Sunday, September 17, 2000

Elder defense steps up in 2nd half

Limits passing attack of Highlands

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Brent Grover offered no excuses. The 6-foot-4, 243 pound tight end/linebacker for Highlands had a tough time talking because of a vicious hit to the mouth he took when attempting to catch a pass that knocked the senior out of the game midway through the fourth quarter.

        “I don't know what Elder did defensively the second half,” said Grover, who was inserted into the lineup as a receiver in the fourth quarter. “I guess they figured out what we were doing.”

        Grover was referring to Elder's defense that allowed only 45 yards passing in the second half with Bluebirds quarterback Gino Guidugli completing 6-of-15 after the intermission and 13-of-29 in the game for a season low 135 yards.

        Flashbacks of last year's game that saw Highlands take a 14-7 halftime lead were on Grover's mind as the game progressed. The Panthers went on to win 35-14 last year, scoring 28 points after the intermission.

        “Last year we wore down the second half, but I don't think we were tired this year,” Grover said. “It was nice playing here, but I'd rather have played somewhere else and won.”

        A visably upset Highlands coach Dale Mueller declined to comment after the game, preferring to spend time consoling Brett Hamblen, a wide receiver/defensive back.

        Elder coach Doug Ram sey was confident the Panthers would pull it out again in the second half.

        “When we ran off the field at halftime, the kids told me the game was ours,” Ramsey said. “They knew that we didn't play well offensively in the first half and could come back and win.”

        Elder quarterback Matt Scholl was intercepted three times in the first half but the Bluebirds failed to capatilize. A more confident Scholl was on the markj in the second half, completing 7 of 11.

        “We took care of the ball in the econd half and that was the difference,” Ramsey said.

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