Van Horn pounds Sherwood
By Shawn Roney The Examiner
During the practice week before Friday night’s Crossroads Conference opener with Sherwood, Van Horn football coach Jeff Tolbert emphasized one aspect of the game: staying focused.
Based on what he saw during Van Horn’s 40-0 victory over the Marksmen at Truman High School, the Falcons paid attention.
“We weren’t perfect, but we surely were much better than we were last week,” Tolbert said.
During the 48-27 Week 2 road loss to St. Joseph Bishop LeBlond, the Falcons (2-1 overall, 1-0 league) “weren’t very focused at times,” Tolbert said. That prompted the focus on, well, being focused.
“Every drill, every phase of practice, we coached focus,” he said.
Offensively, Van Horn was focused enough to score on its five first-half possessions to build a 34-0 halftime lead. Running back J.J. Rivers sparked the Falcons with 56-, 11- and 40-yard touchdown runs. His 56-yarder came on Van Horn’s second play.
“We just executed the play well,” said Rivers, who finished with 319 yards on 23 carries, a 13.9-yard average. “I give all the credit to my O-line, because without them, I wouldn’t have been in the end zone. They did the job up front and I did my job.”
Quarterback Samila Sua helped keep Van Horn’s passing game focused, completing five of nine attempts for 108 yards and three touchdowns. His first two TD passes were to senior wide receiver Nolan Ingold. The first one, a 28-yarder in the second quarter, resulted from Ingold grabbing a tipped ball in the end zone.
Ingold’s catch might have resulted from some after-practice activities.
“About three times a week, a lot of us stay after and do wide receiver drills, do tip (drills),” Ingold said. “We just do a lot of things after practice.”
“It’s not always what (you do) during practice,” he added. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to do it after practice. Got to put in the hard work.”
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