GOSHEN — It would have been fitting if the South Oldham football team had made the short trip to North Oldham in DeLoreans Friday night.
The Dragons went back to what has been their long-time calling card with the future in mind in their 27-0 whipping of their cross-county rival.
There was nothing eye-popping about the Dragons’ second win in four games. Our unofficial
stats had them with 247 offensive yards. Quarterback Devlin McGee three only 10 passes,
connecting on four, for 75 yards.
Junior running back Jeffery Burton plowed his way to 140 yards on the ground but as a team,
South Oldham dominated like a team looking at playing for quite a while when November rolls
around. The Dragons’ offensive totals would never be considered elite, but South gave up only
38 net yards.
It was all brought about when South Oldham coach Jamie Reed and his staff had to do some
serious soul-searching after losses to Christian Academy of Louisville and Ballard in their first
three games. And there might have been some concerns early when North took away some of
the things that South wanted to do.
“We had a lot of penalties. Some uncharacteristic stuff,” South Oldham coach Jamie Reed said.
The Dragons had started at their own 30 after taking the opening kickoff, but before they were
able to get an offensive play in the books, they were looking at a first-and-25 situation from the 15.
Two penalties had pushed them back.
For the game, South Oldham would be hit with 10 flags on the night. “We have to get that
cleaned up,” Reed went on.
But after three fruitless possessions, the old style South Oldham arrived on the field.
And dominant might not be a sufficient adjective to describe what happened the rest of the way.
With 8:52 remaining until halftime, South took 10 plays and just over four minutes to drive 61
yards. The first 43 were on the ground, then at the North Oldham 18, McGee lofted a perfect
spiral to Jack McCubbin for the only score the Dragons would need.
It was McGee’s only completion of the first half, but was textbook football from days gone by: set
up the pass with a strong running game.
“We have a good offensive line and we didn’t throw the ball as much as we did the last couple of
games,” Reed explained. “We have averaged about 25 passes the first three games and tonight
we only threw it about 10 times. We wanted to focus on the running game a little bit more. We
wanted to play good defense and run the ball.
“That’s what we have done in the past, but we had kind of gotten away from that and maybe got
a little too fancy.”
South’s first drive of the second half was more of the same eat-ground attack, moving 63 yards
in 8 plays. All but six yards came on the ground and McCubbin found paydirt when the Dragons
lined up in the wishbone with two tight ends.
It’s not what we’re used to seeing in 2021 but Reed could only break into a huge smile when
asked about going up 14-0. “Old school. Old school football,” he said.
“We do our best to build them up and we pride ourselves with having a positive program. We
are not the kind of coaches that kick our kids when they are down,” Reed said. “We love all our
kids. We try to teach them why things happen. We never lost belief.
“We told them we are trying to up our status in the state and you cannot do that if you are
playing every team and you are going to beat them 63-0. We are trying to change our M.O. a
little bit. We’d get to the third round or fourth round (of the state playoffs) and we were kind of
non-competitive. So we are thinking if we play these kind of teams early, if we are lucky enough
to get to the second or third or fourth round, we will have a little more that it’s not like the first
time we have ever seen them.”
Ironically, when South got out of the gate at 1-2 in 2013, the losses were to Collins, which went
on to win the state championship in Class 4A, and Anderson County, which advanced to the
state semi-finals in 5A. South finished 8-4 that year, bowing out to Franklin County in overtime in
the second round of the playoffs.
Things don’t get any easier for the Dragons as they host Oldham County Friday night. Oldham
has been ultra-impressive early with an explosive offense and an in-your-face defense. Oldham
has gotten off to a 4-0 start, including a Covid-related forfeit win from Meade County.
And you know that Oldham will be ready to exact years of revenge against the Dragons. South
Oldham has owned the series, winning every year since 2011, but based on the season so far, it
would look to be Oldham’s year.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Reed said. “They have a senior quarterback (Sam Young)
who has had great stats. We have been on the winning side since he was a freshman, so we
will have to go back to work and put our heads down and see if we can come up with a good
Don’t be surprised if the Dragons go back to more old-school football. It really is where their