Indian Creek - September 1, 2017
Playing Indian Creek has never been an easy task, especially in recent years with Coach Andrew Conner at the helm of the Jefferson County school, and this Friday evening provided no exception.
Plagued by four fumbles and an interception, all in their own territory, Coach Josh Ludwig and his 2017 record dropped to 1-1 with a 27-0 loss before a disappointed crowd on their home field. It wasn’t pretty.
The game got off to a 7:30 p.m. start with the Potters kicking off to their guests, who immediately launched into a seven-play drive starting at their own 43, moving to the EL 41 from where Troy Crosky intercepted a tipped ball thrown by Brennon Norris.
Unable to advance, Payton Adkins punted from his own 46 to the 21 where Creek called for a fair catch. Eight plays later, the visitors could get no further than midfield, thanks to some good defense and a pass breakup by Michael Loy.
Again, however, it was three-and-out for EL with the punt by Adkins from his own 22 setting Creek up on the EL 43. Five plays later the visitors had worked their way down to the 16-yard line where their drive stalled, forcing a field goal attempt by Brandon Hiles, who split the uprights on the initial play of the second quarter, and it was 3-0 in favor of the Creek.
It didn’t take long for Coach Conner and his team to strike again when a fumbled EL football set his team up 18 yards away from the promised land, which they found in three plays when Trevor Fante took it to the house from the five with 10:55 remaining in the half. The conversion kick by Hiles made it 10-0.
Disaster quickly raised its ugly head once again following the ensuing kickoff, when a fumbled snap led to a six-play Creek drive and a Hiles field goal at 6:56 in the second quarter to make it 13-0.
The big red machine would score once more prior to the half on a one-yard plunge by Cody Allen with 2:37 on the clock until the break. Hiles made it 20-0 with the Potters unable to get beyond midfield in their final possession of the half.
The only other scoring of the game occurred with 9:36 left to play. It came at the conclusion of seven-play drive with Fante doing the honors on a five-yard run. Hiles, who scored nine points on the night, converted to make it 27-0, the final, in favor of the Creek.
“It’s going to be really hard to win a football game when you turn the ball over five times, especially when you give it up where we did,” said dejected coach, Josh Ludwig following the game.
“We need to get back to holding on to the ball and limiting turnovers. We were unable to pick up their blitzes,” Ludwig continued. “Kudos to Coach Conner and their defense. They swarm and play very hard. We didn’t have an answer for them tonight,” he concluded.
This year’s game program has a bonus feature with a large photo insert featuring a picture of the football team on one side and the marching band on the other.
It was nice to see Jim Holl at the game. The 85-year older is a retired writer with The Canton Repository and author of From Potters to Pilots. Written in 2013, the book covers Jim’s attendance at eleven different games in the Ohio Valley. It is currently on sale at the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame for $15.
East Liverpool has a 7-7 record with the down river school before it became Indian Creek and 7-14 before Wintersville merged with Mingo Junction to form a new district.
An notable impressive marching band made up of 140 members accompanied the visitors and performed an extraordinary half time show.
Not taking a back seat to anyone, the EL Band sat in the student section on the concrete bleacher side rather than in the end zone for the first time in a number of years.