In­di­ans can’t find score­board in loss to War­riors

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By ADRIAN MARTIN

Spe­cial to the Whig

— Some­times it’s all about what the ca­sual observer may not see.

North East’s first-year head coach Chris Sch­le­ich beamed with pride about his play­ers minutes af­ter their sea­son- open­ing, 38-0 loss to Havre de Grace at home Fri­day night. He preached a changed in in­ten­sity dur­ing the pre­sea­son, and de­spite the fi­nal score, he said that’s ex­actly what his kids dis­played.

“Our kids took a step for­ward,” he said. “Our pro­gram’s been laughed at and it’s been rough for years, but I think Havre de Grace had to earn every­thing they got tonight. Our kids should walk off the field with pride be­cause we fought hard.”

The In­di­ans (0-1), who went win­less in 2015, def­i­nitely en­dured some grow­ing pains, spar­ring against a War­riors team that reached the 1A state fi­nals a year ago. Havre de Grace took advantage of fa­vor­able field po­si­tion through­out the game and scored 17 of its 38 points in the first quar­ter.

North East man­aged just three first downs in the game and 16 yards of to­tal of­fense.

“The kids haven’t been taught a quar­ter set, so it’s some­thing new to them, “Sch­le­ich said. “We stopped them on four-and-out and got

NORTH EAST

some good goal-line sets. It was just our time of pos­ses­sion, and we couldn’t get our run­ning at­tack mov­ing very well.” Though it sacked him twice in the first half, the In­dian de­fense strug­gled to con­tain War­riors se­nior quar­ter­back Mike Flosser, who scram­bled all over the field to the tune of 102 yards rush­ing and three touch­downs. He also added two scores through the air. Ju­nior run­ning back Alex Card­well com­pli­mented his sig­nal caller with 103 yards rush­ing on nine car­ries.

“Mike’s a great ath­lete and he’s a ver­sa­tile guy,” Havre de Grace head coach Brian Ebe­hardt said. “We hope he con­tin­ues do­ing that.”

Af­ter North East went three­and-out to start the con­test, War­riors kicker Clay Har­ris put his team on the board with a 21-yard field goal. Havre de Grace scored on three of its next four drives and held a 24-0 lead at half­time. Flosser slammed the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin on the sec­ond play of the third quar­ter, wait­ing for a crease to open up and then sprint­ing down the mid­dle of the field for a 49-yard trek to the house.

“That was ac­tu­ally a play we de­vel­oped at half­time be­cause of [North East’s] ro­ta­tion over, but it was amaz­ing block­ing up front and that sold every­thing,” Flosser said.

Tem­pers flared a few minutes later, re­sult­ing in a pair of player ejec­tions on both sides. Both coaches hoped that was the first and only such oc­curence in 2016.

“We’re a re­ally young team and we’ve got some grow­ing up to do,” said Ebe­hardt, re­fer­ring to sev­eral key starters from last year’s team who grad­u­ated. “We’ve got some guys that are go­ing to have to learn to take the re­spon­si­bil­ity of foot­ball on their shoul­ders. The score­board was pos­i­tive for us, but we do have some dis­ci­pline things we need to clean up on the field.”

The In­di­ans con­tinue their tough stretch of games to open the sea­son, hit­ting the road next week to face Aberdeen, while Havre de Grace (0-1) will host Jop­pa­towne in its home opener.

Sch­le­ich said he is look­ing for­ward to watch­ing his play- ers con­tinue to grow dur­ing the sea­son.

“We’re in com­pletely new sys­tems on both sides of the ball and our kids have gone through a ma­jor learn­ing process,” he said. “You could see the difference tonight on a few things. We’re a young team. We only start three or four se­niors, and that makes a big difference in a game like this. Once the kids pick up on the sys­tems, they’ll get faster. I think we can win some games this year.”

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