Sunday, November 9, 2008

DISTRICTS: Nouvel vs. Carrollton

**Kevin Robinson found plenty of running room against the Cavs**
**Robert Essex fights for yardage against Nouvel**
**Ryan Miller races for a 78 yard score**
**LT Calvin Jackson did what he could to contain the Nouvel defense**

Saginaw- Carrollton has had a fantastic season, smashing all sorts of school records, on their way to reeling off 9 wins for the first time in school history. But Friday night the Cavs just could not match the fire power or experience of the two time defending champs- Nouvel Catholic Central. The Panthers overwhelmed Carrollton on their way to a 35-3 win to advance to next week's regional final vs. St. Charles.

However, the Cavs showed no fear by forcing Nouvel into a three and out series on the game's first possession. Carrollton's offense then drove down field behind the running combination of feature back Robert Essex and fullback JJ Perry. After picking up a 1st-and-goal at the 6 yard line, the Cavs settled for a field goal from the two yard line to take a 3-0 lead with 1:45 to go in the first.

Nouvel got a big play from receiver Sam Herbert, who ran a basic hitch route, then shook off a defender to put Nouvel in the redzone. Kevin Robinson finished the drive with a run from a yard out to get Nouvel on the board with 6:15 left in the second quarter. Carrollton managed to block the extra point keeping the score at 6-3 in Nouvel's favor.

After regaining possession Nouvel got a 35 yard run from Robinson to again move inside the redzone. A screen pass to Robinson got Nouvel even closer and then Ryan Miller capped the drive with a 10 yard run to give the Panthers a 13-3 lead.

Nouvel's defense took over in the third quarter and erased any hope for a Cavalier comeback. A diving interception from Michael O'Connor gave Nouvel a 1st-and-goal from the 7 yard line. On first down Nouvel ran a play-action pass and Ryan Henris hit a wide open Murphy Wilson for the score. On the extra point attempt Carrollton jumped offsides and Nouvel decided to send the offense back onto the field. Miller ran in the 2-point conversion making the score 21-3.

Nouvel's defense got only stronger as they just physically pounded on Carrollton every chance they got. Another interception by Nouvel, this time safety Zach Garner, gave Nouvel another 1st-and-goal from the 4 yard line. On first down Miller plowed his way up the gut for a 28-3 lead with 5:27 to play in the third. Nouvel tacked on another score early in the fourth when Miller ran behind his 6-7/ 276 pound tackler, junior Shawn Kamm, for a 78 yard TD.


Nouvel- the Panthers had 6 drops in the first quarter- 3 from receivers and 3 from DB's that could have turned into INT's. If Nouvel is to 3-peat they need to take advantage of those situations.

Defensively Nouvel just took away everything from the Cavs. The safety's were in position to make plays and the front 7 just pounded Carrollton on every down.

On another note I love Nouvel's down field blocking, from interception returns to screen plays, Nouvel does a fantastic job picking up blocks down field and those are the little things that can make a difference.

Carrollton- nothing to hang your head about but Nouvel is just on another level right now as far as a program is concerned. But the Cavs have the perfect opportunity to establish a program by installing a winning mentality into the younger grades and getting the returning players right back in the weight room.

GAME MVP: Kevin Robinson, Nouvel- Robinson left the game in the third quarter with an injury but by then the game had already been decided. The senior power back had thee plays (all of 20+ yards) in the first quarter to help the Nouvel offense get going. Robinson had 100 all-purpose yards all in the first half.

Ryan Miller, Nouvel- the junior back only had 6 rushes but produced over 100 yards and 3 TDs. He showed speed on his big 78 yard score and power on the other two TDs but just running over linebackers.

Bo Themm, Nouvel- the senior captain has really taken over the defense since linebacker Josh Fallon ended his season with a knee injury a few weeks ago. Themm relies on his strength and instincts to finish plays while racking up over 120 tackles so far this season.

Robert Essex, Carrollton- the junior just couldn't get anything going as he was constantly hit in the backfield. He finished the season with close to 2,000 rushing yards and 20 TDs.

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