Thirty-five years ago, Van-Far football fans enjoyed watching their Indians earn a nine point victory over Montgomery County, 15-6. The coach was Robert Groff while running backs Ron Hurshman and Andrae Salmon combined to rush for 336 yards.
Little did fans know it would be three and a half decades until their Indians would finally find the win column over the Wildcats.
Last Friday night, the now Van-Far/Community R-VI cooperative football team beat Montgomery County on Homecoming night, 46-35.
Van-Far/Community R-VI head football coach Blake Logan was proud of how his team responded to improve their record to 3-2 after two lopsided losses.
“We had a pretty good week of practice after two tough losses and had to have amnesia,” Logan said. “…We went back to square one on offense and defense. I said we have to change the attitude if we want anything to change.”
The Indians wasted little time going after the Wildcats as they scored on their very first play from scrimmage when quarterback Lucas Robinson connected with Jamie Householder on a 65-yard touchdown pass.
He then connected with Nick Barnes for a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Montgomery County’s offense responded by marching 37 yards to the Indians’ 22 yard line. Joseph Clithero picked up a big tackle for a four yard loss on fourth down to stop the Wildcats’ drive.
Van-Far’s defense forced the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs again just minutes later. The Indians’ offense took advantage by marching 70 yards on nine plays and scoring on Robinson’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Nick Barnes. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 14-0.
Early in the second quarter, Barnes recovered a Wildcats’ fumble to stop yet another drive deep in Van-Far/Community R-VI territory.
The Indians nearly made Montgomery County pay for the fumble. Robinson picked up two carries for 45 yards and ran 15 yards to the Wildcats’ three yard line when he was stripped of the ball.
With 3:56 left in the half, the Wildcats gave the Indians good field position after turning the ball over on downs near midfield.
Robinson overcame an eight yard loss on one play with a 50-yard touchdown run.
Robinson then passed the ball to Wyatt McDowell, who pitched the ball to Sharrod Connor for a two-point conversion and a 22-0 halftime lead.
The Wildcats took the momentum with a 31 yard passing play on the next possession to cut the lead to 22-8.
Robinson responded two plays later with a 62-yard touchdown run, pushing the score to 28-6. At the end of the half, Connor intercepted a Wildcats’ pass.
The Wildcats came out of halftime with many new players in their lineup and it worked. Montgomery County marched 52 yards on five plays and scored on a quarterback plunge from one yard, out moving the score to 28-12.
Moments later, Connor dropped a pitch from Robinson to give the Wildcats the ball back on their own 40.
In 10 plays, the Wildcats’ solid use of the counter play led them into the endzone. One more counter gave them a two-point conversion, cutting the lead to 28-20.
The Indians moved the ball on the following possession to their own 45 yard line when Coach Logan made a gutsy call to go for a first down on a 4th and 7.
Robinson evaded the defenders for a 11 yard gain and a first down.
Two plays later, he connected with Barnes on a 30 yard passing play.
Jacob Garner then scored on a three yard touchdown run. His two-point run was no good, keeping the score at 34-20.
“We showed some mental toughness by not giving up,” Logan said. “We had a lot of times where previous teams I had would have hung their heads when teams did that to us; as we were not suppose to win those games. We can’t win when you think you’re going to lose. How you win is with confidence.”
The Wildcats responded again with a 60 yard drive capped by another counter play, this time for an 18 yard touchdown. A successful kick cut the lead to 34-27.
The Indians answered after converting a 4th and 6 at midfield as Robinson rushed for nine yards.
Robinson gained another 22 yards before Conner Albrecht found the endzone on a seven yard touchdown run, moving things to 40-27.
Four plays later, Householder intercepted a Wildcats’ pass on the Wildcats’ 21 yard line.
Albrecht scored on a 19 yard run three plays later to go up 46-27 with 1:31 left in the game.
Montgomery County responded on their next play with a 45-yard touchdown pass. A two-point conversion pass made the final score 46-35.
The Indians finished the game with 157 yards passing and 318 rushing yards for 475 yards of total offense.
Robinson had another standout game with 28 carries for 264 yards and two touchdowns with one fumble. He also completed 9-of-14 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Albrecht picked up 41 yards on 11 carries and added two touchdowns.
Barnes hauled in five catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. Householder had one catch for 65 yards and one touchdown.
Garner tallied four carries for seven yards and one touchdown.
Connor had two catches for nine yards along with one carry for six yards with one fumble.
This Friday night, the Indians will travel to Bowling Green to take on the rival Bobcats at 7 p.m.
“They have a lot of speed so we have to maintain our gaps on the defensive line,” Logan said. “Everybody has to play sound, assignment football.”