Big News for the Sullivan Blue Dolphins

Photo submitted Blue Dolphin first place relay team. Top row- Natalie Drury, Anna Wooters Bottom row- Brynna Sentel, McKenna Kull.

Photo submitted
Blue Dolphin first place relay team. Top row- Natalie Drury, Anna Wooters Bottom row- Brynna Sentel, McKenna Kull.

•November 18, 2015•

It was big news for the Sullivan Blue Dolphin swim team over the weekend with the first place 200 freestyle relay team advancing to the state meet at New Trier High School Friday, Nov. 20.

The sectional relay team includes Brynna Sentel, Natalie Drury, Anna Wooters and McKenna Kull with Lily Bales as alternate.

Sentel also took first place in the 100 backstroke.

Coach Jason Drury explained that swimming at state does not follow class divisions as in other high school sports. Sullivan Blue Dolphin swimmers compete against all high school swimmers in the state at the New Trier meet.

Blue Dolphins swimming in the weekend competition in addition to Sentel, Drury, Wooters, Kull and Bales were Michaela Donnel, Sara Griffin, Cadisen Nuzzo, Anna Wooters and Allison Oligschlaeger.

Sullivan High School swimmers placed fourth overall out of 16 teams at the sectional level.

Further results from the sectionals are fourth place- 200 medley relay team of Oligschlaeger, Griffin, Bales and Donnel; 200 freestyle - third place Kull, 11th place Nuzzo.

200 IM- third Sentel, sixth Oligschlaeger; 50 freestyle- Bales, Nuzzo; 100 butterfly - 10th Bales, 11th Drury; 100 freestyle- fourth Wooters, fifth Kull.
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Redskins Get Run Over by Newton

Photo by Keith Stewart SOV quarterback Ty Molzen tries to stay upright while carrying the ball past two Newton defenders Saturday night. Molzen would lead the Redskins in rushing with 62 yards on 14 carries, while completing 13 of 23 passes for 88 yards and two interceptions.

Photo by Keith Stewart
SOV quarterback Ty Molzen tries to stay upright while carrying the ball past two Newton defenders Saturday night. Molzen would lead the Redskins in rushing with 62 yards on 14 carries, while completing 13 of 23 passes for 88 yards and two interceptions.

•November 4, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
For the NewsProgress

When you think of Newton, you might as well think of a pair of brutal running backs who are almost impossible to stop, particularly junior Mitch Bierman.

Such was the case Saturday when the Eagles defeated SOV 46-21 with a 400-plus rushing attack, including Bierman’s own 295 yards on 22 carries for three touchdowns.

“They’re a darn good football team, and that’s a good back,” said SOV head coach Gerald Temples. “We worked our tail off on run fits and stuff for the cutback, and they’re good enough, and he’s good enough if you don’t do it just right, he finds the seam. And he did. We made a few mistakes. Believe it or not, and people probably won’t, but first half, there are just a couple execution things that we were so close on, but teams that lose tend to say that.”

Monstrous rushing yardage aside, SOV was able to make stops throughout the evening, most notably at the start of the third quarter when they forced the only Newton three-and-out.

The series began with Bierman rushing for just three yards as Max Todd quickly made the tackle. A false start was then called on the Eagles, dropping them back for a loss of five. On 2-and-12, a pass attempt was nearly picked off by Pierce Bradford. Bringing on the punt unit would then be Alex Martin after he tackled Bierman for a 2-yard loss.

And so it would seem that the halftime talk Temples gave his team worked, at least to begin. Read More

Long Season Ends With Constructive Loss

Photo by Keith Stewart Defense came alive as Knights gather for the stop during Friday’s game in Clinton.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Defense came alive as Knights gather for the stop during Friday’s game in Clinton.

ALAH gives Cumberland its best

•October 28, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
For the NP

This isn’t just a sportswriter trying to make fans happy.

Friday night’s 50-20 loss to Cumberland was as indicative as the rest of the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond football season: get better, be resilient, and never give up.

The Knights’ squad, which has had its fair share of injuries strike its small 25 man roster, has had to play a different puzzle each week when it came to assignments. And week nine was no different.

