Two games in the books and still the Van-Far/Community Indians’ defense has yet to allow an opponent into their endzone after they shut out MMA 40-0 in their home opener last Friday night. The Indians’ defense has outscored their first two opponents 76-0, scored two touchdowns, and gave up less than 200 yards of total offense in eight quarters.
“Defensively, we had yet another touchdown as Jamie Householder had a pick-six,” said Van-Far/Community R-VI head coach Blake Logan. “A lot of the credit needs to go to Defensive Coordinator Gabe Regot. He does a great job getting these kids to play aggressive and it has worked out very well thus far. We have 11 guys flying to the ball every play and when that happens we have a better chance at success.”
The defense was forced to take a stand early against MMA as Indians’ quarterback Parker Wallace had his pass picked off and returned to midfield on just the seventh play of the game.
Kyle Ebers picked up a sack for a four yard loss that eventually led to a punt that pinned the Indians on their own three yard line.
While Van-Far/Community R-VI’s offense was able to establish the run, they were unable to put any points on the board by the end of the first quarter.
Trey Miller, who had three carries of more than 10 yards on the drive, fumbled a pitch from Wallace that was recovered by MMA on the Colonels’ 14-yard line.
With 7:39 remaining in the first half, the Indians started to find a groove.
Miller rushed for 47 yards on seven straight carries to fully establish the running game.
Wallace then connected with Nick Barnes on a three yard touchdown pass. He then tossed the ball to Miller, who passed the ball to Barnes for a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Barnes picked up a 23 yard rush late in the half but the Indians were unable to get another score heading into halftime up by just eight points.
Van-Far won the yards of total offense battle in the first two quarters, 129-34.
The Indians defense changed the tone of the game in the third quarter as MMA marched 56 yards on just seven plays.
With the ball on Van-Far’s 10-yard line, Joseph Clithero picked up a sack for a five yard loss. A false start was followed by Anthony Fairchild’s sack for another five yard loss. Wyatt McDowell made a hit on a fourth down pass that went incomplete to stop the drive.
“Defensively, we are trying to have a bend but don’t break mentality when other teams enter the red zone,” Logan noted. “We did a good job buckling down and making critical plays to keep MMA from scoring. Joe Clithero once again had a big game, including a big stop to stop their drive.”
Five plays later, Barnes broke open the game with a 56-yard touchdown run. McDowell ran the ball in on the two-point conversion for a 16-0 edge.
After the Indians’ defense forced MMA to punt the ball near midfield before the end of the third quarter, Van-Far/Community R-VI started a 59-yard scoring drive.
Wallace completed two straight passes totaling 17 yards before Barnes scored on a 13-yard touchdown run. McDowell tossed the ball to Barnes to complete a two-point conversion for a 24-0 lead.
Jamie Householder put the game away two plays later with an interception return for a touchdown from about 53 yards out. McDowell ran in the two-point conversion for a 32-0 edge.
Colten Jensen recovered a fumble on the following kickoff as Michael Colson’s kick hit off an MMA player.
Ten plays later, Wallace scored a one yard touchdown run on a keeper. He then connected with Barnes for a two-point conversion for a 40-0 lead.
The Indians had 338 total yards of offense, with 316 coming on the ground.
Miller had 25 carries for 123 yards. Barnes added seven carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He also had four catches for 13 yards and one touchdown.
Wallace had one passing touchdown and 22 yards in the air while gaining 37 yards on nine carries with a rushing touchdown.
Eric Hombs had 24 yards rushing on two carries. McDowell added one carry for two yards and one catch for nine yards. He also had a crushing block on Wallace’s touchdown run.
“We decided to establish the run early and went with what we felt was working,” Logan said. “Trey fumbled early but overall had a pretty good game for a freshman carrying the ball 25 times. Nick played at the level he is capable of playing and looked fast when he accelerated with the ball in his hands.”
The Indians will take on undefeated Mark Twain at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 4 in Center. Mark Twain knocked off state-ranked Westran in week one and beat a strong Paris team last week.
The team has a lot of upperclassmen and Community R-VI Superintendent Cheryl Mack’s son, quarterback Ethan Mack.
“They are big up front and have the best back in the conference who we cannot let free,” Logan said.
“Overall, we will need to step our play up a notch and compete each play in all three facets of the game to come away with the victory.”