In the Miners first two games this year, it has been the Defense that has shined, while the Offense develops week-by-week. With players returning from injury or various quarantine issues, and changes in personnel placement that Offense did indeed come out swinging against Monrovia last Friday Night. One of those Miners playing for the 1st time this year was JR Colin Padgett at WB. It took one play to see what he brings to the Miner offense with a pitch going to his right, be made a cut and turned on the blasters to the tune of 69 yards for a score just seconds into the contest. However, a needless late penalty flag sailed across the Bulldog 37 that erased most of that amazing first carry. Another insert into the line-up for the 1st time was Sophomore Wrigley Franklin at Right Guard for his initial varsity experience other than special teams. The move designed to give the Miners more one-way players and depth as the season progresses. The O-Line consisting of Jr Donovan DeBruhl, Soph Aiden Giles, Sr Damien Giles, and Sr Landon Giles, along with Franklin, were a big part in the 403 total yards produced in the win. It was the best showing of the year thus far.
The Miner D, however, had more trouble with the Bulldogs on offense than in any previous contest. Behind the rushing of Jr #4 Todd Camic, Monrovia truly bulldogged 204 yards on the ground with Camic doing the brunt of the work with 20 carries 138 yards and 2 scores. Another area the Miners had been doing well at to this point was not giving up the big play. There were a handful of those, with at least two of them put points on the board for the Green team and another put them at the 1 leading to another score.
The Miners would indeed score on that first drive, as they would on four of their first six drives of the game. That first drive had a ferocious 34-yard run by Drew Smith up the middle to the Monrovia 9 with Soph QB Hunter Gennicks keeping on a rollout for 11-yards and Miner Touchdown at the 9:55 mark of the 1st. Padgett scurried in for the 2-Point play and an 8-0 lead. The Bulldogs would answer, though, with 6 running plays, alternating between Camic, Jr WB Gaven Followell, and FR FB Brayton Belcher.
Camic would cut back left to right on a nice 35-yard run on 3rd and 2 to answer the Miner score with Bulldog score, and after a 5 yard penalty on the conversion, QB Sr Dalen Clements hit Camic with a pass to tie things up 8-all at 7:27. Again, the Miner Offense looked well-oiled with a 9-yard Gennicks keeper, a 15 yard scamper from Sr Trey Goodman, then a spot-on pass from Gennicks to JR Eli Poe to get to the Monrovia 25. Sr LB Hunter Wray would drag Goodman for a loss of 6 yards, and that led to a 4th and 5 at the 20. After a timeout, Gennicks directed a strike to Padgett inside the Bulldog 5 where he would be able to dive in the end zone at the four-minute mark still in the opening quarter. Drew Smith plowed in for 2 more points, making it a 16-8 Linton lead.
More excitement immediately came to the Linton faithful and Smith’s kickoff bee-lined off Wray’s front line helmet, and Smith himself was the first to jump on the ball at the Monrovia 49. Linton went for it all with a deep sideline aerial intended for Poe, but it was too long. Linton did not take advantage of the turnover, but Junior Jaydan Miller continued to punt well for Linton, pinning the Bulldogs at their own 1-yard line as Sophomore Jaxson Walker hustled to down the ball. The Miner Defense forced a three-and-out, and Sophomore Hunter Johns retuned the Belcher punt back to the Bulldog 29 for a terrific opportunity. However, the Miners would drop 8-yards back on an errant pitch caused by Bulldog DE Jalen Whalen, and that was luckily recovered by Linton’s SR Landon Giles to keep possession. All was well, though, as on 3rd and 10, Padgett exhibited more speed with a 19-yard burst to the Bulldog 10. Two plays later, it would Smith bowling over from 6-yards out. Goodman ran in for the 2-point conversion and a Linton 22-to-8 lead 1:49 into the 2nd stanza.
A short kickoff with an added facemask penalty put Monrovia at the Miner 48 to start their possession. Camic carried 3 straight times, then Clement lofted a pass to the end zone left side where it appeared a jump ball would follow with Monrovia’s SR Ethan Payne out-leaping Linton’s Poe, and making the catch for a Bulldog score with 7:54 in the half. However, Followell was kept out of the end zone on the 2-point play by Senior Levi Grounds and Juniorr Bracey Breneman. That left the score 24-14 Miners.
