Silver Creek can’t repeat mistakes if it hopes to win

The enemy that the Silver Creek/Forestville football team faced last week wasn’t as damaging as what the Black Knights did to themselves.

The game that ended in a 29-7 loss to the Wilson Lakemen was a deceiving start for Silver Creek. The eight penalties that tallied 80 yards was the punisher for the Black Knights, who go into this week facing Southwestern, who defeated Chautauqua Lake, 31-14, on the road last week.

Silver Creek gave opportunities to the Lakemen when the team had a 5-yard penalty and retook a punt. The second kick was muffed and gave Wilson the ball at the 8-yard line. The Black Knights also took plays away from themselves like back-to-back holding penalties in its second drive that ended in a punt.“They were a good team, but we helped them out way too much to even make it a football game,” Silver Creek coach Sean Helmer said. “If you look at the film in the first three series, we really dominated the game. A turnover here and multiple holding calls, that was hard to overcome. The message was: We are the only ones that can fix it.”

The deception was the spread in the score. The penalties stalled the offense. Wilson did not get a first down in its first three drives, but free yardage boosted its field position battle.

The problems Silver Creek faced look to be adjustable.

“Most of it was inexperience, really,” Helmer said. “All correctable things; there wasn’t a glaring thing like, ‘Hey, this guy can’t play this position, or we are not good enough here.’ For the most part, it was us not executing what we were supposed to be doing.”

Southwestern will travel to Silver Creek today with quarterback Cole Snyder taking prominence. The Trojans’ man under center helped lead them to the Section VI Class C final as a sophomore. Now starting his junior year, the star quarterback went 11 of 19 for 189 yards last week and his junior companion Alex Card caught only two passes, but those went for 88 yards, including a touchdown.

“This week, the quarterback is really good,” Helmer said. “He is one of the better ones I have seen in all of the years I’ve been doing this. We have to fix a lot of things in the secondary.”

In Week 1, Silver Creek struggled with a few big throws. The short screen plays were fine, but the chunk plays were what hurt the Black Knights, according to the coach.

“We gave up two touchdowns on blown coverages. If you throw for a two-yard gain and we tackle it, we’re absolutely OK with that,” Helmer said. “It’s the mistake in coverage and we give up a 40-yard touchdown, that’s the stuff you can’t have happen. You can rally to the ball, but you can’t give them a free touchdown.”

When it comes to this week’s matchup, Helmer knows that his team must limit Snyder. Southwestern looks to do something high school offenses don’t do often: Throw the ball.

“They’ll probably throw the ball close to 30 times,” Helmer said. “The ball will be in the air. We will see with the weather tomorrow night.”

Silver Creek’s offense is traditional and has signs of powerhouse abilities. Helmer noted that lack of execution prevented success on some plays, yet running back Austin Eggleston had a big day. His Friday night peaked during a 57-yard run that he later scored with a three-yard burst up the middle to give his team its only score.

“Austin did exactly what we expected from him,” Helmer said. “He had eight to 10 tackles, he had 118 yards (rushing), he does not quit. In reality, they were doing some things to us that we should have been able to react a little bit better to, and we didn’t. Which would have helped Austin, too. Austin is the type of kid, which I consider, is a throwback. He is an old school linebacker, fullback type of kid.”

The battle of hard-nosed running and airing it out offense starts at 7 p.m.

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