Two weeks ago, the Van-Far/Community R-VI senior football players enjoyed picking up a rare Homecoming win in the recent history of the program.
This same group added another special victory this past Friday as they scored 18 unanswered points to beat Wright City on Senior Night, 24-18.
The Indians did trail 18-6 at halftime before shutting out Wright City in the second half.
“They continued to fight,” said Van-Far/Community R-VI head football coach Blake Logan.
“We understood we could play with them. I reminded them at halftime that it was only 18-6 and we can make a few big plays. The defense made plays as they didn’t score in the second half.”
The Indians had several injuries entering the game, which forced Nick Barnes to move from cornerback to the linebacker position.
Freshman lineman Kyle Ebers was inserted into the starting lineup and several other players were seeing more time on the field then they had previously.
“(Kyle) stepped up for us the past couple of weeks,” Logan added.
“Nick Barnes stepped into the starting linebacker role. That says a lot about what type of team guy he is and some other guys are as they are willing to change positions to help the team out. It’s what a team needs to be successful. Everybody pulled their own weight and it was enough to pull out the victory.”
Wright City wasted little time moving the ball against the Indians defense as they marched 56 yards on four plays to score on a quarterback keeper from 13 yards out. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 6-0.
The Van-Far/Community R-VI offense struggled on its first drive as it had to punt after three plays.
Barnes nailed a 50-yard punt, as he continues his run towards All-EMO Conference honors in the punting position.
Wright City appeared ready to score again as they moved the ball to the Indians’ nine yard line. There they turned the ball over on downs.
Indians’ quarterback Lucas Robinson was sacked for a seven yard loss on the drive. Barnes had to punt the ball from two yards in his endzone and sent it 48 yards away.
Wright City took advantage of the good field position as they scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass. A failed run kept the score at 12-0.
The Indians started to march the ball on their next drive. Robinson connected with Jamie Householder for 33 yards. Unfortunately, the Indians failed to keep the drive going as it ended on fourth down on Wright City’s 36.
Householder’s second sack of the game forced a Wildcats’ punt.
The Indians took advantage. Robinson connected on a 22-yard pass along with a lofty 20-yard pass to Sharrod Connor, connected 12 more yards with Householder, and hooked up with Wyatt McDowell for 15 yards.
Robinson finished the drive with a one yard plunge for a touchdown. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 12-6.
With 36.1 seconds left in the half, Robinson’s dump pass to his receiver was picked off and returned to the Indians’ five yard line. A five yard run from Wright City’s quarterback put the Wildcats up 18-6 with 29.4 seconds left in the half.
The Indians had just 138 total yards of offense in the first half to Wright City’s 185, with 138 coming on the ground.
Van-Far/Community R-VI started the third quarter with a 45 yard drive when Robinson had the ball knocked away from him.
The defense responded though as Connor recovered a Wright City fumble two plays later.
Running back Conner Albrecht took over the offensive duties as he had four carries for 21 yards, including a one yard touchdown run.
Connor’s incomplete pass kept the score at 18-12.
The Wildcats’ offense led the next drive as they moved the ball until they were stalled on the 24-yard line.
During Van-Far’s following drive, Robinson had three carries for 47 yards. He then completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Barnes to tie the game at 18.
McDowell then stopped any chance of a Wright City rally with an interception.
With 4:31 left in the game, the Indians marched up field behind Robinson’s three carries for 43 yards.
Albrecht added 29 yards on three carries then scored from 14 yards out. The extra point failed, keeping the score at 24-18.
On the next play, Barnes recovered a fumble and sealed the victory.
The Indians finished with 352 yards of offense to Wright City’s 247.
Up next is a Clopton team that is solid on the defensive and offensive lines.
“Their D-line and O-line are pretty good,” Logan said. “We have to compete with them in the trenches n order to get a ‘W’.”