One bad quarter stood between the Sidney Yellow Jackets and what would have been a great way to open the season last week in high school football.
To say coach Adam Doenges and his squad made huge strides since last season’s opener would be a gross understatement. Last year’s game at St. Marys wound up 71-21. This year, the Jackets rolled up over 400 yards in total offense and had the Roughriders on the ropes before letting it get away, 40-28.
That may have come as a surprise to some, but Doenges and the Yellow Jackets were not among them.
“We felt we matched up very well with them,” Doenges said. “We were pretty confident as a team. But in the end, we didn’t make it happen. Most football games that are close, you can pick out five or six plays that determine the game, and that was the case. When we watched the film, we were easily able to find those plays, too. We told the kids going in that they never knew when one of those plays would happen, so don’t take any plays off.”
The Jackets now head into what Doenges called an important stretch for his team, starting with Friday night at neighboring rival Bellefontaine. After that comes three more non-league games before heading into what promises to be a difficult road in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division.
“I think we’re a good foootball team, but the GWOC North is really good this year,” Doenges said. “We were the only North team to lose last week. We really believe that this is a very good football team, but we need to win to get some confidence going into the league games.”
Bellefontaine started off with a 33-0 loss to Wapakoneta last week. That was the score at the half.
“They’ve lost a lot of good players and this is a young and inexperienced team,” Doenges said of the Chieftains. “But they are very well coached. They have a big Tim Tebow-like quarterback who likes to run first. And defensively, they always have a couple of good linebackers and this team is no different. It might be a couple of the best we see this year.”
The Jackets, meanwhile, showed a potent offense last week, with 254 yards rushing against a good defensive team. Conor Beer rushed for 88 yards on 11 carries, and freshman Andre Gordon had 83 yards on 14 carries. Sophomore Isaiah Bowser added 54 yards.
Quarterback Jack Feazel was 12-for-23 for 152 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Half of those completions went to Darryl McNeal.
“We outgunned them by almost 100 yards,” Doenges said. “It’s been a while since we’ve done that against a good, solid defense. And I thought our defense played really well, but there were three series in the second quarter where we let them score. We didn’t get to the ball with a purpose. We needed to put the nail in the coffin right there and we didn’t get it done.”
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818