An 18-yard catch-and-run by Goodman (from Gennicks) got the Miners going to the Monrovia 46. The drive highlights included another crushing run up the middle for 16-yards from Smith, as Gennicks with a 15-yard keeper to the Bulldog 3. Trey Goodman pushed the pigskin across at the 4:54 mark, but they would fail for the first time on a 2-point conversion in 2020 on a pass intended to Poe that was indeed nearly caught.
The Bulldogs tried more passing but defense from Poe and Miller, plus pressure from Grounds forced a three-and-out, but the Miners reciprocated with their own three-and-out. The Clements to Payne passing combo again hooked up for a 17-yard pass to the Monrovia 39, but would be all Monrovia could get. After the punt, Linton had 45 seconds from their own 31. Gennicks would fire 4 passed, all Goodman’s way and connecting twice, but time would run out at the Miner 46.
With a 30-14 halftime score, you expect good offensive numbers, and Linton had put up 231 yards — 167 on the ground — already. Monrovia had 138 (97 on the ground) at that point. There had been only one turnover (on the line drive kick-off to Monrovia), very little in penalties albeit one costing Padgett an incredible memory of scoring a TD on his first carry of 2020!
Linton indeed had momentum on their side coming out in the second half, but Monrovia would change that in 2 plays. On 2nd and 13, Clements fired deep to his right down the Bulldog sideline to a streaking Payne. The Miner defender seemed to have a play on the ball, but mistimed his attempt to knock the ball away. Instead, it was a perfect strike into #36’s breadbasket, and he battled Poe off and ran the final 35-yards in a 69-yard play. Linton would hold on the 2-point play, leaving the scoreboard to read Linton 30 and Monrovia 20, and a brand-new ball game. The question on all Monrovia fans minds was “Could the Bulldogs stop the Miner offense?” An 8 play 63-yard drive would answer that question with a 20-yard Gennicks run, and yet another Smith gutbuster of 25, Linton rolled to the Bulldog 5 with Gennicks scoring on a 3rd and goal at the 7:16 mark of the Third Quarter. Again, a pass attempt to Poe would not connect, but Linton led 36-20 at this point.
But Monrovia was not done either. Suddenly, the ‘Dogs were finding success up the Miner interior defense with Camic runs of 10 and 13, plus Belcher’s dive turning into a 31-yard run. QB Clements kept the ball for the 1-yard plunge, and with Camic’s 2 point run successful the back-and-forth continued. Miners 36 and Bulldogs 28, a once score game. From their own 28, the Miners churned up a quick first down on a Gennicks 8-yard keep, then it was Padgett Time, as again he came across from WB towards the Miner sideline, cut up field, and then outran nearly everyone until Wary caught him at the Bulldog 6. Ahh, but another piece of yellow laundry all the way back at the Linton 44 erased another impressive run from #7. So, as Colin rested on the sideline, the very next play it was Sophomore Hunter Johns in essential the same play — and with nearly the same result. Johns’ first carry of the night ended up at the Monrovia 21, a 50-yard sprint. Goodman and Gennicks moved the Miners closer with Gennicks leaning in from the 1 to put the Miners up by 14. A key 2-point play failed to put Linton up by 16, keeping it a 2-score game.
A nice punt return by Dustin Kostrzewski and tackle by Linton’s FR Ty Boyd set Monrovia at their own 48 with 45 seconds left in the third period. The Bulldogs had to answer every Miner tally at this point. 8 straight runs, 7 of them by Camic, moved the Bulldogs to the Miner 16, but faced a 4th and 2. Clements rolled to his right possible to run or pass, but is was Miner Frosh Jaydan Miller, who raced by would-be blockers and bring #9 down for a 3-yard loss and a turnover on downs! A 14-point Linton lead with 8:40 left and having the ball would make most all Miner fans smile, but the Bulldog defense was fired up and stuffed three runs, forcing a Miller 37-yard punt to the Bulldog 29 with 4:45 to go. Followell would bust 12-yards around the end on first down, but then Linton’s Defense, behind takles from Landon Giles, and Dalton Carpenter, forced a 3rd and 9 from the Miner 16. Clements would buy time rolling to his right, and spot a wide open Hunter Leeds at the Linton 5, but he could not bring the ball in. On 4th and 9, Clements again spotted a target in Ethan Payne, who leapt to make the catch, but fell on the Miner 1. It was 1st and goal where Camic pushed through, and another Clements pass to Camic for 2 made things tigher: Linton 42 and Monrovia 36; in fact, a Bulldog score alone would tie with a chance to win with an extra point.
