Indian Creek - August 31, 2018
In a battle of epic proportions, the Potters came up short in this one, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort as they racked up 20 points in the second half on the way to a 26-20 loss.
With Peyton Reed at the helm for the Blue and White, things looked hopeless for Coach Josh Ludwig and his crew, when the senior signal caller initiated the start of a comeback. Down 26-0 with 5:18 remaining in the third quarter, Reed capped off a ten-play/80 yard drive that saw him score with 2:01 on the clock. Dominik Vallera converted, but still a long way to go.
Not so fast, sports fans! The Indians were forced to punt on their next possession after six plays, as the contest rolled into the final quarter with the Potters returning the ball to their own 29 – a long way from pay dirt. Not to worry, even though it took 22 plays to score when Reed found Nick Woodyard from one yard out, and Vallera made it 26-13.
With 4:50 remaining in the game, Vallera attempted an on-side kick that failed, but the home team could not advance, punting at 3:01.
Taking over at mid-field, Reed completed pitches to Derrick Carter, Woodyard and a pair to Noah Wheaton that took the ball down to the five from where Reed rolled to the two, then found junior Logan Bennett for a TD.
Vallera converted to make it 26-20, but the senior kicker was unable to navigate the ensuing onside kick, allowing Coach Andrew and his team to run out the clock.
For Creek, who had lost their starting QB, Brennon Norris, to an injury in their opener, it was Sam Mazar under center who was 11 for 18, good for 142 yards. In addition, the 5’10” junior scored what proved to be the back-breaker, with 8:01 in the third quarter to make it what proved to be an insurmountable 26-0 score.
Creek’s junior back Trevor Fante scored on runs of five and one yard in the first quarter and 57 yards at the 8:40 mark in the second period. Brandon Hiles missed his first extra point attempt due to a bobbled snap, and failed again after Mazar’s one-yarder run in the third, but hit his other two attempts.
The two misses could have made a big difference, if the Potters had been able to score another TD.
“The main thing was just heart,” East Liverpool coach Josh Ludwig said. “We still played base defense, but we fought super hard and I’m very proud of our guys for that. I just wish we had a couple more minutes to play.”
“We were saddened to learn that it looks as though Jalen Moman may be out for the season with an injured knee.”
Creek coach Andrew Connor runs a class program, as does athletic director Joe Dunlevy, who is assisted by David Kell.
Peyton Reed put on some sort of a clinic by hitting on 24 of 34 passes, good for 204 yards and a pair of TDs. Fante lugged the ball 17 times for 163 stripes and three scores. Not a bad night’s work for each of the young men.
The team was treated to dinner on Thursday evening featuring Pastor Steve Knisely, newly-named minister of the First United Methodist Church, as guest speaker. The food was provided by Casa de Emanuel and Lou Volino, a first team choice on the recently named all-time Potter team.
Submarine sandwiches were served prior to the trip to Wintersville, as well as Pizza following the game. Thanks to the parents and boosters, especially Bob Wells, for making this happen.