“It’s been that way all year long,” said head coach Dale Schuring. “I don’t think it’s been the same lineup twice all year. It’s been, ‘throw them out there and hopefully someone can tell them what to do.’ They’ve been very adaptable and willing to go wherever we need them so we can have 11 on the field and have some semblance of order. Tonight was no different. Great credit to the kids and their willingness to do that and trying the best they can in spots they don’t know.”

Quarterback Teddy Poe was unable to throw the ball Friday and back-up sophomore Will Cohan was out with an injured quad. So starting at the quarterback position for the first time this year was sophomore Marcus Vanausdoll, who used his sheer athleticism at times to get the Knights down field and lead them for their final game of the year.

“He was in there in an emergency situation tonight, and he did well,” said Schuring. “He was very willing to try and do whatever he could. He’s played several positions in this offense, so he had a decent idea of what was going on some plays, and others he just used his athletic ability.” Read More

Redskin Football Celebrates Senior Night Win

Photos by RR Best Blake Stewart takes the hand off for a nice gain in  Senior Night action against Central A&M last Friday night.

Photos by RR Best
Blake Stewart takes the hand off for a nice gain in Senior Night action against Central A&M last Friday night.

SOV is Playoff Eligible

•October 21, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Sullivan-Okaw Valley came out on top of a slugfest Friday night over conference rival Central A&M.

Ty Molzen threw for four touchdowns, and the Redskins’ defense shut out the Raiders in the second half.

Now playoff eligible at 5-4 SOV head coach Gerald Temples called the win a big step forward for the team. “I’m just happy for the kids, especially the way they battled in the second half. They got themselves playoff eligible, and that is a big step. The kids did a nice job; I am very happy with where they are.”

In a must win game for both teams the Raiders took a chance with an onside kick to start the contest. Thankfully, the Redskins recovered at midfield. Blake Stewart carried the load on the Redskins’ first drive, converting a pair of first downs on the ground. Facing third and one from the Raider one yard line, Ty Molzen connected Alec Ballinger on a slant for the game’s first score with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.  Read More

Redskins Fall to Rams in Homecoming Classic

Photo By RR Best Redskins Blake Stewart steps over the goal line for a touchdown in the Homecoming football game between SOV and the Shelbyville Rams on Friday, October 9.

Photo By RR Best
Redskins Blake Stewart steps over the goal line for a touchdown in the Homecoming football game between SOV and the Shelbyville Rams on Friday, October 9.

Strong in Second Half

•October 14, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Sullivan Okaw Valley football played a second half for the ages Friday but came up just short in a 41-33 loss to the Shelbyville Rams.  Trailing 21-0 at the half the Redskins outscored the Rams 20-13 in the third quarter and 13-7 in the fourth getting within a touchdown of the lead.  SOV head coach Gerald Temples was proud of the effort displayed in the second half and hopes the team can build off the positives going forward.

“First half we did not get after it and play with emotion.  I am proud as heck of how we came back and did play in the second half.  Our kids played their tail off, and we are going to build on that going forward.”

The Rams opened up the game’s scoring after connecting on a 60 yard screen pass, setting up first and goal from the eight yard line.  Two plays later Garret Brachbill’s touchdown run with 1:30 remaining in the first period, gave the Rams a 7-0 lead.

The Redskins marched inside the red zone on their next possession thanks to a 30 catch and run by Ty Nichols but missed a field goal wide left with 11:28 left in the second quarter.

Shelbyville’s next possession was controversial. A pass interference call on fourth and 13 with five minutes remaining in the half gave Shelbyville a new life.   Blake Stewart, who was in step for step coverage with the Ram’s receiver, turned at the last second to deflect the ball away with his off hand in the front left corner of the north end zone.

However, the officials ruled too much contact had taken place even though the ball looked to be uncatchable.

Coach Temples acknowledged that the call was a back breaker at that point in the contest.  “The interference set up a touchdown for them which was a killer at the time. We didn’t think it was pass interference.”  Read More

Sullivan has Some Great Moments but Comes up Short

Photo by Mike Brothers Redskins leading rusher Jake Eaton hits the open field on this run against St. Teresa’s Bulldogs last week. Eaton carried the ball 124 yards on 19 carriers.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Redskins leading rusher Jake Eaton hits the open field on this run against St. Teresa’s Bulldogs last week. Eaton carried the ball 124 yards on 19 carriers.

