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By BRIAN LANGLEY
Morgan County News
OLIVER SPRINGS-For the first time in 35 years, Coalfield blanked Oliver Springs on the gridiron. The Jackets used a bend, but don't break defense and an efficient offense to garner their second straight win over Oliver Springs on D.J. Brittan Field with a 26-0 victory Friday night.
Coalfield (1-3) last shutout the Bobcats in a 6-0 win back in 1973 and it was only the fifth time in history the Jackets were able to hold Oliver Springs scoreless.
It had been exactly 40 years since the Jackets had shutout the Bobcats in Oliver Springs with a 7-0 win back in 1968.
It was a great place to get his first win as the Coalfield head coach for Keith Henry.
"It was such a great win all the way around. It was a super win for me for my first victory here at Coalfield to beat Oliver Springs," said Henry, who improved his career coaching record to 51-24.
"We needed a win really bad. We just kept challenging the kids and telling them sometimes the Good Lord just tests you and you gotta believe and have faith and keep working hard, and that is what we did. Give all the credit to these young men. They worked so hard and kept believing and trusted in us even when things didn't look real good. That is a sign of a good football team and that is the sign of young men that have a lot of heart and character. We got after it really hard in practice and all of them worked tremendously hard in practice and it really showed tonight."
The 26-0 victory over the Bobcats is the most lopsided win for Coalfield in the history of the series.
"It is a big rivalry, and the longer we're here, the more we've learned about how much it means to the communities. With Coalfield kind of being on the short end a lot of times, it sure is nice to come down here and get a win. It is great for our kids to put one together tonight and play like we should have been playing all year," explained Coalfield offensive coordinator Jared Henry.
A good week of practice was the main reason for the good performance by the Jackets, according to Henry.
"I think the kids got closer this week. I think they pulled their belt a little tighter and said we're going to turn this thing around and get it done and that is what happened. Its all on the kids. We're just there with them. I'm more happy for them and the Coalfield community than anything," said Jared Henry.
"I can't say enough about James Bales and Biff Wilson. They work with the receivers and the running backs. We improved this week. The offensive line did better. Mike Laurendine and Coach (Keith) Henry both worked with them."
During a defense dominated first half, Oliver Springs had two drives deep in Coalfield territory that ended on downs with no points to show. Meanwhile, the Jackets made the most of their 10 plays in the first half with one score, which proved to be the game-winner.
Oliver Springs took the opening drive and marched from their own 21 to the Coalfield 26 before they were stopped on a 4th-and-4 when T.C. Armes batted down a C.J. Pointer pass. The Bobcats milked the clock to less than four minutes with 13 plays with Jordan Romero carrying most of the load with 33 yards on six carries.
Coalfield was forced to punt after only three plays, and senior Shawn Armes boomed a 60-yard punt to flip the field and pin the Bobcats back to their own 5. The Jackets then stepped up on defense and forced a three-and-out series.
Coalfield stayed with a conservative ground attack and Ryan Armes had three straight carries to set up a 4th-and-1 and QB Adam Doughty converted on a sneak. Two plays later, Shawn Armes took a hand-off behind the left side of the line and raced 41 yards to paydirt for what proved to be the game-winning score. Ryan Armes added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 8:17 left until half-time.
"It (first touchdown) really put things in motion for us. We kind of picked something up on film and come back and hit it. We got everybody blocked. Matt Roberts made a tremendous block on the run that sprung Shawn (Armes) and he got his balance back and took it the distance. It was a special run and it kind of energized us a little bit," offered Jared Henry, who had been waiting for three games for his offense to produce.
The Bobcats appeared poised to answer the call and they started on another time-consuming drive. They started at their own 35 and got down to the Jacket five in 13 plays with Pointer hitting Cory McBee for a 9-yard pass and Coalfield getting flagged for pass interference to highlight the drive. However, faced with a 4th-and-1, Curtis Davis was dropped at the line of scrimmage by Arron Huff and Austin Hensley to end the drive with under a minute to play in the half. The Jackets dodged a bullet.
"Maybe the biggest part of the game was the goal line stand by the defense. We put our foot down from there and we got stronger as the game went," said Jared Henry.
Coalfield took their 7-0 lead to the break after dodging a couple of bullets and getting beat in offensive plays 31-10 during the first 24 minutes of the game.
Shawn Armes got the Jackets started strong in the second half with a 35-yard kick return to give them possession at the 45. Two plays later and Doughty hit Shawn Armes near the Coalfield sideline and the shifty senior made his getaway and raced 49 yards for his second touchdown. Ryan Armes' PAT missed right, but the Jackets led 13-0 with 10:53 left in the third quarter.
"It (second touchdown) set the tone for the rest of the game for us. It gave us a little cushion to play with," said Jared Henry.
A 9-yard punt by Matt Poland put the Bobcats back to the wall. The Jackets rolled the dice on their next drive and Shawn Armes faked the punt on 4th-and-5 and broke loose for a 14-yard run to the Oliver Springs 24. Doughty then hit Blake Framer over the middlefor a beautiful 24-yard scoring toss. Armes added the extra point to push the lead to 20-0 halfway through the third quarter.
Oliver Springs' next drive ended on downs and the Jackets took over at their own 47. Doughty and Farmer hooked up for a 35-yard pass to help set up Doughty's 10-yard touchdown toss to Ryan Armes on the second play of the fourth quarter. The extra point was foiled, but Coalfield led 26-0 with 11:46 left.
Coalfield's Arron Huff recovered the only fumble of the game to thwart another drive by Oliver Springs and the Jackets ran 11 plays to milk nearly 8 minutes off the clock and preserve a 26-0 win over the Bobcats.
