SIDNEY — Sidney’s improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 was evident except for one area: penalties.
The Yellow Jackets (0-2, 0-1 Miami Valley League) had two penalties in a 43-13 loss to Bellefontaine in Week 1 but had 13 penalties for 137 yards in a 34-20 loss to Tippecanoe on Friday.
“We definitely made some improvements but we just have to continue to improve on the execution,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “… We had way, way too many penalties. We did not play a clean game. It might have been a tightly called game, but our kids need to make adjustments, and we weren’t able to do that.
“We had some big plays wiped out because of penalties. That kind of stuff has to get cleaned up, and we’re looking for the same kind of improvement from Week 2 to Week 3.”
Those penalties were mostly holding and ineligible receiver errors and proved costly on the team’s first three drives in the second half. Sidney led 13-10 at halftime but lost yardage on its first three drives. Tippecanoe benefited from the resulting short fields and scored two touchdowns and one field goal to take a 27-13 lead.
“If you don’t pick up a couple of first downs, your defense is going to be backed up against the wall,” Doenges said. “… I was pretty proud of how we improved defensively. We made some changes, put Myles Vordemark at middle linebacker, and he made some good plays.
“We’re going with the skill sets of kids and putting them in better positions to make plays. We’re going to keep rolling with that, and I’m looking forward to what we can do this week.”
Sidney accumulated 320 yards of offense after managing 182 against Bellefontaine. Junior quarterback Tucker Herron was 21 for 32 for 227 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The team gained 93 rushing yards on 36 carries.
Senior receiver Sam Reynolds led the receiving corps with 10 receptions for 142 yards with one TD. Sophomore Julius Spradling finished with 66 all-purpose yards and one TD.
“I though Tucker had a nice game. We’re still trying to get the ball in the hands of Sam and Julius quite a bit, and we were able to do that,” Doenges said. “We’ve got a lot of other weapons on the team that we have to get the ball to, and if you look at the disbursement throughout the night, I thought we did a pretty good job.
“We still think we’re a scary offense. We just haven’t got to how good we can be yet on that side of the ball.”
Sidney will be looking for its first win when it travels to Greenville (0-2, 0-1) to battle for the Little Brown Jug on Friday. It’s the first of three road games for the Yellow Jackets.
Greenville lost 44-13 to Eaton in its season opener and 42-21 to Stebbins in its MVL opener last week.
The Green Wave has relied on the running ability of senior Brock Short to get the offense going so far this year. He had 303 all-purpose yards and scored two TDs against Eaton and ran for 260 yards and three TDs against Stebbins.
Short ran for 158 yards and one TD and caught four passes for 66 yards in a 28-14 loss to the Yellow Jackets last season.
“They can put him at various spots in the backfield, they can line him up as a wide receiver out in the the slot, throw bubbles to him, try to get him the ball downfield in various different ways,” Doenges said. “He’s going to be returning kicks. He’s everywhere on the field. He’s definitely a special player.”
Doenges said like Sidney, Greenville is relatively young with a lot of juniors and sophomores. He said he knows the Green Wave will be hungry to earn its first win on Friday, just like Sidney.
“They play a lot of guys both ways, more than what we’ve seen the last couple of weeks. But the guys they play both ways are really, really good football players,” Doenges said. “They’ve got two linemen that are pretty good in Ty Bush and AJ Shaffer and a pretty good (linebacker) in (senior Ryan Crampton), who played as a freshman.
“They have about five, six, seven guys that play both ways. They’re pretty good.”
New Bremen defense stifles first two opponents
New Bremen shut out Lima Bath (28-0) and Lehman Catholic (41-0) to start the season and will be looking for another shutout when it travels to Parkway to begin Midwest Athletic Conference play this Friday.
“I’m never going to complain about that,” New Bremen coach Chris Schmidt said after Saturday’s win of earning another shutout. “… I’m pleased overall, but we’ve just got to continue to work and get better, because we’ll continue to ramp up as we get into conference play.”
The Cardinals (2-0) held Bath to 132 yards of offense and forced one turnover in Week 1, then held Lehman to 93 yards and forced four turnovers on Saturday.
Schmidt was pleased how the squad’s junior varsity players did in preserving the shutout in the second half against the Cavaliers.
“Lehman started to get after us a little and was showing great fight and resolve, and I told those guys that a lot of them are one play away (from varsity), so you’ve got to work and continue to get better,” Schmidt said.
Fort Loramie faces late-blooming Spencerville offense
Fort Loramie (2-0) will finish its only occurrence of only back-to-back weeks on the road this Friday when it travels to Spencerville. The Redskins will face an offense that just found its groove in the second half last week.
The Bearcats lost 31-0 to Elida in Week 1 and trailed 13-0 at halftime against Paulding last Friday. Spencerville erupted for 36 points in the second half, thanks in part to four turnovers by the Panthers, including an interception returned for a touchdown.
Spencerville had 214 yards of offense against Elida and committed three turnovers (all interceptions). The squad finished with 267 yards of offense against Paulding.