One for the Ages…
All of these descriptions, typically used to describe great sporting contests, would be perfect for the Van-Far/Community R-VI football game last Friday night against Clopton/Elsberry.
The final 3:35 included two Indianhawks’ touchdowns, a 72-yard kickoff return for the Indians, and two long fourth down conversions that helped set up the game-winning score for Clopton/Elsberry in the final minute.
Van-Far/Community R-VI tried some trickery on their final offensive play as quarterback Eric Hombs threw the ball to back-up quarterback Verdell Johnson, who then attempted a pass to his brother Verlyn but a deflection off a helmet led to an interception that sealed the 50-42 win for the Indianhawks.
In the loss, the Indians finished with 32 yards passing and 258 yards on the ground for 290 total yards of offense. The Indianhawks had 208 yards passing and 230 yards rushing for 438 total yards.
Early in the game, the Indianhawks struck first when quarterback Shawn Yates connected with Derrick Taylor on a 27-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point kick was blocked.
Van-Far/Community R-VI’s offense responded on their next drive as Verlyn Johnson had a 20-yard run. Offensive Lineman Payton Pargeon recovered an offensive fumble to get credit for a nine-yard gain that was followed four plays later by Hombs’ 21-yard touchdown run. Verlyn Johnson’s two-point run failed, keeping the score at 6-6.
Yates and Taylor responded three players later, this time on a 34-yard touchdown connection. Damian Walker’s two-point run put the Indianhawks up 14-6.
Though Bryson Lay’s 45-yard kickoff return gave the Indians the ball inside Indianhawks’ territory on the following drive, the Indians turned the ball over on downs at the Indianhawks’ 31.
Clopton/Elsberry’s offense then marched 69 yards on five plays as Yates scored on a 17-yard touchdown run. Walker’s two-point run pushed the lead to 22-6.
Van-Far/Community R-VI’s offense answered with a 68-yard drive that featured Hombs gaining all of the yards on rushing plays. He scored from 40 yards out and added a two-point run to cut the deficit to 22-14.
Clopton/Elsberry’s offense still could not be stopped as they responded by marching 43 yards on eight plays and getting Yates’ two-yard touchdown run. His two-point run pushed the lead back to 16 at 30-14.
The Indians rallied with a 65-yard drive. Hombs connected with Morgan Slatten for 26 yards. He then scored on a two-yard run. Verdell Johnson completed a two-point pass to Julian Holtkamp, who made a great catch in the end zone, to keep the game at 30-22.
Maximus Roed’s late sack helped to keep the deficit at eight for the Indians at halftime.
Clopton/Elsberry kept their momentum early in the third quarter by opening the second half with a 70-yard drive on eight plays. Walker’s three-yard run gave his team a 36-22 lead.
After getting a fumble recovery to end the Indians’ following drive, Van-Far/Community R-VI got the ball back when Roed stripped Yates of the ball and Slatten recovered the fumble.
Verlyn Johnson’s 36-yard run was followed four plays later by his 16-yard touchdown run. Hombs’ two-point run failed to keep the score at 36-28.
The Indians’ defense responded by forcing a turnover on downs at midfield. Their offense then went 46 yards on nine plays, scoring on Hombs’ 18-yard touchdown run. His two-point run failed and kept the score at 36-34.
After the Indianhawks scored on Yates’ 34-yard touchdown pass to Taylor with 3:35 left, Verlyn Johnson returned the kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown. Hombs’ two-point run tied the game at 42-42 after two Indianhawks’ penalties on the attempt gave them the ball nearly on the goal line. The Indians’ defense had a chance to end the following drive on 4th-and-15 when Yates connected on a 20-yard pass with Trevor Anthony at the 1:18 mark.
With 30.5 seconds left and the Indianhawks’ offense with a 4th-and-10, Yates scrambled for 11 yards for a first down.
Walker scored on the next play from four yards out. Yates’ keeper on the two-point run gave the Indianhawks a 50-42 edge.
In the loss, Hombs finished the game with 20 carries for 155 yards, four touchdowns, and one fumble.
He also completed 2-of-12 passes for 32 yards.
Verlyn Johnson had 12 carries for 89 yards and one touchdown. Slatten had one catch for 26 yards.
The Indians will travel to North Callaway this Friday night to take on the Thunderbirds at 7 p.m.
North Callaway is 4-0 and just beat the same Clopton/Elsberry team, 47-0.