Junior Taylor Mescall powered a strong second half, but the large halftime deficit was too much for Cloverdale to overcome as it fell to Indianapolis Marshall, 33-6.
Cloverdale head coach John Butler said he warned his team about the speed and athleticism of its opponent, but early notice can only help so much.
"Kids kept saying, coming off the field, on defense and on offense, 'They're fast coach, they're fast coach." Butler said. "We tried to tell our kids all week that they have some good athletes on that football team and they're going to be good at whatever they do."
Marshall senior quarterback Demetrius Anderson shredded the Cloverdale defensive. He passed for 116 yards, throwing three touchdowns and running for 110 yards.
Cloverdale quarterback Justin Wilson had little chance to answer as the offense was rarely on the field in the first half.
Marshall controlled the ball, running 42 plays to the Clovers 21.
A defensive stand on the first drive of the game, followed by a botched snap on a punt, put Cloverdale in position to gain early momentum.
After two rushes set up third and seven, running back Andrew Howard took the ball on a handoff, lost a fumble, and was lost for the game with an apparent knee injury.
Marshall took over and scored touchdowns on its next three drives.
The first score was a 48-yard pass from Anderson to Drew Milbrooks.
Cloverdale mounted a seven-play drive, helped out by a Patriots personal foul penalty, but they were forced to punt.
Marshall came back with a nine-play, 78-yard drive, finished off with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Anderon to Derrell Burrus with :30 in the first quarter.
The Clovers muffed the ensuing kickoff, turning the ball back over to the Patriots at their own 41-yard-line.
Eight plays later Middlebrooks punched in another score to put Marshall up 19-0 at 10:07 in the second.
"(Our goal) is to win third downs and put ourselves in a position to score first, to keep our confidence level in our kids high. And we weren't able to do that today," Butler said. "The bottom line is, we were down too much, too soon and we couldn't come back from that."
Wilson threw a third-down interception but, with the help of a few penalties, Cloverdale held their opponent to a punt for the first time since the first drive of the game.
The Clovers still couldn't find an answer on offense and a botched snap on a fourth-down punt attempt gave the Patriots the ball inside the 40-yard-line.
Six plays later, Anderson completed a touchdown pass to Karee Falls with 1:36 left in the first half.
Cloverdale killed the rest of the clock and went into the locker room down 25-0.
"They (Marshall) were tired in the second half, you could tell, but they just -- they didn't quit. They have a very good mental approach playing the sport over there," Butler said. "We have the opportunity to have offense and defensive only players ... and I think that that paid off for us in the second half."
Cloverdale came out with added intensity, then stubbornly tried to run the ball at the heart of the Marshall defense.
Mescall finished with 80 yards on 14 carries, but the Clovers only touchdown of the game came on an eight-yard pass from Wilson to Cody Stout.
The two-point try failed, leaving Cloverdale down 25-6 with 1:19 left in the third quarter.
Milbrooks rounded out the scoring with a two-yard run with 8:52 left in the fourth.
After the game, Butler said the coaching staff will work on making game plans that fit the Clovers personnel.
"We, as a coaching staff, need to look at what it is that we do well offensively, defensively ... and do the best we can with that and come up with a gameplan that we think we can run," he said. "You have plan A and plan B and if those aren't working, you have to kind of take the situation in the game and run plays that you know your kids can run."
Cloverdale is hoping that the game against Marshall will pay off down the road.
The Patriots ran a shotgun spread offense, mixing in no huddle and five-receiver sets -- good preparation as Cloverdale prepares for conference play next week against Monrovia.
Marshall 13 12 0 8 -- 33
Cloverdale 0 0 6 0 -- 6
M -- Demetrius Anderson 48-yard pass to Drew Middlebrooks (Noe Rodriguez kick is good), 7-0, 6:47
M -- Anderson 9-yard pass to Derrell Burrus (2-point try no good), 13-0, 0:30
M -- Middlebrooks 2-yard run (2-point try no good), 19-0, 10:07
M -- Anderson 4-yard pass to Falls (2-point try no good), 25-0, 1:36
C -- Justin Wilson 8-yard pass to Cody Stout (2- point try no good), 25-6, 1:19
M -- Middlebrooks 2-yard run (2-point try is good), 33-6, 8:52
Marshall -- Anderson, 11 for 25, 116 yards, 3 TD
Cloverdale -- Wilson 4 for 8, 18 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int; Osmialowski 0 for 3, 0 yards
Marshall -- Burrus -- 2, 9; Milbrooks -- 9, 45, 2 TD ; Anderson -- 13, 110; Starks -- 1, 8; Nikolas -- 1, 4
Cloverdale -- Mescall -- 14, 80; Brumfield -- 11, 13; Wilson -- 9, 11; Howard -- 2, 0, fumble, Osmialowski -- 1, 0; Smith -- 1, -2
Marshall -- Burrus -- 6, 52, TD; Milbrooks -- 2, 52, TD; Williams -- 5, 36; Falls -- 1, 4, TD
Cloverdale -- Sanders -- 1, 10; Stout -- 1, 8, TD; Brumfield -- 1, 3; Warren -- 1, -3
Marshall -- 17-115
Cloverdale -- 2-20