Strong second half lifts Indian Creek by Martins Ferry
WINTERSVILLE — Often times the outcome of a football game — or any sporting event for that matter — boils down to which team makes the most of its opportunities.
Indian Creek capitalized on two turnovers and turned red zone trips into points. Martins Ferry, meanwhile, left several points on the field, especially in the first half.
Add it all up and the Redskins (6-1) picked up a cherished, 21-7, victory against the Purple Riders, who are now 3-4 on the season, Friday night at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium.
“We’re getting better every week, taking care of the ball and not committing big penalties and I think we played harder as the game went along,” Redskins head coach Andrew Connor said. “We’ve stressed winning every minute and playing until the end and our kids responded well.”
Both teams had some success moving the ball in the first half, but the game remained scoreless. Indian Creek finally broke through with 8:43 to go in the third quarter when senior tailback Trevor Fante scored from a yard out. That play was set up by an impressive run down the sideline by Brandon Fleming, which covered 47 yards.
The Purple Riders, meanwhile, struggled to get their offense going in the second half. Prior to seniors Jacob Probst and Dasyn Hores hooking up on a 28-yard touchdown with 3:12 to play in the game, the Purple Riders’ second-half offensive possessions included turning the ball over on downs, a trio of three-and-outs, two interceptions and a lost fumble.
“The game came down to us not taking advantage of opportunities we had on both sides of the ball,” Ferry coach Chas Yoder said. “Collectively, we played a little bit uncharacteristic for us and take nothing away from the Indian Creek because they’re a great football team.”
While the Riders were being victimized by offensive woes, the Redskins did what they do and that was feed Fante and let him work behind a talented and fresh offensive line.
Fante carried 31 times for 155 yards and scored all three of the Redskins touchdowns. His second score came two plays after Ferry coughed it up on its own 8.
“Trevor gets better with the more carries he gets,” Connor said. “A lot of kudos to our line, which opened up some nice holes. Trevor is a good, down-hill runner.”
The Redskins iced the game away when Fleming, who did a little bit of everything, undercut a Ferry receiver and intercepted an underthrown ball. His return, coupled with a personal foul penalty on the Purple, moved the ball to the 18. Fante did the rest and scored from 10 yards out with 4:20 to play.
“I think we wore them down in the second half,” Connor said. “our running game and offensive line kind of dictated where we were going. Then once we got the lead, we were able to change up some coverages and get some pass rush, which I think helped us.”
All told, the Redskins’ defense limited the Purple Riders to 266 yards of offense. Of those, 183 came through the air. Probst was 14-of-36. Chase Goff was the leading rusher with 58 yards on seven carries.
“We need to get better and see what kind of team we’re going to finish up as,” Yoder said. “Are we going to fold or are we going to step up and start playing good, sound football?”