"The execution was good and the defense played super hard and we got a shutout. I'm just so proud of all these young men for what they've done and hung in there. We just had to be patient. We knew good things were going to happen for us. We took advantage of what we had. The defense played well and kept us in position to where we could make things happen," explained head coach Keith Henry.
The Coalfield players praised the coaching staff for working them hard and preparing them for the game.
"It's real special to win here (Oliver Springs). We've been working real hard on defense and offense. Our coaches have been helping us and getting on us hard. We just worked together as a team and that is what we've been doing this whole year. Our coaches have been with us all along. We've just got to work harder and harder. I know we won, but we've got to keep working," said Coalfield senior Blake Farmer, who caught a touchdown pass and led the team in receiving.
"We really got into practice this week and hit it hard and got after it," said Coalfield senior running back Ryan Armes.
"Beating Oliver Springs, it's the game to win here at Coalfield. It feels good to put that zero on the board. Oliver Springs isn't a bad team. They got after it and I hope it shows some people that we're here to stay." The Jackets held a 283-144 edge in total yards and didn't have a turnover after giving up 11 during the first three games. Coalfield's 283-yard offensive attack was directed by senior QB Adam Doughty (4-5 for 118 yards, 3 TD passing). Shawn Armes (9-109, 1 TD) and Ryan Armes (15-42) provided a strong rushing game. Blake Farmer (2-69, 1 TD), Shawn Armes (1-49, 1 TD) and Ryan Armes (1-10, 1 TD) each hauled in a touchdown.
"It was a great time to have a breakout game. We hadn't scored yet, and I will bare the brunt of that. We showed the kids the films and showed them it was the things we were doing and not so much what the other teams were doing. We played a pretty good schedule the first three ball games and it was just good to see our kids put it together and execute what we've been trying to do all year. I think this is going to be a good building block for us to go forward with," said Jared Henry.
Coalfield's staring offensive line of Devin Smith, Boone Wilson, T.C. Armes, Wayne Fletcher and Devin Smith got plenty of praise following the win at Oliver Springs.
"The line did a good job up front. The coaches worked hard all week. We worked on that play hard all week. We just got it done and had good protection up front. The linemen is who I give all the credit to. The big boys up front did their job," said Doughty, who finally got his first career touchdown pass and added two more scoring tosses.
"I give all the credit to the line. They blocked their hearts out tonight," said Coalfield's Shawn Armes, who scored the first two touchdowns of the game.
"The offensive line put it together real good this week and they did great," offered Coalfield's Ryan Armes, who ran the ball hard for 42 tough yards.
"I just wanted to come out here and play football. The linemen blocked tonight. It feels great to get another win down here (Oliver Springs)," said Coalfield senior tackle T.C. Armes.
"This is a big rivalry game and I think we stepped it up front and when we stepped it up front the backs filled for us and we took it down the field. It was just about who had the most guts. This is a confidence builder and hopefully we will build on this," said Coalfield senior guard Boone Wilson.
"The offensive line did a good job. I don't think he (Doughty) was pressured all night long when we threw the ball. Any game you go into at any level, if you play well up front you've got a chance to win. My hats off to those guys up front. There is not a lot of subs and they play a lot of snaps," said Jared Henry.
Oliver Springs was paced on offense by the 1-2 rushing punch of Jordan Romero (15-61) and Curtis Davis (12-26). C.J. Pointer was 4-6 for 28 yards through the air. Cory McBee (2-17) and Jonathan Thornton (2-14) led the 'Cats in receiving.
The Jackets were led on defense by Arron Huff (17 tackles, 1 behind the line, 1 FR), Austin Hensley (13 stops, 1 behind the line), T.C. Armes (10 tackles), Boone Wilson (6 tackles), Wayne Fletcher (6 tackles), Blake Farmer (6 stops), Steven Bullock (5 tackles, 1 behind the line) and Luke Jackson (5 tackles, 1 behind the line). Shawn Armes and Max Bertrand each added 4 stops, while Devin Smith and Ryan Armes each were in on 3 tackles. Freshman Shane Ashley registered a tackle in the backfield for Coalfield.
"Defensively, we got back to what we were doing in the preseason, we were having four, five, six, seven people getting to the ball and wrapping up and knocking them back. They (Oliver Springs) had a few where they fell forward, but for the most part, we held them at the line of scrimmage. This is huge. This is probably like a Tennessee/Alabama rivalry game and the atmosphere here tonight was great. I told Coach Jared (Henry) that we would put up at least 21 points on the board and not give up no more than seven. Of course we ended up getting the goose egg, and what a night for our defense," offered CHS defensive coordinator Duan Henry.
"We just got after it in practice this week and got back to the roots of attacking the football and attacking the runner. Our front five tonight were huge. We were whipping their guys up front. Our kids come out with the attitude tonight, we were going to win this game and we did."
The shutout was the first for Duan Henry in his short coaching career and he was ecstatic following the game.
"This is my first goose egg and I'm so proud of these guys and what they did. The monkey has been on our back the first three games. We had a good week of practice and I really think it benefitted us tonight," said Duan Henry.
Head coach Keith Henry praised the efforts of his defensive coach.
"Duan (Henry) works really super hard and his defense did a great job. I'm so happy for him to get his first shutout."
Coalfield will travel to Midway (2-1, 1-0 in Region 2-A) in a pivotal regional showdown this Friday down South of the River.
"It is always a big game between Coalfield and Midway. They do a great job with the coaching staff down there preparing, and their kids are tough, hard-nosed kids. It will be a tough region game on the road, but that is why you play the game. We played on the road here tonight and it was a tough one," said Henry.