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FRENCH LICK—Springs Valley’s football team has improved since last year’s winless season. But the Blackhawks will still put a young squad on the field when they host Perry Central Friday at 7 p.m.
The Blackhawks beat Crawford County 18-14 Aug. 28 for their first victory since Sept. 7, 2007.
But three games later their starting quarterback got hurt in a 41-6 lost to Linton-Stockton.
Thus the 1-6 Blackhawks now “rely mostly on shorter passes, along with their running game,” said Perry Central Coach Mike Spencer.
Daniel Mills, a 5-foot-9, 150-pound junior, now starts at quarterback for the Blackhawks.
His passes are pretty evenly divided among 6-2, 205-pound tight end Luke Wilson, 5-8, 140-pound junior slotback/flanker Luke Johnson, and 5-11, 150-pound senior wide receiver Nathan Brown.
But like most Springs Valley teams, they preferred to run even before the quarterback switch, said Spencer.
Jesse Smith, a 5-7, 175-pound junior, is the team’s top running back.
“He runs hard,” said Spencer. “If we don’t tackle well, they will make us pay for it because he keeps his feet moving.
“And they have a little quickness with their backs, though none of them is as quick as (Mitchell speedster Thomas Isom).”
The Blackhawks usually use an I-formation on offense with a tight end on one side and a slotback and split end on the other side.
Their line has decent size, including 6-1, 275-pound sophomore tackle Logan Best. But “overall we’re probably a little bigger,” said Spencer.
They usually start in a 5-2 defense, though “they will bring a lot of people after you,” said Spencer.
“Their coverage has been decent,” he added. “But people have hurt them breaking tackles underneath.”
That could be a problem when they face a power-running team such as the Commodores and could help explain why the Blackhawks are giving up an average of 40.0 points per game.
Caleb Ellis, a 5-11, 175-pound senior, and Noah Warren, a 5-9, 160-pound sophomore, start at linebacker for the Blackhawks.