Tribe unable to slow down Clear Spring
Clear Spring made their first trip to Berkeley Springs a memorable one, as they scored on the ground, through the air, and on special teams, to beat Berkeley Springs 46-24 on Friday, October 14, at Morgan Field.
Leading 19-7 at the half, Clear Spring opened the third quarter with an 83-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown run by quarterback, Adam Mellott. The Blazers tacked on the extra point to take a 26-7 lead with 9:01 remaining in the quarter.
After Andrew Truax returned the ensuing kickoff to his own 33-yard tailback Zach White ripped off a 17-yard run and Mark Cowles hit Truax with a pass that quickly moved the ball inside Clear Spring's 37-yard line. White sprinted for five more yards on second down, before fullback T.J. Patrick lowered his head and bowled over a couple of Clear Spring defenders, taking the ball down to the 22 yard line.
Cowles was sacked on second down, and his third down pass fell incomplete, forcing the Indians to attempt a 34-yard field goal. Zach Wise showed off his strong, accurate leg, splitting the uprights with plenty of room to spare to cut Clear Spring’s lead to 26-10 at the 5:43 mark of the third quarter.
Clear Spring quickly recaptured the momentum when Jesse Gentry, took the kickoff from Wise and raced 93 yards to paydirt, giving them the largest lead of the game, 33-10.
The Indians were forced to punt on their ensuing possession. Clear Spring muffed the punt, Berkeley Springs pounced on the loose ball and several plays later, Cowles connected with Truax on a 20-yard scoring strike, breathing some life back into the Indian hopes.
Once more the momentum was short-lived. After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Mellott hooked up with Tylar Habel, who out ran the Berkeley Springs defense 80 yards to put the Blazers in front 39-17.
The 30 point third quarter ended, with Clear Spring holding the upper hand, and the fourth quarter began with them putting the final nail in Berkeley Springs’ coffin.
Clear Spring forced a punt that was downed on their own 49-yard line as the third quarter ended and then scored at the 9:55 mark of the final quarter, when Mellott hit Ryan Aaron from 31 yards out, to build an insurmountable lead.
Despite the lopsided 46-17 score, Berkeley Springs kept battling away and scored the games final touchdown with :00 ticks left on the clock, when Patrick snuck out of the backfield and hauled in a 4-yard TD pass from Cowles. Wise nailed the extra point, making the final 46-24.
The third quarter, which saw a combined four touchdowns and a field goal, was a far cry from the opening quarter. The only points in the opening stanza came on a 1-yard touchdown run from Mellott that gave the Blazers a 6-0 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter.
Clear Spring extended the lead to 13-0 on an 11-yard touchdown run by Sam Elwood with 6:04 remaining in the half, before the Indians got on the board less than two minutes later when White, who ended the night with 163 yards on the ground, took a handoff from Cowles and sprinted through the Blazer defense for a 61-yard touchdown. Wise's PAT was successful cutting Clear Spring's lead to 13-7.
The Blazers answered right back with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Mellott to Lendon Paul, to take a 19-7 lead, with 2:09 remaining in the half.
The Indians marched right back down the field, and had the ball inside the Blazer 20-yard, line before Cowles was picked off in the back of the end zone with 16 seconds remaining, ending the Berkeley Springs scoring threat.
The defensive stand seemed to really energize Clear Spring as they came out of the locker room with both guns blazing and took total control of the game.
"We just aren't playing well defensively right now," said Berkeley Springs coach Angelo Luvara. “I think we are playing pretty well on offense, but we just aren't getting the job done on the other side of the ball. It is especially true against the run. Even though we gave up 250 yards through the air, it was our run defense that really hurt us. We played the run well at the beginning of the year, but recently we have not been able to get enough penetration and are having difficulty slowing teams down. We also had a bunch of penalties that really hurt us in this game. It's disappointing, because it is completely uncharacteristic."
The Indians, 2-6, will play Grafton this Friday, October 21, before ending the season against Northern Garret in Accident, Md. on October 28. The location of Friday's game against Grafton is still up in the air at press time. Apparently there are drainage problems on Grafton's field and the game could be moved to either Bridgeport or Morgantown. Those planning to attend should check to make certain of the location.
"In order for us to have success in our final two games we will have to shore up our run defense and continue improving on offense," Luvara said.
Luvara wanted to thank all the alumni that attended "Alumni Night" against Clear Spring.
"We really had a good response from Berkeley Springs football alumni," said Luvara. “We enjoyed hosting them; the kids really enjoyed it. We hope to make it an annual event."
First downs 17 14
Rushing yards 35-190 33-148
Passing yards 11-20-159-1 td
Total yards 55-310 52-398
Ind. rushing - White 20-163-1 td; Patrick 8-32; Truax 2-22; Cowles 5 (-11)
Receiving - Truax 7-115-1 td; Colten French 3-40; Patrick 1-4-1 td
Tackles - AJ LaFollette 4, Preston Hovermale 4, Loguen McKee 3, Matt Arrowood 3 and CJ Gosey 3.