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It was location, location, location for the MinersPosted Monday, November 14, 2011, at 12:23 PM
The adage in selling real estate is location, location, location. For the Linton-Stockton football team Saturday night, it was field position, field position, field position as the No. 3 Miners blanked No. 5 Milan 28-0 at home to win its sixth regional championship.
The Miners seem to live in Milan territory all night while the Indians were backed up within a couple of shadows of it own goal line throughout as the Linton-Stockton defense posted its fourth shutout.
Linton-Stockton needed just 74 yards of offense to score three of their season-low four touchdowns.
The Miner defense, which limited the Milan offense to less than 150 yards of total offense and running back Cory Strunk to 59 yards on 27 attempts after Strunk had averaged over 200 yards per game, came up with a huge stop on fourth down in the first quarter, setting the tone.
MHS coach Ryan Langferman decided to go for it on fourth and three from their own 34 , but Strunk was stopped short of the first down at the Milan 36.
Linton-Stockton responded to score all the points they need. The Miners caught the Indians in a blitz and Austin Karazsia found Grant Stamm on a wide receiver screen. The completion came on fourth-and-goal from the 7 as Stamm went untouched into the end zone at the 6:22 mark of the opening quarter.
The second score was more typical of what Miner fans had been used to seeing. They started from their own 11 with just second left in the opening quarter. Using the wildcat formation with Karazsia on the sidelines and back-up quarterback Koye Kaiser in the shotgun formation, Kaiser broke left in front of the Miner sideline, left a couple of Milan defenders looking for their cleats, and was on his way to a 65-yard touchdown.
Dyllanne Deischer booted the second of four PATs as the Miners took command with a 14-0 advantage.
The defense was instrumental in the third score of the half as Tanner Butler recovered a fumble by Milan quarterback Gavin Detraz at the Indian 18-yard line with 97 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Detraz was forced to make his first start after Milan senior QB Zach Lewis has broken his collarbone in the sectional title game.
Five plays later, Kaiser took another direct snap and scored from the 1 as time expired, putting the home team ahead 21-0 at intermission.
The final score came late in the fourth quarter as the Miners stopped the Indians at their own 20, setting up another short scoring drive.
"Our defense has played tough all season," said Miner defensive coordinator Mike Hayden. "Our secondary and our linebackers did a great job of coming up to help on running plays."
Hayden added that although Milan was running primarily a one-back set out of the I formation, they were doing a lot of shifting and misdirection at the line.
"The kids really responded to the challenge," said Hayden.
With a smothering defense, which produced 13 plays for negative yardage and came up with two turnovers (an interception by Cole Bradbury in the fourth quarter) and a running game that averaged almost seven yards per carry, the Miners are on their way to the semistate.
They have a date at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Indianapolis against Indianapolis Scecina (10-3). The two teams have never met.
Tickets are $7 and available at school from Lou Baker or Bette Meng. There also will be fan bus departing the school at approximately 5:15 p.m. Friday for the trip to the south side of Indy.
Call Baker or Meng at 847-6024 for more details.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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