Indians Are State Champions

Indians Are State Champions

Indians Celebrate State Championship

The Maryville Spoofhounds learned the lesson on Saturday. Fear The Spear.

The Clark County Indian football team captured the MSHSAA Class 2 Football Championship on Saturday, downing the Spoofhounds 10-7 in a game which kept fans on both side standing and cheering. Both teams played an extremely physical ball game, exactly the kind of football the thousands of Big Red fans in the Edward D. Jones Dome in St. Louis wanted to see.

“They’re definitely the most physical team we’ve played all year,” said Indian Quarterback Ethan Allen. On Allen’s first carry, he was driven out of bounds.

“I saw the other guy coming, and he didn’t look all that big, so I was surprised with the shot I took. They hit really hard,” Allen said.

Maryville won the opening coin toss, and deferred, giving the Indians the ball first. The Indians started their drive on their own 31-yard line, after Javis Vineyard fielded the kickoff.

Ethan Allen surprised the Spoofhounds with a 19-yard run to the 50-yard line on the first play from scrimmage. The Indians drove down into Spoofhound territory, capped by an Ethan Allen pass to Ethan Horton to the Maryville two-yard line. Vineyard would punch the ball in for the Indians’ first, and only, touchdown of the game. Kolt Kiger’s point-after kick split the uprights, and the Indians took a 7-0 lead with 8:34 on the clock in the first quarter.

Maryville has a powerful running game, and averaged 318.9 yard per game through their first 14 games, with their leaders being Adam Mattson and John Farmer.

The Spoofhounds’ first possession started slowly, with two encroachment penalties, and a quarterback sack by Michael Brennan. But the Hounds gained ground, eventually driving to the Indian 25-yard line before the Indian defense held them on four straight plays, and took over on downs with 6:12 left in the first quarter.

The Spoofhounds also have an excellent defense, allowing their opponents only 103.6 yards average. Clark County gained a first down on the 44-yard line before getting stopped, and the Indians were forced to punt. Byran Plenge’s punt was fielded by John Farmer, who returned the ball to the 18-yard line, where he was dragged down by Mason Owen. Adam Mattson gained a first down on the 30-yard line, but the Indians stopped the Hounds again.

Clark County’s next possession started on the 29-yard line, and Ethan Allen scrambled to the 41-yard line. A penalty and an incomplete pass ended the drive, and Plenge’s punt rolled to the Maryville 17-yard line.

Maryville runner Adam Mattson broke thru the Indian line, running all the way to the Indian 21-yard line before Ethan Allen tackled him by his shirt. The Hounds gained another first down on the 11-yard line, but the Indians would not allow them to score, and stopped them again.

Clark County couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, and had to punt the ball away. But the Indians luck would return, as Maryville fumbled the ball and Kolt Kiger came up with the recovery. The Indians would drive into Spoofhound territory again before being stopped.

Maryville would get another chance, but time ran out on the Hounds, and the Indians took a 7-0 lead into halftime.

The Hounds got the ball to star the second half, and they pounded their way right up the field, getting a first down on the Indian five-yard line. The Indian defense nearly held again, but Adam Mattson just barely crossed the goal line on a 4th and two run. The point after was good, and the Hounds tied the game at 7-7 with 8:02 left in the third quarter.

Vineyard returned the kickoff to the 15-yard line, and then nearly broke a big run, but was brought down on the 49. A quick pass to Matt Morrow and another Vineyard run gave the Indians another first down , and Justin Alderton made a great run for the Indians for another first down on the four yard line.

But this time, the Spoofhound defense stood its ground, and the Indians turned the ball over on downs on the five.

The Indian defense wasn’t about to let the Hounds loose again, and quickly forced Maryville to punt again with 3:17 left in the third quarter, and the Indians got possession on the Spoofhound 37-yard line.

Clark County called a reverse from Vineyard to Morrow, which gained a few yards and kept the Hound defense guessing. Vineyard succeeded on two runs to get the ball to the five-yard line, but the Hound defense stood strong.

Facing a 4th down and four on the six yard line, Coach Matt Smith called on Kolt Kiger, who kicked his first career field goal to give the Indians a 10-7 lead just three seconds into the final quarter.

“I felt we had as good a chance with a field goal as a running play,” said Smith.

“It felt real clean. I was happy to see in go through,” said Kiger, who had attempted only one other field goal this season.

Maryville would have one more possession, and they very nearly took advantage of it, driving all the way to the Indian two-yard line before being turned away again, as Mattson was stopped on a 4th and goal run from the two, and Clark County again took over on downs with 4:58 left in the game.

As the thousands of Clark County fans chanted “Fear The Spear”, the Indians burned time off the clock, with Vineyard gaining a couple first downs and an important first down completion to Kiger at midfield to keep the drive alive.

As the clock ran out, the Indians celebrated the school’s first state championship, and the Indian cheerleaders brought the championship trophy onto the field..

“The kids just battled all game. They just kept on fighting,” Coach Matt Smith said.

The Indians gained only 281 yards of total offense in the game. Vineyard led the team with 121 net yards, followed by Allen with 68, Justin Alderton with 20 and Matt Morrow with 5.

Allen was 7 of 17 for 63 yard in the win, and Bryan Plenge led all receivers with three catches for 23 yards. Kolt Kiger, Ethan Horton and Javis Vineyard each had one catch on the day.

After returning to Kahoka, the team was escorted into town by police and fire trucks with lights and sirens, and a standing room only crowd greeted Class 2 State Champion Indians in the gym, where the victory celebration resumed.

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