Tell City's defense lacking in 49-27 loss

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By Larry Goffinet

TELL CITY - Tell City's football team compiled the sort of statistics Friday that one might expect would give the Marksmen their first win.

They had two 160-yard rushers and gained 14 first downs as they scored a season-high 27 points.

But their defense continued to struggle as they lost to North Knox 49-27 in Class 2A first-round sectional action.

The Marksmen finished the season 0-10, their first winless season ever, as they gave up an average of 43.8 points per game. That ranked 312th among 318 teams in the state.

"We improved offensively, but we still have some big-time issues on defense," said Tell City Coach Don Hitz.

North Knox scored on its first five possessions to build a 35-0 lead.

Three Tell City turnovers in that span--a fumbled kickoff return and two intercepted passes--helped the Warriors get good field position for three of those touchdowns.

But Nick Goodwin scored their second touchdown on a 64-yard run on the first play after a Tell City punt.

Even though they took advantage of a short field on three other drives, that doesn't excuse Tell City's leaving receivers wide open in the end zone twice.

There was no one within 15 feet of Jon Bolenbaugh as he caught a 11-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Caballero with 2:04 left in the first quarter for the Warriors' fourth touchdown.

The Marksmen got their offense in gear midway through the second quarter, though, after making some adjustments and outplayed North Knox the last three quarters.

"They're a strong, physical team with really big linemen," said Hitz. "We couldn't run to our right against them and they were really keying on Trent Gunn early. So we went to some quick hitters with Ozzie (fullback Kyle Osborne)."

Gunn scored Tell City's first touchdown on a 24-yard run with 2:11 left in the first half.

Osborne powered his way in for a touchdown from 1 yard out to cap a 73-yard drive after the third-quarter kickoff.

North Knox would score on two more touchdown passes by Caballero to put the game away, 49-14, with 11:53 left.

But Tell City's offense still didn't quit.

Osborne broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown run with 6:39 left in the game.

Nick Kleaving threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Stow with six seconds left.

Dylan Froehlich kicked two extra points and Wes Hinton kicked one for the Marksmen. They had a bad snap on their other extra-point attempt.

Gunn carried the ball 25 times for 163 yards and Osborne rushed 20 times for 161 yards as the Marksmen ran for a season-high 322 yards.

North Knox rushed for 298 yards on 44 carries.

Hitz said the Warriors' offense, which he called "that Delaware wing-T, with players shoelace to shoelace," was hard to defend because "we had a hard time picking up where the ball was going."

The Warriors threw just four passes, but all four went for touchdowns. Tight end Jeff Martin caught two of them.

North Knox will take an 8-2 record to the sectional semifinals.