The Van-Far/Community R-VI Indians football team opened their football season last Friday night with a second consecutive shutout victory in an opener after defeating North Shelby 36-0 in Shelbyville. The Indians beat the same Red Raiders team 46-0 to start the 2014 season.
In what might be the final meeting between the two programs, as North Shelby is moving to 8-man football next season, the Indians’ defense forced six turnovers and the mercy clock was in effect for the entire second half.
The Indians fumbled a snap on their first possession of the game only to get the ball back six plays later on Anthony Fairchild’s forced fumble that was recovered by Adam Hombs near midfield.
Indians quarterback Parker Wallace took advantage of the field position, connecting with wide receiver Nick Barnes on his first pass of the season for a 46-yard touchdown strike. The two connected again to convert a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, on the next drive Wyatt McDowell scooped up a fumble around North Shelby’s 30-yard line to score a touchdown. The lead stayed at 14-0 after the failed two-point conversion.
With Kyle Ebers and Fairchild combining to sack the quarterback to put a halt on North Shelby’s final drive of the first quarter, the Indians were unable to take advantage as a bad pitch exchange on the Indians’ second play gave the ball back to the Red Raiders at midfield.
The defense once again came up with a big play moments later as Barnes intercepted a pass on the Indians’ 32-yard line.
Four plays later, Wallace kept the ball on a quarterback scramble and scored on a 58-yard touchdown run.
He then connected with Jamie Householder for a two-point conversion and a 22-0 lead.
A roughing the passer penalty and a questionable passing interference call helped North Shelby’s offense moved the ball deep into Indians territory.
Again, the Indians’ defense came up big when Householder intercepted a pass on the 12 yard line.
Trey Miller, a freshman running back getting the start in place of two injured running backs in Sharrod Connor and Jacob Gardner, picked up 11 yards on two carries. McDowell had a big 38 yard run that was soon followed by Wallace’s third completion of a six play, 80 yard drive.
Wallace connected with Barnes for a second touchdown, this time from 20 yards out.
On the two-point conversion, Barnes had a direct snap to McDowell, who threw a pass to Treyson Culwell for a two-point conversion. The Indians now led 30-0.
With just nine seconds left in the first half, Joe Clithero put a big hit on North Shelby’s quarterback and recovered a fumble.
On the next play, Wallace connected with Barnes for the third time to score a 26-yard touchdown. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 36-0.
Placekicker Michael Colson, who is 255 lbs. and doesn’t have a typical kicker size, lit up the kick returner for North Shelby on the final play of the first half to put the exclamation point on a solid first half.
With the mercy clock in effect for the entire second half, neither team’s offense found a groove as both were shut out in the final two quarters.
Eric Hombs did pick up the Indians’ sixth turnover as he picked off a pass late in the final minute of play.
Van-Far’s offense finished with 278 total yards to North Shelby’s 94.
Wallace completed 9-of-16 passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns. He also have five carries for 63 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Barnes had four catches for 101 yards and one touchdown along with one carry for eight yards.
Householder had two catches for 26 yards and two carries for five yards.
Miller added seven carries for 28 yards, McDowell added two carries for 47 yards, and Colten Jensen had one catch for two yards.
Defensively, Clithero had 11 tackles, two tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.
Fairchild added eight tackles, two tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, and a 1/2 sack. Barnes tallied two tackles, four pass breakups, and one interception.
The Indians play their first home game this Friday night, August 28 against MMA at 7 p.m.