Football is all about adjustments.
Which adjustments you make.
When you make those adjustments.
How players execute those adjustments.
East Noble not only implemented what it needed to do the second time around against New Haven, it did so in emphatic fashion, a 43-0 blanking of the Bulldogs to open sectional play.
It was an outcome that no one saw coming. Not necessarily that the Knights won, but in how they earned their most lopsided playoff victory in seven years.
It began from the jump, with East Noble getting on the board just 90 seconds into the game with a 23-yard pass from Zander Brazel to Landon Swogger.
While New Haven’s defense was able to keep the Knights off the scoreboard for the majority of the rest of the half, the offense never truly got on track. Quarterback Donovan Williams struggled with accuracy through the first half, which gave way to dropped passes in the second half.
A crucial sequence was late in the second quarter when New Haven had first-and-goal with an opportunity to tie the game up. But the Bulldogs turned the ball over on fourth down, and East Noble drove down the field in the final seconds of the half, scoring on a two-yard run by Dylan Krehl, who added a two-point conversion to go up 15-0.
The game was effectively over after that. East Noble piled it on in the second half, a marked contrast to just two weeks prior.
In Week 8, East Noble limited New Haven’s offense enough in a 31-21 victory, but did have to get some key stops in the second half to prevent a Bulldogs comeback. There was no such opportunity for Coach Kyle Booher’s team on Friday.
And that’s what was so impressive. It was a chess match before the game. New Haven was going to change some things coming out of the first matchup, while East Noble had to anticipate those changes and adjust accordingly.
Every move the Knights made was the right one. With New Haven looking to get a stop on fourth down when East Noble was driving right before the half, the Bulldogs called an all-out blitz. The Knights responded with the perfect call, a dump-off pass in the flat that went down to the 2-yard line that set up the second touchdown.
The night was full of those instances, which in the end saw a complete rout.
It now leads to the question about another matchup with a league foe – Leo. East Noble struggled offensively against the Lions the first time around in Week 5, a 14-7 defeat.
If Coach Luke Amstutz and his staff can prep and deliver a game plan as exceptional as Friday’s was, East Noble will have a good shot next Friday against the Lions.
But it will be tough to equal what went down at New Haven.
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