Clarke football picked up a win over Red Oak Friday night, winning 34-27.
After falling behind 14-12 at the half, Clarke turned it on to pull away and pick up its second win of the season to improve to 2-1.
A team that has been banged up and with players out the last week, Clarke head coach Duane Matthess felt that his team did a good job of stepping up where needed to pull off a win.
“With the adversity that we were going through with the injuries and the sickness, I felt that was probably one of the biggest wins in the three years that I have been here just due to the fact of everything we have been going through.”
The Indians were down several players the week prior as well in a game that resulted in a 40-21 loss to Nodaway Valley.
“They were pretty ecstatic because they knew what they had accomplished. They really reached down, ... to be able to lock in when everyone is exhausted and tired and when some are fighting flu, it was really a huge accomplishment for them,” said Matthess.
Matthess said that Chris Carson played every snap of the game except for one, which was a kickoff. Carson posted a record-setting week for the Indians, rushing for 326 yards on 36 attempts. He scored twice.
Matthess was impressed with Carson’s play, pointing out that it nearly crossed Carson’s rushing total from the previous season (358). The rushing total for Carson broke a 69-year old school record, previously held by Gary Lutz.
“He’s very shifty with his running style and he’s got very good vision when he gets into the second level of his cutbacks,” said Matthess. “It wasn’t a game where he was ripping out big yardage. It was a pretty unassuming 320-yard rushing game.”
Tanner Fry and Jackson Hoag were also players that Matthess pointed out as players who elevated their game by playing more, coming out for minimal snaps.
The Indians ran 66 offensive plays to Red Oak’s 44 and closed out the game by chewing up clock on two 12-play drives in the fourth quarter, both ending in touchdowns.
The Indians had scores from Harley Leeps and Zethann May. Leeps rushed for 35 yards on six attempts and May added 48 yards on 20 attempts.
May also passed for 42 yards, completing 3 of 7 passes.
Osten Blevins led the Indians in tackles with seven solo stops. He and Tanner Fry each had interceptions.
From a defensive standpoint, Matthess is frustrated to allow 27 points to a Red Oak team that was struggling to put points on the board over the last three weeks.
“(It’s) frustrating, from a defensive standpoint. The players aren’t happy with that, but at the same time we knew that we we’re going to give up some plays to them. ... Ultimately we’ve got to be able to tackle better and pursue better and that’s stuff that we’re going to focus on this week because Mount Ayr is definitely going to be a better team than Red Oak.”
UP NEXT – Clarke takes on Mount Ayr in Osceola Friday night. Kickoff comes at 7 p.m.
“We feel we’ll be a different team by the amount of players we’re going to get back,” added Matthess. “That’s one of the things we’re looking at.”