Adversity, poor tackling and a four turnover second quarter hurt the Van-Far/Community R-VI football team last Friday night in a disappointing 40-6 road loss to Wright City.
The Indians played without their starting quarterback due to a death in the family. While the now one dimensional offense struggled, the defense had several missed tackles hurting the squad in the loss to a winless Wildcats team.
“Offensively, we struggled and that put a lot of pressure on the defense,” said Van-Far head coach Blake Logan. “Four turnovers in one quarter gave them short fields. We kind of helped them out. They not only beat us, we beat ourselves…(Defensively) we had a lot of missed tackles. We didn’t flow to the ball as a team as we needed to.”
Wright City started the game by making a statement on their opening drive. They marched 71 yards on 12 plays and scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass. An extra point kick failed to keep the score at 6-0.
The pause button was hit on the game during Van-Far’s first drive as the Indians had to pull No. 44 Andrew Fairchild off the line for not wearing a “correct” line jersey number in spite of wearing the same number through the first three games of the season.
The Indians and Wildcats followed one another with three-and-outs.
Logan made a gutsy call on their next possession, attempting to convert a 4th-and-1 on Van-Far’s own 37 yard line. Unfortunately, the Wildcats stopped Sharrod Connor for a two yard loss and Wright City never looked back.
They scored on the first play of the second quarter and the third play of the drive after a 30-yard touchdown run on a counter play. Trailing 13-0, Van-Far turned the ball over two plays later when a center snap hit off Van-Far’s quarterback and was recovered by Wright City on the Indians’ 28-yard line.
The Wildcats fumbled the ball back on their first play and it appeared Van-Far’s offense would take advantage.
Quarterback Nick Barnes completed three straight passes before a pitch missed its mark to turn the ball back over to Wright City on the Indians’ 39-yard line.
The Wildcats scored five plays later and with the extra point kick took a 20-0 lead.
Logan made a gutsy call with 4:45 left in the first half when the Indians’ Logan Boyd took a fake punt and ran 10 yards to convert a first down.
Unfortunately, Barnes was picked off three plays later on the Wildcats’ 41-yard line. They scored on their next offensive play with a 59-yard touchdown pass. Both teams had one more fumble in the final 2:32 as Wright City entered halftime with a 27-0 lead. Van-Far had just 70 total yards of offense in the half while Wright City had 234 yards.
Wright City scored a touchdown in the third quarter and added another early in the fourth quarter to put the mercy clock into effect.
The Indians finally scored in the fourth after taking advantage of good field position on a kickoff. The Indians marched 89 yards on nine plays and scored after a second straight six yard run by Conner Albrecht. A bad snap on the two-point conversion attempt kept the score a 40-6.
The Indians had just 145 yards of total offense to 369 total yards of Wright City.
Barnes completed 8-of-13 passes for 43 yards with one interception. Logan Boyd had 12 carries for 43 yards, completed one pass for nine yards, and had two catches for seven yards. Albrecht had three catches for 29 yards and two rushes for 12 yards and one touchdown.
Boyd finished with eight tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery while Jamie Householder added eight tackles.
Up next for the Indians is another road game against Clopton-Elsberry at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 27. The Indian-Hawks beat Principia last week.
“They have some athletes,” Logan said. “They like to throw the ball too and use mix sets. We’re going to have our hands full.”