Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot dominates Lake Hamilton

Leader sports editor

There was some speculation as to whether Cabot would show the passing attack it’s been working during its scrimmage game against Lake Hamilton. All doubt ended when quarterback Kason Kimbrell fired over the top of the Wolves’ defense on the Panthers’ fifth play for a 53-yard gain to the 10-yard line.

Junior receiver Jake Ferguson put a spin move on the defender to break loose behind the safety before hauling in the pass about 25 yards downfield before racing the rest of the way. Tack on five yards for a horse-collar penalty and Cabot was set up with first and goal from the 5-yard line. Lake Hamilton then jumped off sides, moving it to the 3. From there fullback Zach Launius punched it in for the Panthers’ first score.

Cabot coach Mike Malham said there was never any question whether or not they would run the split-end formation and reveal some of the passing game.

“We had to work on it and see what we got,” said Malham. “We hadn’t practiced two tight all fall so we had to run what we’ve been working on.”

The format pitted each team’s starting offense against starting defense for two 15-play drives and two 15-play drives for backups. Working with the starting lineup, Kimbrell completed 3 of 8 pass attempts for 122 yards. Backup Grant Bell completed 4 of 7 for 54 yards. With all scores added up from each team’s four possessions, Cabot outscored Lake Hamilton 39-6. Each team then took three sets of downs from the opponent’s 10-yard line. Lake Hamilton scored twice and Cabot scored all three times, bringing the total points scored to 60-20.

“That’s not bad,” Malham said. “We’re still a better running team than we are a passing team. I just didn’t want us to come out and throw to the other team and we didn’t have any interceptions, so it’s looking OK right now.”

While the Panthers didn’t have any interceptions, they did have four fumbles and lost three of them.

“We can’t have that,” Malham said. “The ones that fumbled are probably not going to get much playing time.”

Neither Lake Hamilton’s first or second group could get much going offensively, but each did have one big play. After losing a yard on its first set of downs, the Wolves faced fourth and 11 on its second set when it hit a 46-yard touchdown pass over the top.

“They picked on our sophomore we had rotating in there and that’s just sophomore inexperience,” Malham said of cornerback Holdyn Barnes, who lost coverage and gave up the big play. “He can play though. He did a good job most of the night. Him and Logan Melder are rotating and they’re both doing a good job.”

The extra-point attempt failed.

The Wolves lost 21 yards on the next play because of a high snap. On second down from the 4-yard line, defensive end Brian Marshall and Brandon Allinder sacked Nathan Sawrie in the end zone for a safety with one play left for the Wolves.

On first down from the 25-yard line, and with Cabot’s defense in keep-them-from-scoring mode, Sawrie kept for a 13-yard gain before Cabot took possession.

After the first touchdown, Cabot started over at the 25 and faced fourth and seven when Kimbrell hit Launius on the left sideline for a 26-yard gain and a first down at the Lake Hamilton 46.

Four-straight incompletions followed for Cabot’s only stop on downs in the game. With one play left, Cabot ran the halfback counter to perfection, springing Preston Jones for a 50-yard touchdown run. Caleb Schulte hit the PAT.

Lake Hamilton’s backup offense then ran 15 plays and totaled -6 yards, as Cabot’s second-string defense dominated the Wolves.

After being held to 1 yard on the first four plays, Lake Hamilton picked up just enough for a first down on fourth and three on the second set of downs, and got first and five after Cabot jumped off sides. From there it was all bad news for the Wolves’ offense.

Alex Rodriguez got a sack for a loss of 5 yards before a 3-yard gain that made it third and seven.

Peyton Barger then busted up a wildcat handoff for a 7-yard loss, and followed that with a sack for another -7 yards.

Resetting for first down at the 25, Lake Hamilton found an open man downfield, but linebacker Jack Whisker made a huge hit that jarred the ball loose and incomplete. Whisker then picked off the next pass for another stop, and made a tackle after a 2-yard gain on the last play of the possession.

Whisker looked good on the second-string offense as well until he fumbled to thwart a drive that had gone seven plays for 49 yards. Resetting at the 38-yard line, Cabot went 62 yards in six plays with Whisker picking up 35 of it on one carry to set up first and goal at the 4. Dylan Thompson punched it in from there and Christian Underwood hit the extra point.

Neither of Lake Hamilton’s units could score and each managed just one more first down on the second set of possessions.

Kimbrell and Ferguson hooked up for another big gain, but Lake Hamilton’s Donnell West clubbed the ball out of Ferguson’s hands and recovered it after a 43-yard gain. Resetting at the 25, Cabot went 75 yards in nine plays for another score, but the PAT failed after a bad snap.

Cabot almost scored on the last play again when Chris Henry broke loose for 59 yards to the 5-yard line. From there, Schulte hit a 22-yard field goal.

The Panthers’ second string chewed up big chunks of yards to start their next possession, but Jason Shrunk lost a fumble after an 8-yard gain to stop the drive after 48 yards on six plays.

Whisker broke loose for 40 yards on the second play of the next set of downs. Bell kept for 14, Thompson gained seven and Whisker got the last five for another Cabot touchdown.