St. Teresa hits ground running

•October 7, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

The Sullivan Redskins were down 21-0 in the first half when things started happening against the St. Teresa Bulldogs Friday night.

It started with Pierce Bradford returning a St. Teresa kickoff into Bulldog territory.

This was followed by a Ty Molzen pass to Jake Eaton.

That’s when St. Teresa started helping their Sullivan opponents out with a series of penalties moving the Redskin ball 20 yards closer to the goal.

A Bulldog personal foul followed by a pass interference call set Molzen up for another completion. This time he connected with Alec Ballinger at the five yard line.

Another pass interference call against St. Teresa left the Redskins with a first and 10 situation just yards away from the goal line.

In spite of a stubborn Bulldog defense which plagued Sullivan’s running game all night, the Redskins found a way to get through.

Molzen handed the ball to Jake Eaton who carried the ball into the end zone for the first Redskin score of the night. Read More

Slow Start Hurts Knights on Homecoming

Photo by RR Best Play action for ALAH Knights with Teddy Poe taking the snap from Isaac Kitchen while Tyler Smith is poised to go.

Photo by RR Best
Play action for ALAH Knights with Teddy Poe taking the snap from Isaac Kitchen while Tyler Smith is poised to go.

•October 7, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond fell to the Cerro Gordo Bement Broncos 47-22 at Wilson Field on Friday.  The Broncos came out of the gait swinging scoring 41 unanswered points before the half.

The Knights regrouped, outscoring the Broncos 22-6 in the second half.  ALAH head coach Dale Schuring said the team needed to start the game with the same intensity showcased after halftime.  “We have to come out with that kind of attitude and aggressiveness in the first half against a varsity team.”

The Knights attempted an onside kick to open the contest, but the Broncos were fortunate to fall on the ball.  Setup at midfield it took Cerro Gordo four plays and under a minute to cover 50 yards on the ground taking 7-0 lead.

ALAH was also setup at midfield on their first possession thanks to a nice kick return by Marcus Vanausdoll.   Back to back Ricky Davis catches allowed the Knights to advance as far as the Bronco 36 before the drive ended with Teddy Poe sacked on fourth and ten with 8:04 left in the first.

Cerro Gordo rode tailback Dalton Grohler to his second touchdown on the ensuing drive, extending the lead to 14-0 with 6:55 left in the first.

Teddy Poe was under constant duress on the Knights’ next possession, resulting in a quick three and out.   Read More

Knights Fall to Dominant Purple Riders 72-0

Photo by Keith Stewart ALAH quarterback Teddy Poe tries to evade Arcola’s Cole Hutton Friday night. This was a common sight as the Purple Riders’ defense constantly chased Poe out of the pocket en route to their 72-0 win over the Knights.

Photo by Keith Stewart
ALAH quarterback Teddy Poe tries to evade Arcola’s Cole Hutton Friday night. This was a common sight as the Purple Riders’ defense constantly chased Poe out of the pocket en route to their 72-0 win over the Knights.

State-ranked Arcola lives up to status

•September 30, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
For the News•Progress

Last Friday’s LOVC northwest contest between Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond and Arcola was a mismatch from the beginning.

The Purple Riders came into the game having outscored its opponents 212-12 and attained a third place ranking in the Associated Press’ class 1A listing for the week.

The Knights, by contrast, had allowed just over 40 points a game through week four and is certainly in the throes of a rebuilding year.

But with all that said, head coach Dale Schuring still wanted to see a victory–the small ones that is.

“We knew we weren’t going to win the game so you come in and try to do something positive and try to build off of it and try not to give them extra opportunities with interceptions and fumbles,” he said. “They’re good; they’re going to score– we knew that. But the goal was to only let them score when they were actually on offense.”

Which wasn’t quite the case.

The Purple Riders’ defense swallowed up the Knights throughout the first half–not allowing them into Rider territory. And with 8:33 left in the first quarter, the Knights’, backed up to their two-yard line, Tyler Smith was met by a wall of purple who would take the senior running back down in the end zone for the safety.

Arcola would put together a two-play series on their ensuing possession to go up 18-0–not 30 seconds later.

