Van-Far/Community R-VI football coach Blake Logan knew it wasn’t going to be easy for his Indians’ defense to slow down a Bowling Green squad that put more than 80 points on the scoreboard one week earlier.
In spite of the challenge, the Indians traded touchdowns with the Bobcats during most of its Homecoming game last Friday night before falling late, 50-36.
In the loss, the Van-Far/Community R-VI defense gave up 437 yards rushing and 518 total yards of offense.
Bowling Green’s Kaeden Jenkins led the charge with 40 carries for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
“We played an inconsistent game on both offense and defense,” Logan said. “Offensively, we have to take care of the ball if we want to win in the conference. Careless turnovers are killing our chances in the close games. Defensively, it is hard to give up over 350 yards of rushing and expect to beat any team.”
The Indians started the game with the momentum after Jamie Householder recovered a fumble less than three minutes into the game on the Bobcats’ 32-yard line.
On the first offensive play, they scored when Nick Barnes took a pitch and threw a pass to Householder for a 32-yard touchdown. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 6-0.
Unfortunately, Bowling Green responded on their next drive as they had one carry for 48 yards and scored on just six plays after a nine yard touchdown run by Jenkins.
A successful two-point conversion pushed Bowling Green in front, 8-6.
Van-Far/Community R-VI’s Nick Barnes answered by taking the kickoff and returning it 72 yards for a touchdown. Barnes’ two-point conversion run pushed the Indians up 14-8.
It appeared the Indians’ defense was going to force a three-and-out on the Bobcats next possession when Bowling Green converted a fake punt for a 44 yard gain by Jenkins.
Jenkins added a 35 yard run before scoring from five yards out to go up 16-14 after a two-point conversion.
Once again, Van-Far/Community R-VI didn’t back down from the challenge as they scored two plays later when Parker Wallace connected with Wyatt McDowell on a 43-yard touchdown pass. Wallace’s pass to Barnes gave the Indians two more points for a 22-16 edge.
Bowling Green completed its first pass of the game three plays later to respond with a 60-yard touchdown to tie the game.
After a 40 minute first quarter, Bowling Green picked up the first turnover of the game when a Bobcat deflected Wallace’s pitch that was recovered near midfield.
The Indians forced Bowling Green to turn the ball over on downs after four plays and their offense took advantage.
They marched 44 yards on five plays and scored when Wallace connected with McDowell for a 15-yard touchdown. Wallace’s run on the two-point conversion kept the score at 30-22.
Both teams exchanged turnovers in the next couple of minutes. Van-Far/Community R-VI’s Jacob Garner recovered a fumble to stop a Bowling Green drive deep into Indians’ territory.
Bowling Green responded when their defense picked off a Wallace pass near midfield to stop an Indians’ drive.
Three plays later, Jenkins scored on a 40-yard touchdown run. His two-point conversion tied the game at 30-30 before halftime.
The Indians had 164 yards of total offense in the first half while the Bobcats had 254 yards rushing and 315 total yards in the first two quarters.
The home team suffered a big blow in the third quarter as Joseph Clithero left the game with an apparent leg injury. He had nine tackles in the first half.
The Bobcats put together a 91 yard scoring drive on 15 plays as Jenkins scored from one yard out for a 36-30 edge.
Bowling Green scored again before the end of the third quarter after putting together a 52-yard scoring drive on seven plays for a 42-30 lead.
The Indians offense started a drive at the end of the third quarter and gained momentum with Wallace’s 35-yard pass to Householder to move the ball to the Bobcats’ 15.
They converted a fourth down on Garner’s two yard gain. Wallace then connected with Barnes for a four yard score to cut the lead to 42-36.
Bowling Green appeared ready to score minutes later when they marched the ball inside the Indians 30-yard line when Anthony Fairchild and Devin Fleming combined on a tackle for a 12 yard loss.
Unfortunately, Bowling Green intercepted a pass one play later.
McDowell intercepted a pass on the Indians’ one yard line to stop another Bobcats’ drive with 2:33 left in the game.
With 31.5 seconds left in the game, Bowling Green’s defense intercepted a Wallace pass and returned it 20 yards for the final score and a 50-36 victory after a two-point conversion.
Wallace finished the game by completing 13-of-26 passes for 182 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Barnes had nine carries for 37 yards, one pass completed for 32 yards and one touchdown, two catches for 24 yards and one touchdown, along with a 72-yard kickoff return for a score.
Garner had nine carries for 20 yards.
Householder had five catches for 91 yards and one touchdown along with one catch for five yards.
McDowell tallied six catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Garner had 15 tackles, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one tackle for a loss.
Adam Hombs added 13 tackles and one sack while Householder had 11 tackles and one fumble recovery.
“Jacob had a very solid game on the defensive side of the football,” Logan added.
“He is really getting back on track after missing majority of the first half of season. His role has expanded as we had an injury to Clithero to begin the second half. JoJo had nine tackles in the first half and was on pace for a very good season. Nick, Wyatt, and Jamie all had solid games on the offensive side of the football.”
This week, the Indians will play a much improved Wright City team on the road that only lost to Mark Twain by two points and beat the Bobcats.
“We play Wright City this week at their place,” Logan said. “They have a senior-laden team with very good skill guys. We will need to limit big plays and play better in the secondary and not allow them special team touchdowns (which they have a number of this season) in order to win the game. “