Mobridge (Al Jazeera): The North Central South Dakota (Norcentral) Freaking Plovers entered the 2017 campaign with many questions unanswered. Who will replace Maxwell Award winner Donnie Scruggs at running back? Likewise, who will replace the highly successful Walter Barclay at quarterback? Will the defense that held foes to an average of 15 rushing yards and under 9 points per game maintain their stingy ways?
We got the answers tonight as the Plovers slipped by the University of Georgia Bulldogs via a score of 21-3 before a standing room only crowd of 94,501 fans at Sanford Stadium.
The Thrilling Trio of Jim May (9 carries for 54 yards), Kyle McDonald (8 for 77), and Lawrence Cook (6 for 38, 1 TD) rambled for 176 yards. Quarterback J. P. Richardson’s performance was adequate but less than stellar. He finished the day 6 of 11 passing for 93 yards with 2 TDs and 1 pick. Richardson had one shining moment late in the second quarter when he hit flanker Brandon Moyer for a 51-yard touchdown strike off the play action.
The Plovers scored 2 more times, both in the first half. Norcentral tallied on their first possession of the game with Cook lumbering 2 yards into the end zone to cap a 75 yard drive. The third score, early in the second quarter came on a 7 yard pass from Richardson to tight end Jameel Welsh.
The Plover defense lived up to its “bend but not break” reputation, holding the Bulldogs to -17 yards rushing and 188 through the air. They thwarted Georgia’s first drive, stopping them cold on fourth and goal at the 3. Norcentral shut down Bulldog drives thrice more with interceptions, two of which were in the end zone.
Georgia’s only success offensively was on a drive to the Plover 34 yard line. The Plovers forced the Bulldogs to settle for a 41 yard field goal.
Norcentral’s Head Football Coach and Chancellor (for life), Gomer S. Blake spoke at a press conference after the game.
“In general, I have mixed emoticons about this game. On the positive side Jim, Kyle and Lawrence had a great game. This dynamic duo will help us a lot in getting over the loss of Donnie Scruggs. Let’s win! And, I can’t say enough about the offensive line. They controlled the line of scrimmage and opened gasping holes for our backs. Let’s win!”
“The defense was great too. Holding a talented offense like Georgia has to only 3 points is domineering.”
Blake was not so charitable toward his quarterback. “To be prank, J.P.’s play was prophetic, prophetic I say! That young man needs to learn how to protect the ball. Come Monday morning he will be learning what grass smells like. Let’s win!”, he bellowed as he closed the press conference.
Next week the Plovers travel to State College Pennsylvania to challenge the Penn State Nitany Lions.
|How They Scored:|
|1st Quarter||1:20 TD Plovers: L.Cook 2 yd run (B.Todd kick)|
|2nd Quarter||2:21 TD Plovers: B.Moyer 51 yard pass from J.Richardson (B.Todd kick)|
|0:02 TD Plovers: J. Welsh 7 yard pass from J.Richardson (B.Todd kick)|
|3rd Quarter||1:48 FG Georgia: A.Simmons 42 yards|
|3-5||3rd Down Conv||3-7|
|1-2||4th Down Conv||0-0|
|10:49||Time of Possession||9:11|