Linsly Tallies Big Win Over Allderdice
By KYLE LUTZ
WHEELING — For its first home game of the 2020 season, Linsly’s battle against Taylor Allderdice had it all on Saturday. In a hard-nosed game, it was the Linsly defense that stepped up at the end as the Cadets secured a 27-19 victory at Fawcett Field inside Lockhart Alumni Stadium.
“We’ve always had really good football games with them,” Linsly coach B.J. Depew said. “They beat us on our field and we’ve beat them on theirs. Coach (Rick) Haslett always has his team playing tough and they play and fight. I knew that’s what it was going to be like coming in here. We played a really good first half. We were very disciplined and executed well. Not that we felt comfortable at halftime, but we were pleased of where we were. We knew it was going to take a duplicate second half to put them away and we didn’t play that way. But all in all, those kids hung in and we had to win with our defense at the end, which I was proud of.”
And it was also the Cadets defense that made the first big play of the contest. On the Dragons’ first possession, they were able to get to the Cadets’ 1. However, on a 4th-and-goal, Linsly forced an incomplete pass and took over possession.
“It was a tone setter and I thought we played really well defensively most of the game,” Depew said. “We didn’t have an answer when they started to run their quarterback. That was a good adjustment and we knew they would give us all we could handle for four quarters.”
It certainly was as the Cadets marched down the field and scored on their first possession thanks to a Zachai Simmons scamper from a yard out.
On the drive, though, Linsly also took advantage of five encroachment penalties by Taylor Allderdice along with a defensive holding and a facemask call that went against the Dragons.
The Dragons had 13 penalties in the first half. Even on Linsly’s second drive, the penalties continued for Taylor Allderdice. And the Cadets made them pay. A unsportsmalike conduct and an encroachment penalty helped the Cadets score their second touchdown. Hunter Kelley connected with Kobe Hill from 12 yards out to put the score at 14-0 with 9:36 left in the first half.
“That’s one thing we really emphasized this week because we had a lot of flags on us last week and we knew we needed to correct that so we wanted to reverse the momentum that can be created by penalties or taken away. I was really pleased and we couldn’t have executed our first drive any better.”
The Cadets, though, had their miscues as well. The Dragons’ final two touchdowns were a result of Linsly getting penalized on fourth down. A pass interference call against the Cadets on the Dragons’ opening drive of the third quarter put the score back at a one possession game. Naeron Smith hauled in an 8-yard pass from Shakur Pack-Adams.
With 2:28 to go in the game, Denzel Gatewood scored from 3 yards out to put the score at 27-19. However, the play before that, it seemed like the Cadets made another stop in the red zone. A pass fell incomplete on fourth down on the Cadets’ 6, but a rougher the passer penalty was called that extended the Taylor Allderdice drive. “At that point, it certainly isn’t a good feeling because you had the chance to put a good team away, but penalties kept it alive and cost us.”