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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette New Haven running back Stephen Owens used his cutback ability to rush for 122 yards and a 59-yard TD just before halftime in a 48-7 rout of Columbia City.

Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:00 am

High school football

Close loss gives Saints momentum



1. Snider (6-0)

2. Homestead (5-1)

3. New Haven (6-0)

4. Woodlan (6-0)

5. Angola (6-0)

6. Churubusco (6-0)

7. Leo (4-2)

8. Carroll (4-2)

9. South Adams (5-1)

10. Bishop Dwenger (4-2)

Bishop Dwenger has won enough games in its history to not take any solace in coming close to winning a game. But perhaps coming close a week ago helped the Saints start winning again Friday.

Last week, Carroll's Jack Tranquill stood up Dwenger's Hayden Ellinger at the 1-yard line as time expired, giving the Chargers a 28-24 victory and the Saints a heart-breaking second straight defeat.

All the Saints did Friday to get over it was shut out Concordia 27-0.

“I think we would all agree it was a much-needed win,” Dwenger offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “The focus all week was just effort, very simply give your greatest effort. The way the game ended last week, although it was a heartbreaking way to lose, I think it gave some momentum, especially to our younger guys.

“We don't claim moral victories very often, or at all. But I think it was kind of a moral victory. It really allowed our guys to see how good we can be, especially when there's pressure.”

Lessons learned from losses

Some well-timed losses can pay huge dividends down the line for football teams. For Adams Central, it was the Week 2 loss to Eastside where offense struggled.

“I think the Eastside loss is a big determinate for us to realize, 'OK, that's not who we are,' and we had to get better at that point,” Jets coach Michael Mosser said. “I think it was a wake-up call for our kids to start playing a lot better. We had to really come back to the drawing board and simplify things.

“We always do better when we simplify things and don't make it too complicated because we have a lot of guys playing on the offensive line. We go back to simplify the things for our kids to get that accomplished and run our plays that we know how to run better than the plays that we don't.”

For South Adams, which entered Week 6 with a unblemished 5-0 record and a No. 7 ranking in the state, it will be (they hope) the 42-14 loss to the Jets that pays off.

“We needed it,” Starfires coach Grant Moser said of the loss. “We have a lot of youth, starting three freshmen and five sophomores so we knew at some point there was going to be a shock factor a little bit playing a game like this. Hopefully it's good for our youth to show them what they need to do to beat good teams and hopefully they'll learn from this.”

New Havenpower plant

There's plenty of power in Stephen Owens' 185-pound frame. The New Haven running back put that on display in Friday's 48-7 romp over Columbia City, gaining a game-high 122 rushing yards. Including a 59-yard touchdown run just before halftime.

His plant foot affords a tremendous cutback ability he displayed multiple times during the scoring run, where he can stop, let the defender go by, then take off again in another direction. 

It's a powerful tool in the arsenal of one of the area's top runners, but for Owens, the strength lies in its simplicity – “don't overstep,” Owens said. “(remember) the basics, hard work in practice and no days off.”