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Turnovers costly for Tigers

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September 25, 2011 by wcobserver

Photo by Jeff Winkler - A Varsity Tiger gains yards during the second half of play at last week’s game against Farmington on Friday, Sept. 9, at the West Fork High School stadium. The Cardinals came away with a 12-6 win over the home team.

By Brent Harrison

WEST FORK – In football, there’s never a good time for a turnover, but some miscues with the ball come at the most inopportune moments. For West Fork, their four turnovers against Farmington came at the worst possible instances as the Cardinals held on for a 12-6 win.

“That was the story of the game,” West Fork coach Rodney Selph said of his team’s turnovers. “When you turn it over, it’s going to be hard for us to win football games. We would get close and turn it over. It’s going to be hard for us to win games and do that. [Farmington] has a really good defense but we’ve got to be able to take care of the football better.”

Adding to the Tigers’ offensive woes were the Cardinals’ defensive ability to force the ball over on downs. West Fork (0-2) traveled into Farmington’s red zone on three different occasions in the first two quarters and could manage just one score.

On the game’s third play from scrimmage, Wil Jarnagan ( 19-97,1 TD) ran the sweep around the end and rumbled 53 yards down the sideline to the Cardinals 8 yard line. The Tigers took four shots at the goal line with Jarnagan held down at the two.

On the Tigers next possession, QB Dylan Harrison (5-12-71) hit William Nay for a 12-yard completion from the Cardinals 40 yard line. Unfortunately for West Fork, the ball was stripped and made its way into the end zone where Farmington bounced on it for a touchback.

The third possession was a charm for West Fork, which saw a finish when Nay picked up 28 yards on three carries on the eight-play, 56-yard scoring march. Jarnagan went over from a yard out on fourth down to give the Tigers the lead at 11:23 of the second quarter. The next time the Cardinals had the ball, West Fork gave the Cardinals the short field to work with. Farmington recovered the ball on a bad quarterback-center exchange and found itself in business at the Tigers’ 33-yard line.

The Tiger defense forced Farmington to settle for a 22-yard Jesus Magana field goal.

Defensively, the Tigers rose to the occasion all night. A unit that allowed 539 yards to a Magazine (40-7) team in its opening contest held the Cardinals to just 59 first-half yards, and 157 for the contest.

“Our defense played well enough for us to win,” Selph said. “A team scores 48 (Magazine) last week and tonight 12. Both of those scores were on short fields. Our defense played really good and I was proud of them.”

Despite the Tigers low output on the scoreboard, it had moved the football well in the first half and racked up 166 yards.

Adjustments in the second half allowed the Cardinals to slow, and in some cases almost do away with West Fork’s second-half offensive production. The Tigers finished the night with 231 yards. West Fork was held to 39 yards on the ground in the final two periods. Jarnagan, who had 76 first-half yards on the ground, found those running lanes plugged up in the second as he was held to 21 yards.
It was part of Farmington’s defense solution for the final two quarters: go small but fast.

Farmington (2-0) brought 5-8, 178-pound safety Spencer Boudrey to the middle of the interior line.

“Primarily we took a safety and put him at nose [guard],” Farmington coach Mike Adams said. “He gave them a lot of problems. They were running the football on us [during the first half] with a lot of success. [Boudrey] was getting quick penetration and it made a big difference for us. It really messed up there blocking schemes. It probably won’t show up stat-wise but he screwed their schemes up and it allowed out linebackers to play.”

“We told our guys at halftime that this half will determine what kind of team we are going to be,” he said. “We didn’t play very well in the first half, offensively or defensely.”

The scoring rounded out on the night as Harrison was picked off for the first of two fourth quarter interceptions. This one at the Tiger 22-yard line. Farmington quarterback Dimitri Donovan (4-8-14) hit Magana (1-22) for a score and a 10-6 lead with 9:53 left in the game.

The Cardinals added a late safety as West Fork was whistled for Intentional Grounding in its own end zone for a safety.

Things don’t get much easier for the Tigers this week as always physical Prairie Grove (1-1) comes to town.

“They are a great football team,” Selph said of the visiting Tigers. “It will be tough for us, We’ll have to play really well.”

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