On the first play from scrimmage, Donavan Scisney took a counter play 73 yards for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead on visiting Brown County.
That one play erased the memory of last year's 1-9 season and paved the way for a 44-14 romp over the Eagles (0-1). It's the Clovers' first 1-0 start since 2004.
"I said we were going to score on that first play because they're going to have a safety rolling with our guy going into motion, and we're going to hit them on the backside with the counter. And that's exactly what happened. The kids start believing you," CHS coach Kyle Winkler said.
The 73-yard run was Scisney's longest of the night, but it was just the beginning of a coming out party for the junior speedster. On the night, he ran 15 times for 246 yards and five touchdowns.
But the opening score wasn't just about Scisney; it gave the entire team the confidence to keep rolling for the rest of the night.
"It's a confidence booster. As soon as we scored I knew spirits were going to be high, enthusiasm was going through the roof. Everybody plays harder, faster and strong once you put points on the board," Winkler said.
"I told them that if we won the first quarter, we were winning the game," he added. "That's exactly what we did. We came out and won that first quarter."
Scisney scored the Clovers' first four touchdowns, with scoring runs of 6 and 49 yards later in the first and a 28-yarder early in the second.
The surprise play of the night closed out the scoring in the first half. On fourth-and-23 from the Cloverdale 46, Jeff Couse took a reverse and rolled out for a 54-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Atwood.
The Clovers led 32-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, it was back to the ground for the Clovers. Quarterback Jordan Brinkman took an option play 47 yards to paydirt with 7:34 remaining in the quarter. Scisney scored his final touchdown on a 34-yard run with 3:51 to go in the third.
The Clovers racked up an astounding 500 yards of offense, with 443 coming via the rush. They rushed for 9.4 yards per carry.
The Eagles' only two scores came late, as their varsity put up 14 fourth quarter points on a Cloverdale defense composed largely of freshmen.
Before Winkler pulled the varsity, the Eagles totaled a paltry 48 yards through three quarters.
"I said, 'OK, boys, let's do something really simple tonight. We're going to line up in one defense. We're going to adjust to where their tight end is. And we're going to go. And we're going to go full speed. Don't think about what gap you got. Just go where they go, and let's play some football,'" Winkler said. "That showed that if you take a lot of the thinking out for a teenager, and they just go to the ball, good things happen."
The Clovers still have some things to perfect, as they committed 12 penalties for 122 yards and struggled on special teams. In particular, the kickoff team surrendered some long returns, and they made just two of seven extra points.
"If we get the little things tweaked out and get the kids knowing when they're supposed to be out there," Winkler said. "We had a couple of times when we only had 10 guys out there. That burns me up sometimes because we go over it and over it."
The Clovers travel to Princeton (0-1) at 7 p.m. next Friday. The Tigers opened their season with a 36-0 loss to Wood Memorial on Friday.
"We're going to have so much confidence going down there to play them," Winkler said. "We can't take them lightly; they're going to be a fast team as well. We've got to buckle it down and see if we can get 2-0."
|Brown County||0 0 0 14 -- 14|
|Cloverdale||19 13 12 0 -- 44|
CHS -- Scisney 73-yd. run (Burdette kick good) 11:43
CHS -- Scisney 6-yd. run (Burdette kick blocked) 4:17
CHS -- Scisney 49-yd. run (Burdette kick blocked) 1:57
CHS -- Scisney 28-yd. run (Burdette kick good) 9:01
CHS -- Atwood 54-yd. pass from Couse (Burdette kick no good) 4:50
CHS -- Brinkman 47-yd. run (Burdette kick no good) 7:34
CHS -- Scisney 34-yd. run (Burdette kick no good) 3:51
BC -- Robinson 30-yd. pass from Boknecht (Ercoli pass good) 5:13
BC -- Boknecht 29-yd. run (Wedan kick no good) 2:03
Brown County (0-1, 0-0 WIC):
Rushing (20 carries, 49 yards) -- Boknecht 4-33, Clark 8-10, Bechtel 4-2, Sweeney 2-1, Ercoli 2-0, Wedan 1-(-2)
Passing (4-25, 75 yards, 1 INT, 9 TD) -- Boknecht 4-25-1-1, 79 yards
Receiving (4 catches, 79 yards) -- Robinson 3-66, Wedan 1-13
Cloverdale (1-0, 0-0 WCC):
Rushing (47 carries, 443 yards) -- Scisney 15-246, Brinkman 6-117, Couse 12-58, Brumfield 7-19, Atwood 1-10, Grever 1-(-1), Wilson 2-(-2), Warren 2-(-4)
Next game: Cloverdale visits Princeton at 7 p.m. next Friday.