In the postgame rush of interviews, then getting back to the office to start the 1 1/2 hr. whirlwind that includes up to seven of us working on stories, then putting it all together in the Saturday Sports Extra, it’s not until everything’s done for another week that I have a chance to really think about the football game I saw Friday night.
Last night (Oct. 14th, it’s now 2 a.m.) I went to Norwayne and got another look at the Bobcats. Now having seen them twice, even though Northwestern and Dalton (the opponents) are very young teams, the ‘Cats’ offense is overwhelming. Dalton coach Mike Doty counted seven players that his defense was worried about.
In two games, I’ve seen Norwayne score 124 points — or a touchdown every 4 1/2 minutes or so — and do it every way possible. I’ve seen the Zimmerly brothers go on sweeps or off tackle and race for long TD runs virtually untouched, and wideouts Mitch Knieriem, Jon Maibach and Brady Berger sprint through opposing backfields and run under pinpoint passes from Adam Wallace.
And Wallace, he’s an offense all by himself. On play-action passes, the quarterback drops deep, then rolls out either way, and nobody can get near him while he surveys the field. Wearing the No. 45 is appropriate, too, when he smashes through the line and runs through tacklers like a vintage fullback.
Obviously, Norwayne’s line is more than doing its job. But this Friday, at Smithville, that line will be tested, as will the Norwayne defense. The Bobcats aren’t the biggest team, but they hold their own up front and the backs and linebackers can all run. The Smithies haven’t been stopped often this year either, with their no-frills running game and big line, and Tolan Shane, Tyler Buss and Alex Bates adding some speed.
I don’t think there’s any question that Norwayne is going to score points. With the diversity of their attack, the Bobcats, I think, will score on just about anyone.
In the end, Norwayne can’t light up the scoreboard if it doesn’t have the football, and if there’s a team capable of controlling the clock, it’s Smithville.
But even at that, the Bobcats have shown all season that, to do their thing on offense, they really don’t require much time at all.