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Defense Leads the Way Again in Riverside Rout

Posted: Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013

#22 Matthew VandeBossche grabs the opening kick to set the tone for playoffs.

Matthew VandeBossche grabbed the opening kick and after eluding a couple of tackles, was off to the races. He went 87 yards for the NCHS football team to open the playoffs last Saturday afternoon on Gibson Field at Fullmer Stadium. The Tigers led 6-0 just 13 seconds into their quarterfinal game against Riverside and never looked back after that.

After the first of seven Riverside punts, Hunter Dockery kept the ball and scored from six yards away. M. VandeBossche scored the two point conversion and the score was 14-0 just two and a half minutes in. The Tigers had scoring opportunities taken away several times in the quarter as penalties came at inopportune times.

The top ranked Tiger defense intercepted six Rebel passes and in what is most likely a school record- returned four of them for a touchdown. H. Dockery, Martin Fitzwater, M. VandeBossche and Bryce Sturman were the recipients that combined for almost 200 yards and 24 points, while VandeBossche and Sturman each had two. H. Dockery’s came near the end of the first period and went back 26 yards to the endzone. M. VandeBossche’s two point run put the score at 22-0.

Just seconds into the second quarter, Fitzwater blocked a punt that Dax Dockery covered up deep in Rebel territory, and M. VandeBossche scored the touchdown. Brady Thurston kicked the PAT and the lead grew to 29 points.

Fitzwater snagged his pick-six on the next series and rumbled 43 yards before Thurston again made the extra point. The offense kept moving with ease and H. Dockery scored his third touchdown of the game-this time from seven yards away. Thurston was again successful with the PAT and with eight minutes to go before halftime the lead was up to 43-0.

Logan Lamar almost got into the scoring frenzy after returning a punt 30 yards down inside the visitors five yard line. Derick VandeBossche capitalized on the big play but Thurston’s kick was short to move the scoreboard to 49-0.

Sturman grabbed his first interception of the game deep in Rebel territory and shortly thereafter, freshman Tim Ross scored from nine yards away. Thurston’s PAT was good and Tiger fans were stunned in the ease that 56 points were put up. M. VandeBossche capped the first half scoring with just under a minute after tipping and catching the Rebel pass. He went 63 yards untouched, and while Thurston was wide left, 62-0 was the margin.

With the running clock in motion, the JV offense took over for the second half, while the Rebels just wanted to be done and headed home. Sturman closed the scoring with his 61 yard interception return and NCHS racked up their 13th highest scoring game in school history in the 68-0 final score.

NCHS put up their smallest offensive numbers of the season by far and it had nothing to do with the visitors defense- it was simply taking over possession on the short end of the field and the benefit of five defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Despite the win, head coach Matt VandeBossche was a bit disappointed the Rebels didn’t put up much of a fight. “Unfortunately, Riverside struggled, terribly. They’re definitely a passing team and we did a very nice job with our defensive backs-mixing up our coverages and getting pressure on the quarterback. They were definitely overmatched today.”

For the complete article see the 11-06-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-06-2013 paper.

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