CLOVERDALE -- Defending their field on homecoming, Cloverdale took it to Cascade early and made plays at key times throughout the night to come away with a 22-6 win.
For Clover coach Kyle Winkler, it was simply a case of wanting it more.
"The key to this game was pride. We felt when we came into the game that we were going to win," Winkler said.
The Clovers' pride and some big plays were the difference, as Cascade had the bulk of the game. The Cadets ran 76 offensive plays to the Clovers' 31.
But the only stat that matters is the scoreboard, and the Clovers had the upper hand there the entire night.
"We took it down on the first series and just went down their throat and scored," said Winkler.
"I told them we gotta be the more physical team and take it right to them," he continued. "All we did was run basically three different plays. We ran right at them all night long when we were on offense."
From there, Cascade dominated the action for the remainder of the quarter. The Cadets embarked on an impressive 19-play 50-yard drive. But Cascade couldn't take care of business where it really counted. A sack on second-and-goal from the six took away their touchdown opportunity. With Joel Fisher missing the 30-yard field goal attempt, they had nothing to show for the effort.
From there, most of the first half was trading possessions. The Clover defense allowed some yards, but made plays when it had to. The biggest of these came with 3:10 to go in the half, Mitch Moy intercepted a pass from Cascade's Conner Guthrie, setting the Clovers up at the Cascade 45.
The Clovers drove down the field, mainly on runs, but also with a Zach McCallie pass to Nick Keefer for 18 yards, one of only two Clover passes on the night.
A Gray two-point conversion made it 14-0 at the intermission.
The third quarter was similar to the first for Cascade. They ran 21 plays in the quarter, to Cloverdale's six. However, the Clover defense continued to make stops at key points to keep the Cadets off the scoreboard.
The score remained 14-0 after three quarters.
On the first drive of the third quarter, the Clovers came up with another interception. This time, it was Chad Cummings doing the damage. After intercepting the ball around midfield, he returned it to the Cascade 13 yard line.
On the very next play, Cummings was rewarded. He caught McCallie's second -- and final -- pass of the night, this one for 13 yards and a touchdown.
McCallie finished 2-for-2 passing for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Another Gray two-point conversion made the score 22-0 Clovers.
As the fourth quarter wore on, Guthrie began getting in a rhythm passing for Cascade, but it was too late for the Cadets.
The Cadets were able to add a touchdown with 3:11 remaining, to make the score 22-6.
However, the Clovers ran the clock down to 0:13 before turning the ball over on downs.
The Cadets took over, but on the second play, Keefer intercepted a Guhtrie pass as time expired.
Winkler emphasized the win was a matter of confidence, and players believing in the new system.
"A lot of the games (this year) we came in flat," Winkler said. "We knew what teams we could beat and we knew what teams were probably going to beat us, but tonight we felt like we were going to win the game from the get-go.
"It was just players finally buying into the program and finally doing what they're told to do. Everybody did their job tonight and the scoreboard proves it," he concluded.
The Clovers (3-2, 1-2 WCC) host South Putnam at 7 p.m. next Friday.
Cascade 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Cloverdale 6 8 0 8 -- 22
Cloverdale -- Gray 8 run (kick blocked) 9:51
Cloverdale -- Secrest 12 run (Gray conversion) 0:00
Cloverdale -- McCallie to Cummings 13 pass (Gray conversion) 9:06
Cascade -- Helmick 9 run (run failed) 3:11
First Downs -- Cascade 18, Cloverdale 9
Punts-Yards -- Cascade 1-5, Cloverdale 3-105
Fumbles-Lost -- Cascade 3-0, Cloverdale 1-1
Penalties-Yards -- Cascade 5-50, Cloverdale 5-53
Cascade (1-4, 1-2 WCC):
Rushing -- (46 carries, 163 yards) -- Helmick 16-65, Guthrie 16-40, Quinn 9-20, Prine 6-13.
Passing -- (11-29-0-3, 100 yards) -- Guthrie 11-29-0-3, 116 yards
Receiving -- (11 catches, 116 yards) -- Mink 6-47, Riley 3-39, Grooms 2-25
Cloverdale (3-2, 1-2 WCC):
Rushing -- (36 carries, 154 yards) -- Gray 16-72, McCallie 7-25, Dayhuff 5-25, Spinks 5-12, Boller 2-7, Secrest 1-12, Cummings 1-1
Passing -- (2-2-1-0, 31 yards) -- McCallie 2-2-1-0, 31 yards
Receiving -- (2 catches, 31 yards) -- Keefer 1-18, Cummings 1-13
Next game -- Cloverdale hosts South Putnam at 7 p.m. next Friday.