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Turnovers usually prove to be troublesomePosted Saturday, October 23, 2010, at 12:21 AM
You wouldn't have to convince Eastern Greene football coach Luke Dean and Union (Dugger) gridiron boss Todd Gambill of the importance of turnovers, especially after last week's performance.
The Bulldogs had four interceptions and lost two fumbles in a 40-12 setback at Wood Memorial Oct. 15. Granted Union (Dugger) yielded 422 yards of total offense and at least 40 points for the fourth time, but turnovers were a big part of their sixth straight setback.
"I felt we had a pretty good game plan going in honestly," Gambill said. "I thought we might be able to score some points. Both with our running game and with our passing game.
"But we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties."
Eastern Greene fell at Eastern (Pekin) 52-16, also on Oct. 15.
A trio of Thunderbird quarterbacks combined to throw seven interceptions, part of eight turnovers committed by Eastern Greene
"You are not going to win when you 10 turnovers or so like we did," said Dean. "But any time we did anything good we followed it up with something bad."
I am not sure what the state record for turnovers in a game would be, but I am sure that the seven picks would have to be on some list. I checked the records website http://ifca.zebras.net/ifca/candler/anno....
As I try to test my fading memory, I don't know if I ever recall watching a game with that many pi. If I was guessing, I would say that the most I've been associated with is eight or nine.
Even in a 42-7 victory over North Central Friday, Miner coach Steve Weber was not happy with two fumbles and one interception.
"We did some good things, but we still had too many turnovers," said Weber. "We have to do a better job of securing the football."
Like most associated with football, Weber knows the statistics about turnovers. When you lose the turnover battle, you most likely lose the game.
According to nfl.com, in 2008 the top five teams with the best turnover differential -- Miami, Tennessee, Baltimore, New York Giants and Indianapolis -- all made the playoffs with at least 11 wins and combined for a 59-21 record (.738).
According to www.ihavenet.com, former NFL safety and NFL Network analyst Rod Woodson said, "The turnover battle is critical. If you look at the history of games in general, the more turnovers, the less likely that team will win.
"Turnovers can come in critical situations where a quarterback can either throw an interception or a defensive back can get an interception or a fumble can happen -- all of those things play a huge role in a momentum swing or outcome of a game," said the former Purdue standout.
Tony Sparano, Dolphins head coach, said, "In the history of the league, turnover stats prove that if you are plus-one or plus-two in turnovers, your chances to win go up significantly. If you are even at the end of the game, you only have a 50 percent chance to win.
"In addition, turnovers not only can kill a drive if you lose the ball or start one if you recover it, but it can also reverse the momentum of a game like no other play, instantly changing field position and giving one team a huge advantage over the other."
As the football playoffs begin Friday night with the Miners at Springs Valley, Union (Dugger) hosting North Daviess and Eastern Greene at Indianapolis Scecina (to be played at the University of Indianapolis), it will be interesting to see how turnovers will play a role in determining their post season fate.
While on the zebras website, I found some interesting stats that I would like to pass along.
Jimtown collected 42 interceptions during their 1998 season. They also set a record with 66 total takeaways that year.
Speaking of turnovers, Bill Atkinson came up with six interceptions in a game for Mississinewa in 1970.
The record for interceptions made in a season is 16 by Mike Elliott of Culver Community in 1982 and Steve Hurst of Corydon Central in 1968.
Brent Sparks of Linton-Stockton came up with 12 interceptions in 1987, part of a career total of 29 picks. The state record is 36 interceptions in a career.
Evan Magni (2009) and Jeremy Newton (2000) each had 11 interceptions in a single season.
Andy Bright came up with four picks in a game against Mitchell at Dugger in 1999.
Former Lafayette Jeff and Purdue standout Dustin Keller holds the record for receiving yards in a season. Keller, now a stellar tight end for the New York Jets, had a total of 1,801 in 2002 at Jeff. He also set a record with 113 catches eight years ago.
Linton-Stockton's Brian Slay is still among the all-time single-season leaders. He is listed 23rd with 1,329 yards. The Miner record book with 1,331 receiving yards in 1986.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (812) 847-4487, ext 12.
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