CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Clovers did a lot of things right Saturday afternoon. They made big plays on offense and defense. A 45-yard touchdown run by Andrew Howard and the goal line stand will be highlights to what is turning into a frustrating season.
But the Turkey Run Warriors earned the 24-6, storm-delayed non-conference victory by taking full advantage of the things Cloverdale did wrong.
The Clovers were consistently inconsistent while falling to 0-4 on the season. Howard ran for 130 yards and one touchdown. Cloverdale was penalized four times, but each came at a bad time.
"We had the one big touchdown run (before the delay Friday) night that we had, that's an example of our (isolation play) working to a tee. We're just inconsistent. Penalties or missed assignments, execution issues. That's the inconsistency," Cloverdale coach John Butler said.
Cloverdale has rescheduled the homecoming queen crowning and other activities for Sept. 21, when the Clovers play South Putnam.
In the battle of two winless football teams, Turkey Run took the opening kickoff 55 yards in just seven plays. Jeff Girdler, who led all ball carriers with 158 yards on 24 carries, scored from the 1-yard line and the two-point conversion gave the Warriors an 8-0 lead they would never surrender.
On Clovers' second possession, the offensive line opened a four-lane highway for Howard and Glenn Sanders gave him a critical down-field block for a 45-yard touchdown run.
Then came the inconsistency. On the two-point conversion pass attempt, Turkey Run was flagged for pass interference. On their second attempt, instead of running or passing for two points from inside the 3-yard line, the Clovers attempted and missed the point-after-touchdown kick, leaving the Warriors with an 8-6 lead.
When play resumed on Saturday, Turkey Run tried to quick-kick the ball on fourth down and 12. Cloverdale's Robert Buskirk blocked the kick and Max Secrest recovered the ball at the Turkey Run 38-yard line.
On the second play from scrimmage, Cloverdale's Howard broke loose for a 17-yard run to the Warriors' 20-yard line. On center Mason Henline's next snap, quarterback Justin Wilson was sacked for a nine-yard loss. Then came a 15-yard penalty and finally a pass interception and Turkey Run had the ball at its own 35-yard line.
Turkey Run ran off eight straight running plays, then surprised Cloverdale with a 39-yard pass from Jeff Woods to Jacob Budd for a 14-6 lead.
Cloverdale was one score away from tying the game in the third quarter when junior Wade Warren broke free for a 32-yard run to the Turkey Run 24-yard line.
On the next play Wilson was sacked for a 10-yard loss, followed by a delay of game penalty. On fourth down and 13 the Clovers fumbled the ball and Turkey Run took over at its own 28-yard line.
On the opening possession of the fourth quarter, Turkey Run drove to the Cloverdale 2-yard line. On fourth and goal, Cloverdale's Devon Bassett made the big stop at the goal line.
"The goal line stand, that was fantastic. We were hoping that would be the spark to get us going, give our kids some confidence. Again, that word consistency keeps coming in to mind," Butler said.
On third down and 10, a Cloverdale back slipped in the end zone, giving Turkey Run a two-point safety, a 16-6 lead and possession of the football again.
Turkey Run took advantage of Cloverdale's punt from the 20-yard line and scored their third touchdown of the day, a five-yard run by Woods.
Cloverdale (0-4, 0-1 in WCC) travels to Cascade (1-3, 0-1).
Turkey Run 8 6 0 10 -- 24
Cloverdale 6 0 0 0 -- 6
TR -- Jeff Girdler 1 run (Riley Saunderman from Jeff Woods), 8-0, 8:49.
C -- Andrew Howard 45 run (kick failed), 8-6, 3:09.
TR -- Jacob Budd 39 pass from Woods (run failed), 14-6, 1:25.
TR -- Safety, tackled Cloverdale back in end zone, 16-6, 6:00 Q4.
TR -- Woods 5 run (Girdler run) 24-6, 1:30 Q4.
First downs 11 7
Rushes-yards 45-225 33-173
Passing yards 56 2
Comp-Att-Int 2-5-1 1-4-1
Total offense 50-281 37-175
Return yards 42 55
Punts-Avg. 4-29.5 3-24.7
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 4-30 4-45
Rushing -- Turkey Run: Girdier 24-158, Saunderman 12-51, Woods 9-16. Cloverdale: Howard 14-130, Warren 2-37, Mescall 6-9, Wilson 10-(-2), Smith 1-(-1).?
Passing -- Turkey Run: Woods 2-5-1--56. Cloverdale: Wilson: 1-4-1-2.
Receiving -- Turkey Run: Budd 2-56. Cloverdale: Warren 1-2.?
Next game -- Next Friday, Cloverdale (0-4, 0-1 in WCC) travels to Cascade and Turkey Run (1-3, 0-2 in WRC) plays at Rockville.