In 2014, the Indians football team ended a 35-year losing streak to the Montgomery County Wildcats.
After starting a new losing streak the next season, it didn’t take quite as long for Van-Far/Community R-VI to beat the Wildcats again.
The Indians traveled last Friday night to Montgomery City and left with an impressive 13-6 victory.
The defense has allowed just 25 points in the first three games.
“Our defense played very well,” said Van-Far/Community R-VI head coach Kevin Baldwin. “We continue to get better every game. Offense continues to win the time of possession stat, but must fund some consistency in the execution of plays in order to be as good as it’s capable. It was nice to get a win over a tough opponent.”
With an expensive scoreboard showing several famous football movie clips along with a sound system filled with music to pump up the players, the Wildcats, who entered the game 0-2, were ready early on to battle the Indians.
The Wildcats had two tackles for minus nine yards on the Indians’ first drive.
Montgomery County then marched the ball inside the Indians’ 20 before a chop block took away some of their early momentum.
After a punt was followed by a Wildcats block-in-the-back penatly to start Montgomery County’s drive on their own nine, the field position battle was about to be won by the Indians.
A quick three-and-out gave the Indians’ offense the ball near midfield.
Eric Hombs’ 23-yard run helped the Indians march 54 yards on seven plays. Trey Miller scored on a six-yard touchdown run. Jose Hodde, who was playing in his first game of 2017, converted the extra-point kick for the 7-0 lead.
After the Wildcats’ defense forced the Indians to have a three-and-out, Montgomery County’s offense got the break they needed.
They completed a 34-yard pass followed three plays later with a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Alex Flowers blocked the extra-point kick to keep the score at 7-6.
Van-Far/Community R-VI’s offensive line began to take control of the game on the following drive.
The Indians marched 73 yards on 13 plays on a scoring drive.
Jacob Garner had a 33-yard run, Hombs added an 18-yard run, and Miller picked up a big first down on a third down inside the Wildcats’ 10 after an impressive spin move for a first down.
As time expired, Hodde hit a 22-yard field goal for a 10-6 lead at halftime.
The total yards battle was close at halftime as the Indians had the edge, 135-122.
While the Indians’ defense forced a quick three-and-out to start the second half, the Indians offense answered with another scoring drive.
Miller had four straight carries for a total of 15 yards before catching a pass for 17 yards.
After no passing interference was called on third down, Hodde lined up for a 37-yard field goal attempt and nailed it.
Hodde’s second field goal of the game gave the Indians a 13-6 lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
The drive took around six minutes off the clock.
The Indians’ defense stymied the Wildcats the rest of the way. Garner’s interception ended one drive where the Wildcats gained just 16 yards on six plays. The Wildcats started a late drive with a 21-yard run before turning the ball over on downs at the Indians’ 31.
Van-Far/Community R-VI’s offense held onto the ball and ran out the clock for a big EMO Conference road victory.
Hombs had 28 carries for 144 yards. He also completed three passes for 18 yards.
Miller had 18 carries for 63 yards and one touchdown. He also caught two passes for 20 yards.
Garner added five carries for eight yards.
Hodde was 2-for-2 with field goal attempts, hitting from 22 and 37.
Kyle Ebers and Garner each led the defense with 10 tackles. Verlyn Johnson had seven tackles, Nathan Beatty added six, and Trevor Crider had five.
Up next for the Indians is a match-up with rival Bowling Green at home on Friday, September 8 at 7 p.m.
After the Bobcats were outscored 101-28 in losses to St. Clair and Palmyra to open the season, they crushed Clopton/Elsberry 60-20 at home last Friday night for their first win of the season.
“Bowling Green looks to be another very tough opponent,” Baldwin noted. “It will be nice to be home this week, but we will have to play solid aggressive mistake free football to get the outcome that we want.”