The Clopton-Elsberry IndianHawks learned all about tradition in a 58-6 district playoff loss to the Palmyra Panthers on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Palmyra’s reputation as a powerhouse football program remained intact in the second-round district game. The Panthers were simply much larger in numbers and size, which was reflected by Palmyra controlling the line on both sides of the ball.
“They were pretty good and we didn’t play our best game,” said Clopton-Elsberry Head Coach Mike Scheibel. “Their defense was really good and big up front.”
Senior quarterback Jack Hicks and senior running back Rheed Leake ran well in their final games as IndianHawks but the team just couldn’t get enough offense going, Scheibel noted.
Junior outside linebacker “Michael Werkmeister had his best game,” Scheibel said, reflecting hope for 2014.
“At least we made it that far,” into the playoffs. “It gives us something to build on for next year.”
Scheibel’s IndianHawks went 4-7 in his first season as a head coach.
“I learned a lot,” he said. “One thing that hurt was our numbers weren’t good,” when he was hired late in the year to take over the program. “Now I know who’s coming back.
“We’ll miss a lot of seniors like Hicks, Leake and (senior fullback-linebacker Devin) Linton and they will be hard to replace.”
The Panthers returned the opening kickoff 60 yards and set the tone for the game.
The team’s first of eight touchdowns occurred on a fourth-down corner route less than two minutes into the game.
Palymyra scored one more time in the first quarter and three times in the second quarter to take at 37-6 lead into the locker room.
Hicks brought respect to the IndianHawks with a twisting, tackle-breaking run for 67 yards through the right side of the Panthers defense with 4:36 to go in the half.
However, it didn’t get any better in the second half with the Panthers scoring three more touchdowns on a variety of runs and passes.
Hicks gained 122 yards on 16 carries and had one touchdown. He was five for 14 passing with one interception.
Junior wide receiver Jeremy Jennewein caught three passes for 20 yards and carried once for eight yards.
Leake had seven carries for 28 yards.