Khalon Simmons is fun to watch. I felt bad for him against Jersey Shore because that was probably the best prepared defense they faced. I photographed about four MASH games this year and I was there when he turned the corner in the end zone and in a flash went 99 yards. And he's a junior.
Griffin Buzzell is one tough..... kid. He could bust through people and be explosive in his own right. On D he was often a brick wall.
Amarri Lewis can get those tough up the middle yards. Though something I read about a decision in a recent game where switching Simmons and Lewis on the inside counter worked well because of Simmons explosive speed. I'm not sure if it crossed coach Ray Collins' mind or not on Saturday, but I wondered if that might have changed things.
On Collins, And here is where it gets to the bad - Meadville fans can be the worst of the worst. I've witnessed this for over 20 years now. Obviously not all of them, but enough to make the statement. The good ones could stand up to the bad ones if you know what I mean.
I heard one dude from the stands yell "We gladly accept your resignation Ray!" To Collins.
Really? You're pissed that a guy took your kids into the state Quarters?
Now you can complain all you want about the sort of one dimensional running game all you want, but hasn't it been pretty successful? In any event, I know what coaches are and the product of wins and losses does not make one a good or bad coach.
Good coaches are evidenced by the men and women produced under their tutelage. I'd reserve my opinion of Collins until after those stats were compiled. Like Tom Haynes of Franklin, who I know to have been an excellent mentor of people though his record wasn't stellar, the people his players become are his legacy.
And I heard many choice things yelled at the refs and the kids trying their hardest out there on the field. I hear a lot of garbage while I'm on the sidelines, but somethings are just people with big mouths who like to hear themselves talk. (As I write this I'm fully aware that me saying this might mean I too am one of those guys with a big mouth)
Saturday's loss came down to a couple key things from what I witnessed. A blitz at the right time that caught the Meadville quarterback off guard and caused a fumble. This stopped Meadville's momentum in it's tracks. Though they counter-punched, Jersey Shore's D was quite good, or at least prepared. A couple stops on 4th down a tough pass interception were other times Meadville's offense couldn't quite figure out Jersy Shore's defense. Then Jersey Shore threw one long over the out stretch Meadville defender for a big score. These all killed Meadville's momentum.
Stats-wise this game was pretty close. MASH didn't get its usual break away big play for a score and they had a few key penalties and one pretty ill-conceived pass into too many orange jerseys to be good.
A few more positives, the defense of Meadville got better and better as the season went. They became more focussed on tackling and didn't over commit like they did in the first week down in Grove City.
Their offensive line, with exception of last Saturday opened holes so their talented backs could do the rest. They aren't huge, but strong and they know angles to block very well.
Meadville is a good football team and for the most part will be back. Maybe if some of the loud mouth's in the stands would step up it could help the program reach that next level? Perhaps if they'd help coach these young people they'd realize there is more to it than wins and losses. Though probably not, because it is a lot easier spouting off than getting in and doing a job.
Below are some photos form their last game of 2021. They should be proud. They are a good squad.
Scroll to bottom for even more photos from MASH games throughout the year.