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The Van-Far/Community R-VI co-op football team was overwhelmed by injuries and Montgomery County’s fast start last Friday night in a 42-14 loss to the Wildcats.
In the loss, starting quarterback Lucas Robinson broke his collarbone and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Robinson finished the game with 10-for-17 passing for 100 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Senior offensive leader Ethan Gooch suffered an apparent high ankle sprain or a deep bruise to his growth plate and will miss this week’s game. His return has yet to be determined.
“Lucas had a good game…,” said Van-Far head coach Blake Logan. “…Ethan is definitely out this week and we’ll play it by year from there.”
This results in freshman Nick Barnes getting the start at quarterback this week against a big and physical North Callaway program. Barnes did play in the final seconds of the loss to the Wildcats.
North Callaway defeated the same Montgomery County team 27-7 two weeks ago. They also have wins over Bowling Green and Fulton with losses to rival South Callaway and Tipton.
The Thunderbirds are big on their front line, fly to the football, and make it count when they get there.
“He did take some snaps for us (late),” Logan said. “With his lack of experience it’s going to be a tough game but in the long run it will be a good experience for him.”
One bright spot was the punting of first time punter Devontay Wilkerson. Wilkerson had several solid punts with distance and hang time.
“He looked pretty natural back there,” Logan said of putting Wilkerson in as punter with Gooch entering the game with hamstring problems. “He did a great job of punting the ball.”
The Indians started their game with the Wildcats with a solid look on offense as they marched the ball from their own 14 yard line to midfield after converting two third downs. On their third try of converting on third down, Robinson’s pass was intercepted on the Wildcats’ 46-yard line.
Three plays later, Montgomery County scored on Dylan Skeens’ 36-yard touchdown run. An extra-point pushed the lead to 7-0.
After Wilkerson’s long punt ended Van-Far’s following drive, the Wildcats marched 68 yards on five plays before scoring on a seven yard touchdown run.
Montgomery County scored on their next possession on a 36-yard passing play and began the second quarter with a 19-yard passing play for a touchdown. The two extra-point kicks gave them a 28-0 lead. The Wildcats led 35-0 after another score with 7:04 left in what felt like a long first half for Indians’ fans.
Van-Far’s offense regrouped just before halftime and finally put some points on the board. They marched 78 yards on nine plays and scored when Robinson connected with Logan Boyd for an 18-yard touchdown. Robinson’s two-point passing attempt was incomplete, keeping the score at 35-6.
Just when the Indians thought they had some momentum, the Wildcats responded three plays later with Colt Ellis’ 51-yard touchdown run for a 42-6 halftime lead.
The Wildcats had 104 yards passing and 223 yards rushing for 327 total yards of offense in the first half.
Van-Far had 46 yards passing and 72 yards rushing for 118 total yards.
With the mercy clock in effect to start the second half, neither team scored in a very fast third quarter.
After the Wildcats missed a 23 yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter, the Indians marched 80 yards behind Robinson’s 30 yard passing play with Boyd. Boyd added a 29-yard run and later caught a 16 yard touchdown pass from Robinson. Robinson ran the ball in for two points and suffered his injury on the play as Van-Far closed the gap to 42-14.
Montgomery County finished the game with 380 total yards of offense to Van-Far’s 194.
Three different Wildcats had 56 or more rushing yards.
Boyd finished with eight receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 14 carries for 47 yards. Trey Hull added eight carries for 46 yards.
Gooch had one catch for eight yards, three carries for one yard, and completed his only pass for minus eight yards.
Wilkerson had one catch for seven yards and one rush for eight yards.