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Chris Hughes

Week 1: #1 Mallard Creek at #1 Dutch Fork

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#1 Mallard Creek at #1 Dutch Fork  

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  1. 1. Who's the winner between Mallard Creek at Dutch Fork?

    • Mallard Creek
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    • Dutch Fork
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#1 Mallard Creek visits #1 Dutch Fork

GAME TIME: This game is a 6:00 p.m. kickoff. 

This is obviously the biggest game, probably not just of the week, but of the season, and with the added hype of this being a nationally televised contest, and paired with the anticipation that lingers from these two powers not squaring off last year (due to weather), I think this has all the makings of being an instant classic, and hopefully it's a game that we talk about for years, and possibly decades to come. 

I think both of these programs have their best teams in recent memory coming back, and hopefully they'll both be at full power and healthy for Friday's matchup.  

COACHING MATCHUP: 

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Tom Knotts is in his 10th season leading Dutch Fork and has a 407-76 record. 

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Mike Palmieri is in his 13th season at Mallard Creek and owns a 129-33 record. 

LOCATION:

The game is going to be played at Dutch Fork HS, this is a great stadium with ample seating to accommodate this crowd, but I still suggest getting there early because of parking. 

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Guess I am still a little surprised this game is being played but I think there was a bad taste in some people's mouth after how everything went down last year. Especially some of the post game spin and commentary. So it looks like we will get a chance to see Ali-Frazier  afterall.

Got a chance to go down to DF last year. Very enjoyable place to watch a game. Not much of a crowd that night as it was pretty damn cold and DF was just mauling everyone by 50. Watched the first half against Ridge something. They were as advertised..........looked like a video game as I think they scored TD's on their first 5 of 6 possessions.  Nothing particularly fancy about that night . Snap ball, run fast, throw it far. TD!!. As I was watching I was trying to figure out if you press and come hard after Olenchuk or if you just settle into a two deep and try and make them earn it. Sorry to say I didnt really answer the question.

Have watched the Hanna title game and frankly they gave DF everything they wanted for 3 quarters then a couple bad turnovers and the game gotta way quick. They seemed to get Olenchuk rattled a little early on and I suspect that is something Tripp and Palmieri have seen. Couple thoughts on this game-

- As is almost always the case if Creek can get them one dimensional ( shut down run) then I think they have a shot. Can they get pressure on DF with just 4 in passing downs? To me that is the ballgame.

- The magic of TK is I think over the years he is the best I have ever seen making an over aggressive defense look silly.   Screen game has always been crazy good and he has the kind of speed on the outside that only takes one bad angle at its 6.  WIll they try and box Hyatt and make someone else beat them? 

- Cant give up the cheap one. Tripp's defense the last 2 years has been as good as it gets. The only real negative is that when they do give up one its usually over the top. There has been only one team really pound it on them ever that I can remember and that was 2017 WF and that was 0-0 into the 4th quarter with MC missing several defensive starters.

- Nobody really knows what Hellams offense will look like. If it is truly Air Raid then it will be unlike any Creek fan has ever seen. I think they will come out aggressive and make DF cover their 4 wides. Lot of talk about DF passing game but the MC kids are quick and can make those mesh routes be very tough to cover. Noller throws a very catchable ball and catches those kids in stride.

On paper- I think its the most talented Creek team we have seen since 2011. Hard to know exactly what it all looks like especially in Week one . Neither team got a scrimmage in last week so you know that some silly mistakes will be in play. I dont worry much about tackling. Creek practices physical and I assume TK's kids get after it as well. You also wonder what bright lights and what the World Wide Leader does to 16 and 17 year olds.............gotta be a different dynamic 

I think regardless of talent   Creek is gonna have to score. I just dont think you keep them inside of 4 TD's so I am gonna go

MC 35- DF 31

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Wrigley, interesting that you bring up Hellams, because quite frankly the "Hellams Factor" could be the one thing that swings the pendulum in Mallard Creek's favor.  He's from South Carolina, he's coached in the biggest of big games down there, so he won't be phased by any of TK's snake charming.  In the limited times I've met him, and from the multiple games I've seen him call (at Northwestern and Mooresville), he's one of the best and brightest coaches around.  I've never questioned the Mallard Creek defense, they've been outstanding, but with a balanced offensive attack that has the ability to throw the deep ball, that could be a game changer for the Mavericks. 

