Creek still rules Buckeye 8
EAST LIVERPOOL–It may only have been week two, but Friday’s game between East Liverpool and Indian Creek was infused with major conference and playoff implications.
After four quarters that felt like a playoff slugfest, the Redskins had enough to pull away late for a 27-13 victory at Patterson Field.
The Redskins improve to 2-0 and 1-0 in the Buckeye 8 Athletic League North Division and now sit in the early driver’s seat. The Potters fall to 1-1, 1-1.
“It did feel like a playoff game tonight,” Indian Creek coach Andrew Connor said. “East Liverpool is a very good football team, I can’t say enough about what coach (Josh) Ludwig does here. They play very hard for him. Tonight was what the Buckeye 8 is all about, it was a good, tough game.”
With the game tied at 13 and 11:19 remaining in the game, the Redskins took over at their own 40 and embarked on a touchdown drive that lasted nearly seven minutes and gave them the lead for good. Trevor Fante fought off multiple tacklers from 11 yards out for the go-ahead score with 4:53 left.
Fante finished with 162 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, shouldering the bulk of the load for an Indian Creek ground attack that kept pounding away at the Potters all night and piled up 292 yards.
“Our strongest point this season has been our run-stopping and Indian Creek was able to run on us tonight,” East Liverpool coach Josh Ludwig said. “We didn’t feel like that was going to happen tonight and it did happen, so we’re going to have to fix the issues and we will.”
After a 4th-and-4 pass from East Liverpool fell incomplete with 3:50 left, the Redskins took over at the East Liverpool 41 and put the game on ice. Fullback Tyler Smarrella rumbled in for the 25-yard game-clinching score with 1:23 left.
“Our offense just kept grinding it out and grinding it out and I think we wore them down at the end,” Connor said. “We preach physical, hard-nosed football to our kids and that’s what they were able to do tonight.”
The Potters struggled for much of the night against the tough Indian Creek defense, but found the end zone with a couple of big plays.
On East Liverpool’s opening drive, Nick Woodyard grabbed a short pass from quarterback Nate Davis and raced 84-yards down the sideline to make it 7-0 Potters.
With the score tied at 7 to start the second half, the Potters took the opening kickoff and breezed down the field. Derek Carter scored from 24 yards out to make it 13-7 with 10:55 left in the third quarter. From there, though, the Redskins rolled up their sleeves and had enough to finish the game strong.
Davis finished 11-for-29 for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Carter ran for 83 yards on 16 carries. Woodyard hauled in four passes for 111 yards.
The Potters will try and re-group next week when they welcome Salem to Patterson Field. The Redskins host Indian Valley.
“We have to keep our heads up,” Ludwig said. “It’s a long season ahead of us and we still have high hopes for this team. Indian Creek is a good program and they were ready to play tonight. But one game is not going to define who we are.”
¯Indian Creek has now won eight straight games against the Potters.
¯The Redskins have not lost a Buckeye 8 North Division game since East Liverpool and Beaver Local game aboard in 2014.
¯Connor got a Gatorade bath after the game to commemorate his 100th career victory.
“I’ve been lucky and blessed with great kids and great coaches,” Connor said. “They’ve made a guys like me look smart. I’m very appreciative of all the people who have come through this program.”
Indian Creek 27, East Liverpool 13
Indian Creek: 7-0-6-14–27
E. Liverpool: 7-0-6-0–13
EL: Nick Woodyard 84 pass from Nate Davis (Austin Deering kick) 6:53
IC: Trevor Fante 15 run (Brandon Hiles kick) 3:54
EL: Derek Carter 24 run (kick failed) 10:55
IC: Matt Schaefer 11 run (kick failed) 1:17
IC: Trevor Fante 11 run (Hiles kick) 4:53
IC: Tyler Smarrella 25 run (Hiles kick) 1:23
PASSING: Indian Creek 8-17-58-0-0 (all by Mazar); East Liverpool 11-29-204-1-1 (all by Davis)
RUSHING: Indian Creek 46-292-4 (Fante 28-162-2, Mazar 13-46, Schaefer 10-47-1, Smarrella 1-25-1, Fleming 2-10, Brock Lucas 1-2); East Liverpool 21-80-1 (Carter 16-83-1, Woodyard 2-8, Davis 3 (-11)
RECEIVING: Indian Creek 8-58 (Lucas 4-37, Fleming 4-21); East Liverpool 11-204-1 (Woodyard 4-111, Neal 6-61, Bennett 1-31)
FIRST DOWNS: Indian Creek 18; East Liverpool 10
FUMBLES-LOST: Indian Creek 1-1; East Liverpool 0-0.
PENALTIES-YARDS: Indian Creek 2-15; East Liverpool 5-40.
PUNTS: Indian Creek 5-23; East Liverpool 5-35.4