Indians buried in early Yellow Jacket avalanche
Berkeley Springs fell behind Moorefield 21-0 in the first 3:25 of the annual Homecoming game at Morgan Field on Friday, September 30, and was unable to recover, as the Yellow Jackets returned to Hardy County with a 53-14 victory.
Moorefield quickly quieted the large homecoming crowd with a 95-yard kickoff return by Zachary Laughlin to take an immediate 7-0 lead.
Berkeley Springs started its first drive at their own 20-yard line, after a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, but were forced to punt when quarterback Mark Cowles was sacked on third down.
A short punt set the Yellow Jackets up on the Berkeley Spring 42-yard line, and on first down fullback Louis Richardson, Jr. found an opening over left tackle, bounced to the outside, and sprinted down the sideline for Moorefield's second touchdown in as many touches. The extra point was true and Moorefield took a 14-0 lead at the 9:44 mark of the opening quarter.
Andrew Truax returned the ensuing kickoff down to the Moorefield 42-yard line, but a second-down fumble was recovered by Moorefield and four plays later the Yellow Jackets hit paydirt again to take a commanding 21-0 lead, with still 8:35 to play in the first quarter.
Moorefield recovered an ensuing onside kick, but the Indian defense stiffened and forced a Moorefield punt that sailed into the end zone for a touchback.
Cowles hit Truax, who had nine catches for over 100 yards on the night, for 15 yards on first down, but the drive stalled and Berkeley Springs was forced to punt once more.
Moorefield took over on their own 37 yard line and moved inside Berkeley Springs 30-yard line before being stopped on downs.
Fullback TJ Patrick started a 9-play, 74-yard, scoring-drive for Berkeley Springs with an 11-yard run on first down, and then capped off the drive by snaring a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cowles with 10:39 left in the second quarter. Zach Wise's PAT was perfect and the Moorefield lead was cut to 21-7.
The Yellow Jackets answered 23 seconds later when quarterback Adam Snyder hit Michael Pultz, streaking down the sideline, for a 74-yard touchdown. The extra point was good and just that quickly Moorefield stretched the lead back to 21 points.
Berkeley Springs had a punt blocked on their next possession, but the Indian defense stepped up and stopped Moorefield on downs inside their own 2-yard line.
The Tribe mounted another sustained drive, but a costly turnover shifted the momentum back to the Yellow Jackets, when the reliable Truax fumbled deep in Yellow Jacket territory.
Truax caught three passes during the drive, including one that gave the Indians a first down at their own 45-yard line with just over three minutes left in the half. Zach White then ripped off a 7-yard run on first down before Cowles hooked up with his favorite target once more. Truax broke clear and was headed to the end zone when he fumbled the ball inside Moorefield's 10-yard line. The Yellow Jackets pounced on the lose ball, taking over on their own 9-yard line.
"That's the second week in a row that we had guys ready to score and they simply dropped the ball," said Berkeley Springs coach Angelo Luvara.
“Andrew wasn't trying to switch hands, or anything like that, he just said the ball got wet and slipped out of his grasp. It is just one of those things."
The Indians forced a punt and got the ball back at the Moorefield 42-yard line. Cowles hooked up once more with Truax who moved the ball down to the Yellow Jacket 22-yard line with just over a minute left in the opening half. But, on second down from the 22, Cowles threw an interception that was returned close to the midfield stripe.
With just 45 seconds remaining in the half Moorefield moved the ball all the way down the field and scored on a 3-yard touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. The extra point was wide, but Moorefield went to the locker room with a 34-7 lead.
"It just seems like, over the past couple of weeks, that when we have an opportunity to get momentum back on our side something bad happens," Luvara said.
Moorefield took advantage of another Indian turnover to begin the third quarter, and stretched their lead to 41-7 when Lauglin reeled in a 25-yard touchdown pass (his third TD of the game), only two-and-a-half minutes into the quarter.
Berkeley Spring answered right back, putting together a 10-play, 55-yard, drive of their own to cut the lead to 41-14. White, who rushed for 136 yards on the night, capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
The Yellow Jackets scored on their ensuing drive and added a fourth-quarter touchdown for the final margin of victory.
"We just got too far behind and couldn't quite make things happen," Luvara said. “The kids played hard and we had our opportunities to get back into the game. This team doesn't quit, but they have got to stop beating themselves."
Berkeley Springs, 2-4, travel to Keyser this Friday before hosting Clear Spring in the final home game of the year on October 14.
The final home game against Clear Spring is being dubbed "Alumni Night," as Coach Luvara, and the rest of the Indian staff, invite former Berkeley Springs players into the team locker room before, after, and during the halftime of the game. Luvara asked that alumni planning to attend call his office at 304-258-2871, Ext. 133 and leave their name, year of graduation and phone number.
First downs 10 15
Rushing yards 32-146-1 td
Passing yards 12-25-129-1 td-4 ints
Total yards 57-275 54-456
Ind rushing - White 19-136-1 td; Patrick 8-41; Michael Wolfe 3-14; Cowles 5 - (-29)
Receiving - Truax 9-101; Preston Hovermale 1-15; Brady Spielman 1-8 and Patrick 1-5-1 td
Tackels - AJ LaFollette 11, Kyle Shambaugh 11, Cody Burch 9, Loguen McKee 9 and Richard Montelius 9