With 4:21 glowing on the scoreboard, the Cloverdale Clovers looked well on their way to notching their second straight win. At 4:19 that all change.
With 4:19 on the clock, the Clovers coughed up the ball and watched as the visiting Cascade Cadets marched down the field. Three minutes later, the Cadets punched the ball into the end zone for the win.
The night started well for the Clovers, as dusted off a little razzle-dazzle. Jordan Hayden hit Jordan Brinkman for a short gain, who quickly turned and tossed the ball to a racing Trevor Lockwood. Lockwood blazed a trail down the sideline and was tackled inside the 10-yard line.
Less than 10 yards stood between the Clovers and a score. The distance proved to be too great. Cloverdale was unable to break the goal line after a fourth and 10.
CHS head coach Kyle Winkler acknowledged the fact that the tiny mistakes were what did in the Clovers on Friday.
"Mental mistakes killed us," he said. "Little, minor blocking errors and the next thing you know, it's fourth and 10. We get on the five yard line, it's just, mentally our kids are just not always there sometimes to start the game."
To make matter worse, on the ensuing possession, Cascade put together an eight play, 90-yard drive to score the game's first points at the 6:15 mark.
After a Cloverdale fumble, their defense came up huge on a fourth and one when Brinkman stood up Cascade's Alex Arthur to give the ball back to the Clovers.
In the second quarter, Cloverdale moved the ball down the field, but was unable to move into the end zone and lost the ball on downs.
A bright spot for the Clovers was just before have; Jeff Couse went airborne and intercepted a Colin Smith pass.
Following halftime, Cloverdale's defense continued to play strong. They withstood two big drives from the Cadets and didn't allow them to score for the third quarter.
The Clovers got on the board in the fourth quarter after Dillin Gray recovered a Donavan Scisney fumble in the end zone bringing the Clovers within one. Cloverdale sent their kicking unit on the field, but after a Cadet penalty that moved the ball just outside of the goal line, Winkler called them off. They set up and Zack Couse powered the ball in, giving the Clovers an 8-7 advantage.
The Clovers had problems stopping the rush on the evening and Winkler noted that it was a matter of wrapping up the running and finishing the play. On the Cadets next possession, it was the pass the ended the Clovers hopes of a second win.
After Cloverdale fumbled the ball with 4:19 remaining, Cascade's Justin Helmick rushed the ball twice for 16 yards, then Smith connected with Chris Mink for a 33-yard gain. Four plays later, Smith punched the ball in from a yard out for the lead and ultimately the win with 1:03 remaining.
Winkler commented after the game that his cornerback was in position, it was just a matter of inches.
"We knew when they went to trips that they were either going to throw fade routes along the sidelines. The kid made, the corner was there, he just jumped higher than our kid -- that's all it came down to," Winkler said.
Cloverdale will host South Putnam Friday at 7 p.m. and the game plan for the Clovers is a simple one -- hit them and hit them hard.
"I already told the kids, I don't care the score of the game, we're going to hit them harder than they hit us," Winkler commented. "That is our goal. I know North Putnam beat them because they hit them and we're going to hit them. Were going to hit them, hit them, hit them and we're obviously going to have to tackle them once we hit them."
Cascade 7 0 0 7 -- 14
Cloverdale 0 0 0 8 -- 8
Cascade -- Helmick 15yd. run (Laston kick) 6:15
Cloverdale -- Gray fumble rec. in end zone (conversion good) 10:41
Cascade -- Smith 1yd. run (Laston kick) 1:03
Cloverdale -- Gray 9-40, Scisney 5-28, J. Couse 2-18, Hayden 2-8, Brinkman 2-2.
Cascade -- Helmick 20-126, Smith 12-86, Arthur 9-38, Settles 9-34, Younge 4-9, Mink 1-6.
Cloverdale -- Hayden 5-10-0-0 91 yards, Brinkman 1-1-0-0 1 yard
Cascade -- Smith 2-3-0-1 36 yards
Cloverdale -- Lockwood 2-61, Burdette 1-10, Brinkman 1-11, Scisney 1-9
Cascade -- Mink 1-33, Arthur 1-3