The Clopton-Elsberry IndianHawks used a blitzing defense and a strong running game to pummel the Van-Far Indians at home on Friday, Sept. 27, 44-8. The IndianHawks are now 2-3 on the season.
Van-Far featured a spread passing attack that clicked at times but the IndianHawks defense swarmed to the ball and collected five turnovers, four on interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Senior running back Rheed Leake sliced the Van-Far defense for 193 yards on only nine carries, for a whopping 21.4 yards per carry average. He scored three touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the game.
“Our team clicked in all aspects, and have continued to get better every week,” said IndianHawks Head Coach Mike Scheibel. “I was proud of Meshawn Marshall for getting his first touchdown catch, and Rheed Leake for running the ball well.
“Rheed wasn’t a running back to start the season, but has come on strong as our best running back in the past couple of weeks. I love the way he runs hard and has the ability to break any run.
“Our defense has continued to be our strong point and I am proud of my defense for being a swarming group of 11 guys.”
The IndianHawks allowed Van-Far to recover a squib kick to start the game but the momentum changed swiftly when senior safety Jack Hicks intercepted a pass from the Indians and returned it 51 yards to the Van-Far 31 with only 42 seconds gone in the first quarter.
Leake took a handoff and swept right end for 31 yards and a touchdown on the first play, making it 6-0. It was 8-0 after a two-point conversion pass.
Van-Far fumbled right away and quarterback Hicks hit sophomore wide receiver Marshall with a 14-yard pass to make it 14-0 with 11 minutes to go in the quarter. The run conversion attempt failed.
Van-Far tossed another interception at the 9:42 mark. Van-Far quickly recovered a fumble, but gave right back on an interception by senior linebacker Devin Linton with 7.53 still to go in first frame.
Leake ran the left end on the first play and went 65 yards down the sideline for a touchdown with 7.37 left in the quarter. The two-point conversion run by Linton was good as well to make 22-0.
Senior IndianHawk defensive back Jamel Shelton intercepted another pass with 5:06 left in the quarter.
Soon after, Leake swept the right side for a 33-yard gain and almost scored a third touchdown before going out-of-bounds inside the one-yard line.
Hicks snuck in on the next play and then hit Marshall with a two-point conversion pass at the 3:47 mark to make it 30-0.
Leake got his third touchdown with 10:36 to go in the second quarter on a run of 32 yards. The two-point conversion pass from Hicks to Junior wide receiver Collin Dugan made it 38-0.
With 7:20 to go in the half, Hicks ran the ball in from the 18-yard line. The two-point conversion failed and it was 44-0 at the half.
Van-Far’s lone score came in the third quarter when Hicks fumbled in the end zone and the Indians recovered for six points. The two-point conversion led to the final score of 44-8.
Leake had the big night, but Hicks had a good game too with four completions in five attempts for 26 yards, one touchdown and a pair of two-point passes. Hicks ran eight times for 111 yards and two touchdown.
Marshall had three receptions for 31 yards, a score and a two-point conversion reception.
Linton carried three times for 10 yards and one conversion run.
Junior wide receiver Raheim Porter carried three time for 21 yards and had a reception for three yards.
Sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Jennewein caught two balls for six yards and a two-point conversion.
Freshman quarterback Steven Talbert came in during the second half and had two completions on three attempts for 14 yards, and ran once for six yards.
Senior offensive lineman Danny Somers ran once for a two point conversion.
does not rest
Junior linebacker Micheal Werkmeister led the team with six tackles and defended a pass.
Linton had five tackles from his linebacker spot and returned an interception 23 yards.
Leake had five tackles at linebacker and one pass defended. Jack Hicks had three tackles at safety, two interceptions and pass defended.
Senior defensive back Ryan Booher had four tackles and knocked down three passes.
Junior defensive back Collin Dugan had four tackles and a pass defended.
Senior defensive lineman Chris Maiuro had four tackles. Freshman linebacker Kevin Hammet returned an interception 20 yards and punted once for 35 yards.
Senior defensive lineman Matt Paranello three tackles and a fumble recovery
Senior defensive back Jamel Shelton had two tackles and an interception return for 30 yards
Sommers had a pair of tackles and junior defensive lineman Vince Hollocher recorded one tackle and a sack.
Freshman defensive back Mark Frank and a tackle Jennewein defended one pass.
“This week will be a big test,” Scheibel said. “Bowling Green is a great team coming off of a tough loss to Wright City and we will need to play our best game to win.”
The IndianHawks are scheduled to play the homecoming game at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4.