On the following kickoff return, a Knights’ fumble was recovered by Arcola, who then ran it into the end zone for yet another Purple Rider score.

The Knights also had several untimely penalties and three fumbles, all of which were recovered by Arcola.

“We didn’t come to play football, plain and simple,” said Schuring, “and we haven’t for a couple weeks now. That’s where we’re at.”

Arcola would score on every drive but one in the first half and go into the locker room up 64-0.

But those small victories for which Schuring was looking, he saw.
Read More

Redskins Shut Out Meridian Hawks

Photo by RR Best  Alec Ballinger (15) turns the corner getting protection from Drew Hubbard (22) as he racks up yardage on a great running night for the Redskins in their victory over the Meridian Hawks.

Photo by RR Best
Alec Ballinger (15) turns the corner getting protection from Drew Hubbard (22) as he racks up yardage on a great running night for the Redskins in their victory over the Meridian Hawks.

•September 30, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The only suspense was in the coin toss before the game as Sullivan/Okaw Valley quarterback Ty Molzen lit up the Meridian Hawks for over 200 yards passing.

SOV outgained the Hawks 416 total offensive yards to Meridian’s 83, and the stingy Redskin defense kept the Hawks out of their own red zone for the entire game and out of the SOV end of the field for all but two possessions.

The Redskins won the coin toss and never looked back in a totally dominant offensive and defensive performance to take this conference game in style from the opening kick off to the final whistle. The Redskins took the opening drive to the Meridian 28 yard line where Ty Nichols took the handoff and scampered into the end zone with 9:35 left in the first quarter.

Meridian managed to run five plays before punting the ball back to the potent SOV offense which took a total of three plays to score on a 25 yard flat pass for a TD from Molzen to Alec Ballinger. Ballinger had five catches for 83 yards. There was still 5:38 left in the first quarter and SOV led Meridian 14-0.

Meridian received a gift as the SOV kickoff went out of bounds, and they started at their own 35 yard line for one of their longest offensive series, lasting nine plays, ending in an incomplete pass at the Sullivan 38 yard line where they turned the ball over on downs.  Read More

Redskins Score Big Win Over Warrensburg Latham Cardinals

Photo by RR Best SOV  Redskin Jake Eaton celebrates following this touchdown against Warrensburg-Latham last Friday in Sullivan.

Photo by RR Best
SOV Redskin Jake Eaton celebrates following this touchdown against Warrensburg-Latham last Friday in Sullivan.

•September 23, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Sullivan-Okaw Valley football bounced back with a 49-21 win over conference rival Warrensburg Latham on Friday night.

It was Okaw Valley homecoming and Real Men Wear Pink Night in Sullivan to make the win sweeter.

Ty Molzen racked up 300 yards passing, and Alec Ballinger scored three touchdowns in a pair of all-conference performances. SOV head coach Gerald Temples thought Molzen’s play keyed the offensive explosion.  “We challenged Ty this week. He played better; we played better.  I thought the first half our kids played really well.”

The Redskins Jake Eaton drew first blood rushing for a 21 yard touchdown up the gut at the 10:49 mark in the first quarter.  Warrensburg responded on the second play of their first possession with a 70 yard flat pass that tied the game at 7-7 with 10 minutes remaining in the first period.

Both teams traded punts before Ty Nichols broke loose on an 80 yard touchdown run. Nichols who appeared to be shot out of a cannon won a footrace giving the Redskins a 14-7 lead with 5:57 left in the first quarter.

After a Cardinal turnover on downs to start the second quarter Ty Molzen and  Ballinger connected on a 40 yard touchdown pass into the wind pushing the Redskin advantage to 20-7 with eight minutes left in first half.

On the Cardinals’ next possession Max Todd came up with a big fumble recovery at the six minute mark setting up another long connection from Molzen to Ballinger resulting in first and goal from the one.  Nichols found pay dirt on the next play for the second time in the contest, and Ballinger converted the two point attempt on a jet sweep.

Leading 28-7 with six minutes remaining in the first half, the Redskins would score two more touchdowns.  Blake Stewart got in on the fun with a short run at the three minute mark, and another Ballinger’s score followed, set up by a Brandon Fleshner fumble recovery, giving the Redskins a commanding 42-7 at halftime advantage. Read More