Mustangs fall to E-town

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North Oldham drops to 0-3

By Sam Draut

 It was a different week, but the North Oldham football team suffered through the same lingering problems that have plagued its first three games of the season. The Mustangs fell to Elizabethtown 39-3 on Friday night and dropped to 0-3 with inter-county rival South Oldham looming next week.  

E’town scored on its opening possession in four plays, marching 80 yards down the field in less than two minutes. On the ensuing North Oldham possession, the Mustangs picked up two first downs before a Bryce Webb pass was intercepted and returned to the 10-yard line. E’town running back Kass Disney scored on the next play to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead four minutes into the first quarter. 

North Oldham has struggled to execute in the first few possessions throughout the early portion of its season. 

“Like I told the team after the game, we work hard in practice and we get coached up in practice and we do the right things in practice,” Mustang head coach Joe Gamsky said. “But then, the lights come on Friday night and everything goes out the window.

“We do whatever we want to do and whatever makes sense to our kids at the time. Until we start doing what we are coached to do, the results of our games are going to be the same,” Gamsky said. 

The early season struggles have been a combination of a few different problems. Gamsky attributes some of it to players not being confident enough, but another side being  players not trusting coaches and teammates on the field. 

“We have a little bit of a ‘me’ mentality right now which we are trying to break,” Gamsky said. “It is a tough battle to fight.”

After E’town jumped out to a 26-point lead in the second quarter, the Mustangs got on the scoreboard with a 35-yard field goal by Jakson Wine. Junior wide receiver Tanner McCoy went down in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return, but expects to play next week. 

The offense seemed to move the ball more comfortably in the second quarter, but couldn’t finish several drives.

“It is the same story. We do well, we do well and then we decide to make stuff up. When we get in tough situations we get tight and for whatever reason. Coaches aren’t on the field, I don’t know what is said in that huddle, I don’t know what is going on in that huddle,” Gamsky said.  “It seems like every time we are in a clutch situation we don’t execute the way we execute in practice.”

Following the field goal, E’town responded quickly with a 30-second drive that was capped off by a 37-yard rushing touchdown by Jay Becherer to give the Panthers a 32-3 lead before the end of the first half. Wine had a field goal attempt blocked as time expired before halftime. 

Mirroring their play in the second half of the first two games of the season, North Oldham played better in the second half. The Mustangs held E’town to one touchdown in the second half, but weren’t able to score to cut the deficit. 

During halftime, Gamsky talked about the acronym ‘hype’ with his players. He said it stands for hard work, family, positive attitudes and excitement. If one of those four things is missing, mistakes will pile up and they won’t win football games, Gamsky said. 

“It’s the same story. It is the same message every day,” Gamsky said. “You do those four things you win a football game.”

Despite the slow start, Gamsky wants the team to remain positive as it prepares for a rival South Oldham and district games. He would like to see his junior and senior class take control of the locker room and the field.