The Van-Far/Community R-VI football was just three yards short of defeating Clopton/Elsberry last Friday night as the Indians lost the game in the final seconds, 14-12.
Running back Conner Albrecht was tackled on the three yard line after a one yard gain as time expired.
Indians’ head coach Blake Logan said he had to make a quick play call for the offense as he had no timeouts remaining.
In a previous drive, Albrecht was becoming tough to bring down for the Indianhawks.
He finished the game with 14 carries for 43 yards. He also caught one pass for nine yards.
“He ran off tackle and was running opposite side of their stud,” Logan added. “…I thought he could get the two to three yards. I worried about throwing with a wet ball and then would regret not running the ball.”
The Indianhawks scored their game-winning touchdown after their defense stopped the Indians on a drive.
Van-Far/Community R-VI marched the ball to the 10 yard line but hurt themselves with two holding penalties, an eight yard loss on a reverse play, and a fourth down turnover on downs at the 15.
The Indianhawks took possession with 1:29 left in the third quarter and took 15 plays to get to the Indians’ 34-yard line.
The Indianhawks gambled on a 4th and 10 with a 20-yard completion. They scored on a 16th play on a 14-yard touchdown run to tie the game with 7:38 remaining.
A quarterback keeper converted a two-point conversion for the go-ahead points.
The Indians’ final possession took all of the remaining 7:30 before falling short on the final play.
Clopton/Elsberry had about half of the Indians’ total yards of offense but won the game on the scoreboard. The Indians won the yardage battle 344-176.
The Indianhawks opened the game with a kickoff returned for a touchdown from about 75 yards out for an early 6-0 lead.
The Indians first drive stalled and concluded with Nick Barnes’ 50-yard punt.
After the defense forced Clopton/Elsberry to go three-and-out, the Indians’ offense took advantage of good field position at midfield.
Quarterback Lucas Robinson connected with Wyatt McDowell on a eight yard pass and connected with Sharrod Connor for 12 yards before connecting with Barnes for seven yards.
Robinson gained 18 yards on three carries when he scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Albrecht’s run failed short for two points.
Clopton/Elsberry appeared ready to take the lead on their following possession. They marched 57 yards to the Indians’ 10-yard line when Connor intercepted a pass in the endzone and returned it to the 12.
On the Indians next drive, they converted a 4th and short for a first down near midfield. They then received the benefits of a roughing the kicker call on a Barnes punt. The play set up Robinson’s 48-yard touchdown strike to Connor.
A failed two-point pass kept the score at 12-6.
The Indians’ defense stepped up again just before halftime when Connor picked off a second pass inside the 20.
Van-Far had 155 total yards in the first half to the Indianhawks’ 77 (not including kick or punt returns.)
Robinson finished the game by completing 13-of-17 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown. He also had 32 carries for 102 yards and one touchdown.
Jamie Householder had two catches for 48 yards. He added one carry for minus five yards.
Connor had six catches for 113 yards and one touchdown.
McDowell had three catches for 27 yards. Barnes added one catch for seven yards. He tallied two punts, one for 48 yards and one for 50 yards.
Albrecht led the team’s defense with 15 tackles.
“He was the best defensive player on the field for the whole game,” Logan noted.
Logan said he was proud of his team’s effort in the loss.
“The effort was there; I thought we got better,” Logan added. “Our confidence from where it was at the beginning of the season is way bigger…”
This Friday night, the Indians will play their regular season finale at North Callaway at 7 p.m.
The Thunderbirds have a big quarterback who likes to run the ball and has a good arm.
Logan said if his team can focus on details, they have a chance to win a game and potentially clinch a home district game the following Monday night against either Clopton/Elsberry or Clark County.