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8 minutes ago, Chris Hughes said:

Wrigley, interesting that you bring up Hellams, because quite frankly the "Hellams Factor" could be the one thing that swings the pendulum in Mallard Creek's favor.  He's from South Carolina, he's coached in the biggest of big games down there, so he won't be phased by any of TK's snake charming.  In the limited times I've met him, and from the multiple games I've seen him call (at Northwestern and Mooresville), he's one of the best and brightest coaches around.  I've never questioned the Mallard Creek defense, they've been outstanding, but with a balanced offensive attack that has the ability to throw the deep ball, that could be a game changer for the Mavericks. 

From what I can tell being around him some at Hoover( I have seen almost no practice) he is the real deal. Teacher first, mature and it feels at least to me ( Work or others may feel different) that the offense is his for better or worse. I dont think we have seen that at MC since Brand was calling plays ( maybe Cox). 

I know little about the Air Raid. I am old and would run Power I if it was my offense....LOL. I have been forced to educate myself a bit and certainly I like what Oklahoma does with it. It seems to be a pretty simple concept that really comes down to reps and execution. If Noller is the real deal then I think they will put some people on their heels because this I know without question. Creek has never been deficient in athletes........They have a bunch of kids that can go get it against anyone.

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Tough matchup for Creek. I don't really know much about Dutch Fork as I don't really pay attention to other schools outside of NC, but what I will say is Mallard Creek gets really conservative with their play calling in the second half. Or at least they do every time I see them play. I don't know if that's going to fly against a team like DF who apparently can score at will. 

 

Should be a great matchup. I really wish I could make it, but it's just so far. 

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41 minutes ago, forsythco said:

Tough matchup for Creek. I don't really know much about Dutch Fork as I don't really pay attention to other schools outside of NC, but what I will say is Mallard Creek gets really conservative with their play calling in the second half. Or at least they do every time I see them play. I don't know if that's going to fly against a team like DF who apparently can score at will. 

 

Should be a great matchup. I really wish I could make it, but it's just so far. 

I said the same thing a cpl yrs ago when they played Scotland. Having AB as a coach I was use 2 when u find a weakness u keep exploiting it til they stop u. I figured creek 2 keep the pedal 2 the metal but they got conservative and Scotland came back n made it a game late. Apparently u cant do this vs Dutch fork...I'll pick Creek in a low scoring slugfest 21-17

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21 minutes ago, 704cougarsdad said:

I said the same thing a cpl yrs ago when they played Scotland. Having AB as a coach I was use 2 when u find a weakness u keep exploiting it til they stop u. I figured creek 2 keep the pedal 2 the metal but they got conservative and Scotland came back n made it a game late. Apparently u cant do this vs Dutch fork...I'll pick Creek in a low scoring slugfest 21-17

That's one of the games I went to that made me say was I said. It just look like they didn't care in the second half. 

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2 hours ago, 704cougarsdad said:

I said the same thing a cpl yrs ago when they played Scotland. Having AB as a coach I was use 2 when u find a weakness u keep exploiting it til they stop u. I figured creek 2 keep the pedal 2 the metal but they got conservative and Scotland came back n made it a game late. Apparently u cant do this vs Dutch fork...I'll pick Creek in a low scoring slugfest 21-17

Needed to slow game down because everytime Zeus touched the ball it was close your eyes and hope someone tripped him. One of the reasons he only got about 15 touches. 

