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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Defense stands out for Patriots at jamboree

  • Strong defensive play seemed to be a theme for area football teams in their jamborees on Friday, and the East Newton Patriots' defense was no exception as they squared off with Marionville, Pleasant Hope and Hollister at Pleasant Hope High School.
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  • Strong defensive play seemed to be a theme for area football teams in their jamborees on Friday, and the East Newton Patriots' defense was no exception as they squared off with Marionville, Pleasant Hope and Hollister at Pleasant Hope High School.
    Running a 4-4 defense this year, Patriots coach Seth Johnson credited his defensive ends, particularly Alex Scheppert and Travis Allen, for getting push and creating havoc for opposing offenses.
    "Our defense looked really well, I felt like," Johnson said. "We were really sound, did well there. There's a lot of kids that played both sides of the ball, but Alex Sheppert and Travis Allen both did a good job."
    East Newton's junior-dominant offensive line — the team has one senior lineman — opened holes for the tailbacks all evening, though Johnson did caution that the team must clean up some sloppy play before Friday's opener at Springfield Catholic at 7 p.m.
    "Offensively, all of our backs did a great job running the ball," Johnson said. "Xs and Os at jamborees are always a little suspect, but we've got to clean up things. We've got to clean up our snaps, which are crucial. But we'll be ready to go Friday."
    Johnson said the Patriots were careful to script their plays on Friday. They're not likely to see Marionville or Pleasant Hope again this season, but Hollister is a possibility with both teams playing in the same district.
    "You kind of script plays to make sure you're going to see all parts of your offense that is going to be crucial for you," Johnson said. "It's always neat seeing some teams that you're not going to see the rest of the year. All of those teams are pretty good teams and Hollister is a team in our district, so there's a chance we might see them again."
    Johnson was perhaps most pleased that his team didn't suffer any significant injuries during the showcase.
    "We came away healthy and it's always crucial to stay healthy," Johnson said. "As long as we stay healthy and continue to stay that way we'll be ready to go."
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