Van-Far/Community R-VI head football coach Blake Logan knew his team faced a tough obstacle on the way to a district championship last Friday night when the Indians battled rival Bowling Green.
After all, the Indians were shut out 56-0 in a late September game.
In the rematch, the Indians showed more confidence and did a better job of moving the ball at times but lost 71-20 to the Bobcats.
The Indians had six turnovers in the loss.
“When you play good teams, you have to play perfectly offensively,” Logan said.
“When you don’t take care of the small things you’re going to get beat by a team like that…Overall, the score may not have showed it but it was a lot better than the first time we played them. Although we made mistakes, we were making them work.”
Injuries hurt the Indians in the loss as they were without Adam Hombs, Nick Barnes, and Sharrod Connor at different points during the game.
The Bobcats wasted little time finding the scoreboard as they scored on the second offensive play when Adam Holt ran in a 52-yard touchdown.
Connor fumbled on Van-Far’s first offensive play, which led to another Bowling Green scoring drive for a 14-0 lead.
The Indians regrouped as quarterback Lucas Robinson hit Connor for a 40 yard passing play. Robinson then connected with Barnes for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Robinson capped off the drive with a two-point conversion pass to Barnes to stun the home crowd as the Indians cut the lead to six points.
Unfortunately for Van-Far/Community R-VI, their momentum went away quickly after two quick Bowling Green scores pushed the lead to 30-8.
The Indians responded on their next drive when Robinson connected with Wyatt McDowell for a 25-yard touchdown pass. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 30-14.
Forty seconds later, Bowling Green’s Jake Niemeyer ran for a 68-yard touchdown run to score just before the end of the first quarter to go up 37-14.
Niemeyer added three more first-half touchdown runs for a 58-14 halftime lead.
The Indians scored for the final time of the season as the game clock expired. Robinson scored on a four yard touchdown run in the 51-point defeat.
Robinson finished the game by completing 14-of-21 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns. He also had eight carries for 29 yards and one touchdown.
Connor added four catches for 110 yards with three carries for 17 yards.
McDowell’s lone catch was his 24-yard touchdown. Barnes hauled in three passes for 41 yards with one touchdown.
Defensively, Conner Albrecht had 19 tackles to help him finish the season with 145 total tackles.
Anthony Fairchild had eight tackles while Jacob Garner tallied seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Logan said Garner has a “great attitude” and he wished he could have more players compete like him on the team.
Logan points to Albrecht, a senior, as an example for his young team, that had just nine players on the roster before the year with previous experience, to follow.
He said Albrecht was always in the weight room and ran track last year.
“He put on a great deal of muscle and I hope everybody follows his lead,” Logan said. “…I think they are starting to realize that it starts (right in the weight room)…We had probably the best attendance overall in the weight room in the summer…We have a great group of younger guys. We’ll be in good shape and are looking forward.”
The Indians finished the season with a 5-6 overall record, just one game under .500.
The loss meant it was the final game for seniors Brandon Otis, Robinson, and Albrecht. Both Robinson and Albrecht played all four years for Coach Logan.
“I’d like to think I saw them grow from kids thrown in the fire too early to very good players,” he said. “They knew what to expect and knew what to expect from me as well. They are going to be missed, big time…Brandon was in his first year but was instrumental to us (as a center).”
Logan was also grateful to have the largest coaching staff he’s had in his tenure.
Bowling Green will play Palmyra for the district title on November 7. The Bobcats lost in overtime to the Panthers back in Week 2.