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Indian Creek pockets first win

YORKVILLE – Indian Creek entered Friday night’s game against homestanding Buckeye Local in unchartered waters.

The Redskins have blossomed into an OVAC big-school power over the past 18 years under the adept tutelage of head coach Andrew Connor. His youthful and rebuilding charges entered the season on the heels of back-to-back 5A conference championships and the school’s first OHSAA playoff win on the strength of a 10-2 mark.

However, 2020 hasn’t been kind to Indian Creek. The Redskins dropped their first three contests.

Connor’s crew started righting the ship at the expense of the Panthers, pocketing a workmanlike 30-8 triumph at WWII Memorial Stadium. Creek has an acid test in its next start as it plays host to St. Clairsville Thursday at Robert Kettlewell Stadium.

Buckeye Local, meanwhile, remains winless in four starts. Coach Roger Herbert’s Panthers will look to break into the win column Friday when they welcome Monroe Central.

Matt Schaefer turned in a sparkling effort in helping to propel the Wintersville-based crew run past the Panthers. The 220-pound four-year letterman carried 23 times for 127 yards and all four Creek touchdowns.

“I thought our kids played with enthusiasm,” said an elated Connor. “We played with more consistency tonight and we were able to control the ball on offense. Those were two areas we needed to clean up.

“Other than one big play on defense I thought we did a real good job of containing their offense,” he added. “Our seniors did a good job of being leaders. When you are 0-3 someone needs to step up and be a leader. Our seniors stayed together and fought together. I am proud of them.”

Indian Creek drew first blood on the game’s initial possession. The Redskins drove 60 yards on eight plays, capped by a Schaefer 15-yard burst at the 8:59 mark. The pass for two failed.

The Panthers threatened late in the first quarter, marching to the Creek 10, fueled by a nifty 30-yard run by Brian Palmer Jr. and a facemask penalty against the Redskins. The hosts, however, were stymied by two incompletions and a quarterback sack, turning the ball back over on downs at their 22.

Creek made it a 9-0 halftime lighting, courtesy of a 25-yard field goal by sophomore Austin Herald.

The Redskins used a mammoth 15-play, 71-yard drive to extend their lead. Schaefer went in from the one with 5:31 left in the third quarter. Herald’s boot made it a 16-0 Creek advantage.

The Buckeye Local highlight of the night came via a 40-yard touchdown burst by talented sophomore quarterback Trey Hoover at the 4:07 juncture of the third. Hoover subsequently connected with Palmer for the bonus points, making it a one possession game at 16-8.

Creek responded immediately.

The Redskins took the ensuing kickoff and drove 53 yards to paydirt with Schaefer going in from the three with 1:13 to play in the third. Senior quarterback David Ferroni and Jadyn Irizarry teamed on the conversion pass, upping the lead to 24-8.

The Redskins tacked on an insurance six-pointer as Schaefer scored from a yard out with 10:39 remaining in the contest. The PAT kick was blocked. The final touchdown was set up after the visitors recovered a Buckeye fumble at the Panther 14.

Creek finished with 265 yards on the ground. Senior Jeremy Brown also had a solid night with 95 infantry yards on 17 carries.

Ferroni completed six-of-nine passes for 45 yards.

Buckeye totaled 106 yards on the ground with Hoover picking up 51 stripes on 13 tries. He also threw for 105 stripes.

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