The Clopton-Elsberry IndianHawks played tough for more than three quarters, but eventually lost 50-12 to Bowling Green on homecoming night, Friday, Oct. 4. The IndianHawks are now 2-4 on the season.
“I think we played well in the first half,” said IndianHawks head coach Mike Scheibel.
“We made too many mental errors and Bowling Green capitalized on them. Bowling Green is a great team and if you make mistakes they will take advantage.
“It was a heartbreaking loss for our team, but we will need to bounce back this week as Wright City is a tough team. We need to focus more to prevent the mental mistakes.”
The Bobcats broke out to a 6-0 lead with 7:58 to go in the first quarter when quarterback Jacob Niemeyer went in from the two-yard line and the extra point was good.
The IndianHawks offense sputtered but the defense pounced on a fumble on the four-yard line with 5:01 to go in the first quarter. They also forced Bowling Green to turn it over on downs at the Clopton-Elsberry 28 at the 1:40 mark.
The IndianHawks registered three first downs in their opening drive of the second quarter. But the drive stalled when they fumbled the ball away at the Bowling Green 38-yard line with 7:21 to go.
After driving down the field to the IndianHawks 30-yard line with 5:40 to go in the half, Bowling Green returned the favor in a bizarre play.
At the end of a Bobcats run, the ball came loose and the players initially assumed the play was dead.
IndianHawks senior free safety Jack Hicks realized the referees had not blown the whistle, scooped up the ball at the 20-yard line and began running.
Hicks veered to the sideline and outran the stunned Bobcats for an 80-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but Clopton-Elsberry was back in the game with 5:05 to play in the half at 7-6.
After both teams failed to move the ball, Bowling Green completed a pass for a first down at the IndianHawks 11-yard line with 1:30 to go in the half.
With 45 seconds to go, Bobcats senior running back Malik McPike scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night. The extra point was good and Bowling Green took a 14-6 lead into the dressing room at the half.
Bowling Green came right out and scored on a 48-yard run by McPike with 10:44 to go in the third quarter. The extra point made it 21-6.
The IndianHawks refused to give up and quarterback Hicks hit sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Jennewein with a 33-yard bomb to the Bowling Green 47.
Hicks followed that with a 37-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Raheim Porter, who stretched out to catch it at the 10-yard line with 6:50 to go in the quarter.
Hicks hit senior running back Rheed Leake with a short touchdown pass at the 5:26 mark. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the IndianHawks looked like they had a chance at 21-12.
That chance began dissolving when Bowling Green marched the ball methodically down the field and scored on a four-yard run with 1:34 to go in the third quarter. A two-point conversion was good and the Bobcats were up 29-12.
The IndianHawks managed to get to the Bowling Green 14-yard line with two long passes and a fourth down run by Hicks in the next series to end the third quarter.
Hicks hit Jennewein in the end zone, but it was ruled out-of-bounds. Leake then appeared to score on a pitchout with 11:38 to go in the game, but it was called back by a penalty.
Bowling Green took over on downs at its own 28 and then drove methodically down the field. Niemeyer scored on a 12-yard run with 6:36 to go and it was 36-12 after the extra point was good.
Showing their resolve, the IndianHawks tried to come back and reached the Bowling Green 10-yard line with 5:34 to play. Hicks was intercepted and the game was essentially over.
McPike broke free for an 88-yard touchdown with 2:54 to go and the extra point made it 43-12. McPike scored again after the defense picked off another Hicks pass. The extra point made it 50-12.
Hicks had nine completions on 27 attempts for 193 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He had 11 carries for 73 yards. On defense, he made eight tackles and had the big fumble return.
Porter ran the ball five times for 16 yards and caught four balls for 114 yards. He had six tackles on defense.
Leake had three catches for 31 yards and a score. He was huge on defense with 15 tackles and a forced fumble.
Senior halfback-linebacker Devin Linton punted the ball four times for 184 yards, had 26 yards on four carries and a 17-yard catch. He had seven tackles on defense.
Junior linebacker Vince Hollocher had nine tackles and a fumble recovery.
Sophomore linebacker Dillon Zumwalt had eight tackles and a kick return for 23 yards.
Senior defensive lineman Matt Paranello had five tackles. Junior linebacker Michael Werkmeister had six tackles and defended a pass.
The IndianHawks are on the road at Wright City at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.
(Story provided by Dave Moeller of The Louisiana Press Journal.)
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