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Hellam's is scary good as an OC. Huge addition along with Dustin Noeller @ QB. Nothing new for him playing in big games.  He threw for 3500 yds as a Sophomore. I'm also a big fan of smart QB's. He's a 4.0 Gpa kid. This will be the most balanced offense I believe since AB or Joe Cox. There will be nothing conservative about this offense. He attacks weakness non stop. A lot of weapons on offense.  Hoping we can pull this one out. Looks like bad weather again. I hope it's not cancelled. 

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1 minute ago, work7 said:

Hellam's is scary good as an OC. Huge addition along with Dustin Noeller @ QB. Nothing new for him playing in big games.  He threw for 3500 yds as a Sophomore. I'm also a big fan of smart QB's. He's a 4.0 Gpa kid. This will be the most balanced offense I believe since AB or Joe Cox. There will be nothing conservative about this offense. He attacks weakness non stop. A lot of weapons on offense.  Hoping we can pull this one out. Looks like bad weather again. I hope it's not cancelled. 

This is the reason why Mallard Creek debuted at #1 in my Power Rankings.  I got a lot of grief from some fans asking why Wake Forest wasn't #1, but baring some major catastrophes on the injury front, I firmly believe that this could end up being one of, if not the best Mallard Creek team ever. 

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1 minute ago, Chris Hughes said:

This is the reason why Mallard Creek debuted at #1 in my Power Rankings.  I got a lot of grief from some fans asking why Wake Forest wasn't #1, but baring some major catastrophes on the injury front, I firmly believe that this could end up being one of, if not the best Mallard Creek team ever. 

Defensive Coordinators will earn their keep against him. The guys is a total professional and never stops learning. 

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5 minutes ago, work7 said:

Defensive Coordinators will earn their keep against him. The guys is a total professional and never stops learning. 

Some local high schools totally missed the boat when they passed over him for their head coaching job.  

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20 minutes ago, work7 said:

Hellam's is scary good as an OC. Huge addition along with Dustin Noeller @ QB. Nothing new for him playing in big games.  He threw for 3500 yds as a Sophomore. I'm also a big fan of smart QB's. He's a 4.0 Gpa kid. This will be the most balanced offense I believe since AB or Joe Cox. There will be nothing conservative about this offense. He attacks weakness non stop. A lot of weapons on offense.  Hoping we can pull this one out. Looks like bad weather again. I hope it's not cancelled. 

Nope....wont rain. I have a fool proof plan. I am bringing rain gear AND a umbrella.  We wont see a drop :)

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MC by 6 is what I am feeling right now. 

No need to get into details, but for the creek guys, is Q Holmes playing this week?  Thought he was always one of the better backs in Meck county and a big fan of the way he plays. Hope he does great this year.

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1 hour ago, KoKie34 said:

High scores expected. DF is too much. Sorry

To many Joes! MC is too much. Sorry 

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2 hours ago, KoKie34 said:

High scores expected. DF is too much. Sorry

Since 2010 Creek has given up more than 30 pts 7 times. 3 of those were in blow outs and given up in garbage time. 2 were in OT.

Not easy to get to 30 against MC.

 

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28 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

Since 2010 Creek has given up more than 30 pts 7 times. 3 of those were in blow outs and given up in garbage time. 2 were in OT.

Not easy to get to 30 against MC.

 

Great. Much ambition to MC. DF has a bad habit. Scores on average 63.555 on Fridays.

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5 minutes ago, KoKie34 said:

Great. Much ambition to MC. DF has a bad habit. Scores on average 63.555 on Fridays.

Over what time span

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10 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

Over what time span

While you ask Google, I'll make a check out to DF. DF was Nationally observed as #23 in 2018. All while MC was National observed as #342 in 2018

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7 minutes ago, KoKie34 said:

While you ask Google, I'll make a check out to DF. DF was Nationally observed as #23 in 2018. All while MC was National observed as #342 in 2018

Nationally ranked? Huh!