With tensions high in both stands at the Roy, it came down to this to Monrovia. They had not been able to stop the Miner offensive attack. They opted for the on-side kick attempt. Now, I will say most people were expecting it, but when it came it seemed nobody on the Miner front line was prepared for this type of kick. Honestly, it was a perfectly played on-side kick by Monrovia. Clements, the normal kicker, approached the ball but stepped to his right, and Belcher came in front of him and tapped it into a slow roll. That kind of spin is very hard to judge, and I’m sure no Miner wanted to risk rushing up and trying to jump on it, only to see it spin out and be a live ball.
Clements was almost running over the ball, and it has to go 10-yards before being touched by the kicking team, unless a Miner hits it first, but the Miners waiting at the 50-yard stripe setting up a major collision. I can imagine from the naked eye that it would appear that Clements caught the ball in the air and fell forward in a heap on the Miner 49. However, as someone who had binoculars on the play with a very good angle, it was apparent that Clements in his anxiousness indeed reached out and grabbed the ball only maybe a couple feet at most shy of the 50. Yes, he fell forward, but it is where he touched the ball. The far side official came running in with his foot right on the spot as I saw it. Monrovia fans didn’t like the call, any more than I am sure Linton fans wouldn’t like the reverse call, but I was pleased to see another photographer with a still image that reinforced that correct call.
There was still came to play. 4:45 for Monrovia to stop Linton and get the ball back, but again runs from Gennicks of 8 and 7 punched the ball to the Bulldog 34, but the Green and White stopped runs from Smith cold, and now it sat 4th and 5 and the Monrovia 29. After a Miner timeout, it would be Gennicks after a series of fakes, who would keep to his left and then shoot up the field getting 6 hard fought yards that sealed this win for the Red and Blue.
The Miners would take a knee twice and come away with a hard-fought 42 to 36 win. Linton has now won two in a row over Bulldogs and 4 of the 5 games since renewing the series in 2016. Linton moves to 2-1 on the year while Monrovia falls to 1-2. The Bulldogs continue their brutal schedule with a meeting with fellow ICC member Triton Central (2-1) in Monrovia. Linton will be at home for the second week in a row, facing a friendly rival in North Vermillion (0-3). The Falcons have not been 0-3 since 2002, but have also had injuries and quarantine issues that have forced them to play severely limited. They lost to (1-2) Covington last week 52-22.
- Linton-Hunter Gennicks 11 Yard Run (Colin Padgett Run) 9:55 1st
- Monrovia-Todd Camic 35 Yard Run (Dalen Clements to Camic Pass) 7:37 1st
- Linton-Gennicks to Padgett 20 Yard Pass (Drew Smith Run) 4:00 1st
- Linton-Smith 6 yard Run (Trey Goodman Run) 10:11 2nd
- Monrovia- Clements to Ethan Payne 24 Yard Pass (Run Fail) 7:54 2nd
- Linton- Goodman 5 Yard Run (Pass Fail) 4:54 2nd
- Monrovia- Clements to Payne 69 Yard pass (Pass Fail) 11:00 3rd
- Linton- Gennicks 5 Yard Run (Pass Fail) 7:16 3rd
- Monrovia- Clements 1 Yard Run (Camic Run) 4:33 3rd
- Linton- Gennicks 1 Yard Run (Pass Fail) 0:41 3rd
- Monrovia-Camic 1 Yard Run (Clements to Camic Pass) 4:45 4th
|13||Smith, Drew||14||107||7.64||1||0||9||Clements, Dalen||4||-2||-0.5||1||0|
|14||Gennicks, Hunter||19||107||5.63||3||0||42||Belcher, Brayton||8||46||5.75||0||0|
|12||Johns, Hunter||1||50||50||0||0||4||Camic, Todd||20||138||6.9||2||0|
|7||Padgett, Kaulin||7||47||6.71||0||0||27||Followell, Gaven||4||32||8||0||0|
|Total Off||Poss||Score||%||Xplose||3 Out||Neg||TOP||Rush||Pass||Total Plays|