Junior Donavan Scisney continued his strong season, collecting 187 yards on 27 carries and accounted for both of the Clovers touchdowns. Head coach Kyle Winkler said he issued a challenge to his team and they responded in a big way.
"I went downstairs into the locker room and challenged all the seniors and challenged all the linemen," he said. "I said 'It's zero-to-zero, it's a two-quarter game now. It's going to be who wants it most up front. Who's going to be the most physical, who's going to pound the ball and do all the small things right.' We had a few flags here and there, but offensive line, big time, they got the challenge and stepped up and did it."
Greencastle had the chance to score just before the half as they were in field goal range, but a negative yardage play pushed the Tiger Cubs back. Senior kicker Kyle Parker sized up a 43-yard attempt, but his kick came up short, resulting in the halftime being scoreless.
Winkler said the Tiger Cubs' final drive of the first half had him a little nervous, but was happy that his defense made some plays to keep Greencastle off the scoreboard.
"In the second quarter, I was really scared because I looked at the clock and there was six minutes or so to go and I said 'Oh crap, we might not get the ball back until two minutes' and we didn't see the ball. They got it all the way down there and kicked a field goal and missed it," Winkler said.
The Clovers were able to take the opening kickoff in the second half and march down the field in 11 plays, ending with Scisney galloping in from 36-yards out to put Cloverdale in front. His two-point conversion had the Clovers in the lead at 8-0.
The Tiger Cubs caught fire on their opening drive as well. Greencastle put together a 10-play, 62-yard drive, capped by Jesse Vermillion bulldozing his way in from six yards out. However, the Tiger Cubs were stopped on their two-point conversion, leaving the Clovers in the lead at 8-6.
It looked as if the Tiger Cubs would pin the Clovers at the one-yard line when Parker's kickoff died just before entering the endzone. Much to everyone's surprise, Scisney scooped up the ball and began racing down the sideline, finally being forced out at the 42-yard line. Unfortunately for Cloverdale, the drive stalled, but it would seal the ball the next time they touched the ball offensively.
Following a Greencastle three-and-out, Cloverdale was looking at a third-and-10 when quarterback Jordan Brinkman's pass fell incomplete. However, a yellow flag lay at the feet of the quarterback and GHS was cited for roughing the passer to keep the drive alive.
Two plays later, Scisney struck again. The junior tailback sliced through the GHS defense and scored from 19 yards out, giving the Clovers a 14-6 advantage -- an advantage they never relinquished.
Asked what he saw from his team in the loss, GHS head coach Eric Davis said he saw what he'd seen the week prior.
"I saw what I saw all week at practice," Davis said. "What I saw tonight was a reflection of how we approached this week and that was sloppy, we had turnovers, we had penalties, lackadaisical effort -- and that one's me and that's on our coaches. We saw it this week and we got after them and we have to find a way for them to respond.
"Because if we don't respond, the rest of our season can go one-way or the other. We've got chances to win, opportunities to win, but we killed drives early on with penalties and didn't take care of ourselves. That's the bottom line on tonight," he said.
Davis said Cloverdale's a good team and they fought hard and deserved the win. When asked if he thought the loss would leave a lasting impression on the team, he said he would see in a few days time.
"We'll find out this week at practice. We'll find out whether this kind of hits home," Davis said.
For Winkler and his Clovers, he believes they just need to keep everything where it currently is.
"We have to keep the momentum and keep the positive attitudes and we have to get everybody on the same page," Winkler said. "We spread things out as in the shotgun and stuff and we come out tonight under center and just run it right up the middle. It's not going to be anything new for the next two teams for us, so we're not going to sneak anything in.
"It's going to come down to the battle of wills against Owen Valley. They have big kids, but it's going to be who has the biggest heart come Friday night down there. After that it's the Cougars, my gosh, I've seen them on film. They're man-eaters," he said.
He said the Clovers played them tight for a half last year and his team just needs to play its game.
"We can play, when we play football the right way, we can play with people. Sometimes luck has to go your way as well, but the next two weeks is going to be a lot of pounding the football up the middle and see what happens," Winkler said.
Cloverdale will travel to Owen Valley Friday as the Tiger Cubs host Cascade. GHS will kick off at 7 p.m., while the Clovers get things going at 7:30 p.m.
Greencastle 0 0 6 0 -- 0
Cloverdale 0 0 8 6 --14
CHS -- Scisney 36-yard run, Scisney 2pt. conversion 5:26
GHS -- Vermillion 6-yard run, conversion failed :58
CHS -- Scisney 19-yard run, conversion failed 3:25
Rushing -- Vermillion 5-38 TD, Hesler 14-38, Shuee 7-30, Parker 6-19, Christy 4-(-6)
Passing -- Parker 4-8 37 yards, INT
Receiving -- Remsburg 3-29, Christy 1-8
Rushing -- Scisney 27-187 2TD, Hall 12-16, Brinkman 4-(-1)
Passing -- Brinkman 1-4 6 yards
Receiving -- Lockwood 1-6