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6 hours ago, KoKie34 said:

While you ask Google, I'll make a check out to DF. DF was Nationally observed as #23 in 2018. All while MC was National observed as #342 in 2018

Gotcha...you have no clue. Thanks

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7 hours ago, KoKie34 said:

While you ask Google, I'll make a check out to DF. DF was Nationally observed as #23 in 2018. All while MC was National observed as #342 in 2018

My little cousin kept winning the weekly football pics. I asked her what was her strategy? She said, she pic the teams with the prettiest uniforms. It’s the type formula you use when you don’t know. Whatever works for you. You might be on to something. 

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I had the opportunity to watch DF scrimmage recently. They have more than just one wr. (Jalin Hyatt). They also have #11 Elijah Spencer and # 80 Dorian Jacobs. All can make plays. Throw in RB, Jonathan Hall. Who I hear he's a 4.4 kid. QB Tyler Olenchuk can really sling it. (Routes are all timing) They ran a 3.4 defense the entire scrimmage, and like blitzing those outside backers. I notice  all of the back 8 weighing in the 175 range. Which I thought was very small, but they are fast getting to the ball. They lost 3 or 4 on the OL and love isolating the wr's on one on one match ups. They also go into  double tights , and run the ball effectively and disguise the run for an isolation to one of their wide outs. 

As of now 94 people pic DF to win. Do any of you guys know anything about DF outside of them being ranked last year #23 last year, averaging 63 points,  and Tommy Knotts being the Coach? There are some really sharp Football guys on this site. Looking for some good Intel!

Damn! I hope the weather holds up!

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Work7 you hit the nail on the head. Tommy Knotts. I'd pick his team in 90% of matchups blindy just knowing he is the coach. Factor in Homefield advantage and Mallard creek learning a new offense I'd take DF all day. One factor I look at is the celebrity QB. How many teams are better the next year bringing in a QB vs, a homegrown QG. MC hasn;t been the same  since they went the rental QB route IMHO. 2016 Chauncey, 2017 Washington, 2018 Kelly. nOw 2019 Noller. Think Washington beats Hough if given the chance last year. Dutch Fork on the other hand has a home grown QB that has been withthe program a while in Olenchuk. Thats a big advantage in games like these. While my heart will be cheering for MC, think DF wins big and ugly vs,. MC. DF 35, MC 14. Hope I'm wrong though. 

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Washington not a rental.  The team that beat them in the playoffs had a rental. The team that went to the 4aa title game from the west had a rental. Myers Park, Hough, Vance, MC and I think Butler all playing with rentals. 

It's the nature of the beast for these top programs.

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Dutch Fork is loaded and yes...it starts with TK. I havent seen this version yet so I will see where they rank but my list of the best teams MC has played since 2010 would be in this order-

2012 Butler

2017 Wake Forest

2016 RH Southpointe

2011 Page

2013 Dillon

2014 Butler ( Healthy ARW)

2016 Vance 

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My  hope is this game is as exciting and off the chain as the opening game of the 2009 season when Indy traveled to Mallard Creek!

In 2016 I was told by a BCS assistant that Mallard Creek had as much talent as he could remember seeing on a high school football team.  MC was coming off a state title and was loaded.  New QB from a big time program was not the answer.  (Note, this is obviously not the same QB or OC!)  I thought there were too many "me" personalities on the team and that was something I had mentioned as a potential issue in the preseason.  If the talent is as strong as we are hearing then it is on the coaching staff to guide them through the season.

Cannot wait to see these two titans battle!

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53 minutes ago, J-Heat1110 said:

Work7 you hit the nail on the head. Tommy Knotts. I'd pick his team in 90% of matchups blindy just knowing he is the coach. Factor in Homefield advantage and Mallard creek learning a new offense I'd take DF all day. One factor I look at is the celebrity QB. How many teams are better the next year bringing in a QB vs, a homegrown QG. MC hasn;t been the same  since they went the rental QB route IMHO. 2016 Chauncey, 2017 Washington, 2018 Kelly. nOw 2019 Noller. Think Washington beats Hough if given the chance last year. Dutch Fork on the other hand has a home grown QB that has been withthe program a while in Olenchuk. Thats a big advantage in games like these. While my heart will be cheering for MC, think DF wins big and ugly vs,. MC. DF 35, MC 14. Hope I'm wrong though. 

