Astin who would get the ball when Allen didn’t take it. Allen went to the air several times with minimal effect.
Where last week, the offensive attack was led by Senior Kade Sanders, tonight, Keystone’s attack was led by Senior Dalton Hollingsworth with 204 yards, followed by Tyler Jenkins with 63, and Logan Williams and Jackson Williams both with 28 yards each. Keystone punted only once all night with a 36 yard net from Conner Guy.
Asked what he saw that still makes him uneasy, Dickinson said “We still have to work on the penalties. We cannot start out in a hole. Second down and eight or nine and we are fine. If we get a penalty and face a third and 15, that does not work well with the offense we run.”
Friday night will be a challenge for the Indians as they face off against 3-1 Fort White at home. Fort White is on a three game winning streak coming off a 27-19 win of Branford.
“They beat Santa Fe which is a bigger high school, which showed me they have their act together,” said Dickinson. “We haven’t played them in a while. But it is always a tough game, a physical game, so I expect nothing less.”
The home game will be the last for three weeks as the Indians go on the road until November when they close the regular season out home against P.K. Yonge.
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