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The Clopton-Elsberry IndianHawks had a tight game for one quarter at home on Senior Night against the Harrisburg Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 25 and then exploded in the second quarter to put the game away.
The final score was 68-22, with senior IndianHawks running back Rheed Leake scoring four touchdowns and senior quarterback Jack Hicks running for a pair of TDs and tossing two.
“Early on we struggled,” said Clopton-Elsberry Head Coach Mike Scheibel. “We didn’t know they would pass like they did, so we went into a drop-back pass protection coverage defense,” and shut the Bulldogs down.
The win advances Clopton-Elsberry to a district playoff game at home at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 against Monroe City. Both teams are 3-6 on the year with the Panthers seeded fifth in district and the Indian-Hawks fourth.
If Clopton-Elsberry wins, the team takes on the winner of the Palmyra-Mark Twain game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Harrisburg scored on its opening drive of the game and missed the extra point to start the scoring at 6-0.
The Indian Hawks came right back on their first possession. Leake scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns from nine yards. He also ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 8-6.
Clopton-Elsberry scored again in the first quarter on a three-yard scamper to the end zone by Hicks. The conversion was no good and it stood at 14-6 as the quarter ended.
The Bulldogs came roaring back to begin the second quarter with a 60-yard touchdown pass. The successful two-point play knotted the game at 14-14 and it looked like Harrisburg was in it.
But then the IndianHawks adjusted their defense and went on a scoring rampage in the second quarter to pull away.
It started with a four-yard touchdown run by Leake. Junior Collin Dugan caught the two-point pass from Hicks to push the score to 22-14.
The IndianHawks scored the next three times they touched the ball to put the game on ice by halftime.
Hicks hit Leake with a 30-yard touchdown. Hicks then ran the two-point conversion in to make it 30-14 and the route was on.
Later in the quarter, Hicks threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Meshan Marshall. The two-point play failed to make it 36-14. Moments later in the second quarter, Hicks ran it in from 23 yards out. Leake’s two-point run increased the score to 44-14, as the IndianHawks went into the dressing room for halftime.
In the third quarter, Hicks scored again on a 17-yard run. Sophomore IndianHawks running back Dillon Zumwalt ran it in to bring the score to 52-14.
Senior offensive lineman Danny Somers got a carry in the fourth quarter and took it into the end zone from six yards out. The run by Hicks for two was successful and the score stood at 60-14.
The Bulldogs scored from 10 yards out toward the end of the game and converted a two-point play to make the score 60-22.
Senior running back Devin Linton put the icing on the cake with a 76-yard sprint to paydirt with the game winding down. Zumwalt ran it in for two points and the game ended at 68-22.
“Friday was a surprise on how well their quarterback played because we hadn’t seen him on film because he was hurt all season,” Scheibel said.
“But our boys and coaching staff made adjustments and got back on track. It was a great win for our senior night.
“I was excited to get a big win for our seniors who have done so much for this program. It was fun to see some seniors get some fun carries in the game, like Travis Kuykendall and Danny Somers.”
Hicks had two touchdowns on 10 carries and 123 yards rushing. He completed four of five passes for 116 yards and another pair of a touchdowns. He also ran in a pair of two-pointers and passed for another.
Leake had 13 carries for 100 yards and three touchdowns, one reception for a touchdown and two successful two-point runs.
Zumwalt had five carries for 16 yards and a pair of two-pointers. Somers had two carries for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Linton had three carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. Kuykendall had two carries for 12 yards.
Sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Jennewein had one reception for 15 yards, and Dugan caught one for his two-point play.
Leake matched his offensive prowess with 10 tackles on defense from his linebacker position to lead the IndianHawks. He also forced a fumble and defended a pass.
Zumwalt had six tackles, a quarterback sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Sommers also had six tackles and a sack.
Senior defensive back Ryan Booher had five tackles, defended two passes and forced a fumble.
Freshman linebacker Kevin Hammett had five tackles. Junior defensive lineman Alex Black had three tackles and a sack, as did Senior defensive lineman Matt Parinello.
Junior defensive lineman Vince Hollocher had two tackles and a sack. Hicks had two tackles and recovered a fumble.