Washington was not a rental & see OC's @ MC 2016, 17 & 18. OC 16 & 17 I would throw under 20 buses. Played major part in outcome. Why I believe the Creek has a real good shot. Coach Palmieri is a really good damn coach, and Hellams has won 4 State Championships in SC as an OC .  Zero learning curve with Noeller since he's rejoining his old OC, that he threw for 3500 yards as a Sophomore, and surrounded by a massive OL with a 5 Star RB/LB with a stable of rb's and Wr group of 5 that are dangerous.The front 7(All FBS KIDS) for MC is probably the best in school history. It will be the toughest 35 points they earn this year, unless they make 2 or 3 big plays. I don't believe IMG could hold MC to 14 points this year. It will be a tough out to hold them to 14 points. You never know how kids are going to respond, but this team has more collective talent than all 3 State Championship teams @ MC  

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7 minutes ago, btango said:

My  hope is this game is as exciting and off the chain as the opening game of the 2009 season when Indy traveled to Mallard Creek!

In 2016 I was told by a BCS assistant that Mallard Creek had as much talent as he could remember seeing on a high school football team.  MC was coming off a state title and was loaded.  New QB from a big time program was not the answer.  (Note, this is obviously not the same QB or OC!)  I thought there were too many "me" personalities on the team and that was something I had mentioned as a potential issue in the preseason.  If the talent is as strong as we are hearing then it is on the coaching staff to guide them through the season.

Cannot wait to see these two titans battle!

There is no question that after winning 3 straight titles the 2016 team had major entitlement issues. That played a much bigger issue than the QB. That team had 3 SEC Olineman on it and couldnt run the ball when they needed to.

2017 team went as far as it was gonna go. Very good on defense, average at best on offense. Wake Forest was just better.

2018 should have won a ring. They picked a bad night to have a bad night against a very good Hough team that was HIGHLY motivated.  Sometimes that happens.

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Wrigley and Work agree that Washington was not a rental. My point being that to me he would have done better than the rental Kelly. it was mentioned that Vance, Hough, MP had rentals and they did somewhat. They had a multi year starter at QB even though they did transfer in. Its a difference to me in leadership ability and growing with guys when you are a senior one year rental.  It undermines the program. Have had MC parents even mention to me that Washington would have done just as well or better than Kelly in 2018. So its an issue. When I look back to Knotts going all the way back to Harding to Dutch Fork I can only think of 1, one year rental and that was Tim Funderburk at WC. The rest of his qbs were at the school and learned the system as an underclassman or started as a soph or Jr. Senior leadership from the QB is big. The QB is the leader. If you cant see the advantage of having a 4 year guy vs. a one year guy in a game like this not sure what to say. 

 

As for the game. Agree fully work7 that MC is the best coached, trained, and hardest working HS in the state of NC. Problem is Dutch Fork is in SC. Now I'm all excited thinking about this game. Last year had me heated so I'm trying not to over hype myself for this year. Just think Knotts has had time to prepare and lives for games like this. Ill be cheering for MC no doubt. Just MHO. Also dont see MC losing any game the rest of the way and that it will get brutal for some schools on their sked. 

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I don't believe last years team beats DF. Different Squad this year. I'm riding with the Creek 

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10 minutes ago, KoKie34 said:

“Rental” thats the cover up story.

There’s a better word in the dictionary.

Pretty uniforms, picking straws, Calling Ms. Cleo Physic 1-800 number, any many miny moe, If the ground hog see's his Shadow. They averaged 60 points & MaxPreps ranked them pretty high...….. You've got it all covered. Can't wait and praying for good weather.  

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