Devils choose, lose vs. Muhls

November 14, 1998|By DAN SPEARS

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Greencastle-Antrim football coach Chuck Tinninis admitted Friday night that his defense was set up to stop Muhlenberg running back Jason Reinhart.

Not a bad idea, since the junior had rushed for more than 1,700 yards for the season. The only problem is that it left quarterback Ronnie Flowers as the do-or-die man.

Flowers did - to the tune of three TD passes and a scoring run - which meant the Blue Devils died in the first round of the Pennsylvania District 3-AAA semifinals, bowing out with a 38-8 loss to the Muhls at Roscoe Warner Field.

"I thought he was the difference," Tinninis said. "We went to a defense to take Reinhart away and made him throw the ball. And the kid threw some strikes ... and he bought himself time."


With Reinhart in the backfield, Flowers averaged only 11 passes per game. With more pressure on his shoulders, he shined - going 9-for-17 for 193 yards, including a 49-yard strike to Kraig Kemp with 6:16 left in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.

"I usually don't have to (throw) with Jason," the senior Flowers said. "But tonight was a little different."

It was really different for the Blue Devils (9-2), who aren't accustomed to being so far behind so fast.

"They just caught us with their racehorses," Tinninis said. "We were in it on defense, and the next thing we know, they've scored."

And just like Tinninis took a chance on the Muhls' offense, so did Muhlenberg coach John Yocum. Yocum said he learned from his team's last playoff appearance in 1992, and brought out some seldom-used plays for the Blue Devils.

"We just decided we had to do it," Yocum said of his team's no-huddle look early in the game. "We learned ... we'll have to pull the tricks out to be successful."

Muhlenberg (11-0) had a chance to score again, but was wide on a 41-yard field goal. Then the Greencastle offense, limited to zero first downs in three possessions, came alive.

On three straight plays, fullback Mike Jemison caught a 19-yard pass and ran for 15 and 29 yards to the 1, where he then ran in for the Blue Devils' only score, then added the conversion for a 14-8 game.

But Greencastle's wing-T only saw Muhls territory one more time in the game, and the Muhls got three more scores down the stretch to put it away.

The Blue Devils, who brought both Jemison and Walt Medina into the game averaging 100 yards on the ground, ended with just 108 as a team Friday night.

"We just couldn't get anything going," Tinninis said. "We tried a couple of different things, a little motion. But it didn't matter."

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