Saturday, December 04, 1999

Yeagle confuses Hancock Co. with two QB's


List, Nie both succeed for Beechwood

BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOUISVILLE — Steve Spurrier, he's not. Mike Yeagle is the polar opposite of the flashy Florida coach. But Yeagle used a Spurrier-type strategy Friday to help Beechwood keep Hancock County off balance in the Tigers' 45-22 victory in the Class A finals.

nie
Besides sharing the QB duties, Mike Nie and Ben List stood out on defense. Above, Nie puts an elbow on Hancock County QB Travis Atwell, while ...
(Michael E. Keating photo)
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list
.. List scrambles for the ball after Atwell, right, fumbled.
(AP photo)
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        He alternated senior Ben List and junior Mike Nie at quarterback, often on successive plays.

        Both succeeded.

        “You try different game plans sometimes, and today's worked,” Yeagle said. “I have confidence in both Ben and Mike.”

        List is the option rushing threat, Nie the pure pocket passer, but Yeagle crossed up the Hornets by having List throw occasionally and Nie run. List completed all four passes for 115 yards — all in the first half — and rushed 13 times for 105 yards and four TDs. Nie ran four times for 33 yards and completed five of six passes for 63 yards and a TD.

        “It was a great game plan,” Hornets coach Mark Peach said.

        Said List: “Mike did great last week (in relief against Pikeville), so why start one of us? It was a great decision to use us both. It totally confused them.”

        Yeagle had never used two QBs in a season before this year. Nie had been the starter until an injury forced Yeagle to try List there in Week Eight. List remained the starter until being hurt midway through the Pikeville game.

        List, Beechwood's emotional leader, finished the season with 1,243 yards rushing and 28 TDs.

        “Ben List has been the man all year, and I can't even get any (colleges) to watch tape on him,” Yeagle said. “But you saw today what he can do.”

        Same for Nie, who also starred at linebacker Friday. He led Beechwood with 11 tackles, intercepting a pass and recovering a fumble.

        ATWELL SLOWED: Beechwood knows not to let one player beat it. In the 1996 and '97 finals, it faced Harrodsburg's Dennis Johnson — the USA Today National Defensive Player of the Year his senior year — and won both times.

        Friday, the one-man team was Travis Atwell. The Hancock County QB had accounted for 4,498 all-purpose yards and 72 TDs before Friday, but Beechwood held him to 135 yards rushing on 30 carries and 162 yards passing, intercepting him twice.

        “They had some big ol' boys,” Atwell said. “They just kept coming at me.”

        TIGER TALES: Friday's game included a strange statistic: no punts. ... Beechwood senior Preston Long caught three passes for 90 yards and recovered a fumble. ... Senior teammate Josh Kaiser intercepted two passes.

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