SPENCER -- On a night where the weather conditions were the primary talking point, Cloverdale's football team squared off against Owen Valley on Friday.
Sloppy conditions made for sloppy play at times, but Owen Valley, celebrating senior night, used a punishing running game to defeat the Clovers 48-0.
From the first possession forward, both squads knew that holding onto the ball was going to be a difficult thing to do as the Patriots fumbled away their first possession.
Cloverdale lost the ball on downs before the hosts started the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown run by Drew Bradley to take an early 8-0 lead after a two-point conversion.
The visitors took the ensuing kickoff deep within Patriot territory, but lost the ball on the next snap, setting up the hosts for their next score.
After modest gains on first and second down, Larry Shaffer went on a 69-yard gallop to put Owen Valley ahead 16-0 after a second two-point conversion.
The hosts were in command and driving again, but quarterback Gunnar Rannard, on one of his two passes on the day, threw a floater that Wade Warren intercepted for the Clovers.
Cloverdale gave the ball back immediately as Warren, who had already moved from receiver to tailback, coughed up the ball and saw the hosts recover.
Owen Valley quickly returned the ball yet again and Cloverdale put it in the hands of Taylor Mescall on three straight plays, gaining nearly 50 yards before fumbling back to the Patriots.
Bradley then went off on a 68-yard touchdown run of his own to give the hosts a 24-0 lead.
A blocked punt set up Owen Valley for another score as Shaffer ran in from 24 yards out to increase the lead to 30-0.
The hosts nearly blocked a second punt on Cloverdale's next possession, instead picking up a roughing the punter penalty that also cost the Clovers quarterback Justin Wilson, who did not return after the play.
Backup quarterback Mark Osmialowski only lasted two series before also leaving with an injury, forcing Warren to take up his third position of the game at quarterback.
"It's a matter of doing two things," Cloverdale head coach John Butler said. "One is sticking with kids we have left and running the type of offense and defense that they can execute. We then need to make adjustments to the play calling to put them in positions to be successful on both sides of the ball."
Owen Valley continued their scoring spree in the second half, first with Rannard halfway through the third quarter on a one yard sneak to take the lead to 36-0.
Bradley scored his third touchdown of the contest from 16 yards out just before the quarter ended and Shaffer added his third two minutes into the final frame on a 36-yard run.
With a healthy lead, Owen Valley began to substitute players in and out, breaking up the flow of the game until the final horn went off for a 48-0 Patriots win.
Butler said afterwards that once things started going the wrong way early on, it was hard for the squad to prevent things from snowballing out of control.
"Early on, over the first three or four possessions of the first quarter, we kept shooting ourselves in the foot offensively," Butler said. "Defensively, we missed tackles that we needed to make.
"They kept putting points on the board while we were losing kids. With that, and the environment, things began to slip away pretty quickly."
Butler said the squad for continuing to play and adapting to whatever changes were thrown their direction.
"That's the silver lining in everything," Butler said. "No matter what kind of personnel issues have come up, our kids keep plugging away.
"For example, we had two freshmen who were sitting on the sidelines most of the game. In these conditions, and in the fourth quarter, we said, 'Get in the huddle' and they went and played on.
"We're so proud of the kids for being able to adjust under such drastic conditions and situations," he added. "It's a credit to their character."
Cloverdale concludes the regular season next Friday at North Putnam. Butler said that the squad would work the next week to prepare for any number of different player availability scenarios.
"We'll see what Mark (Osmialowski)'s condition is and whether we can, or should, play him or not," Butler said. "With Wade having moved from receiver to quarterback, he can throw the ball and does know the offense well."
At Owen Valley
OV -- Bradley 41-yard run (Shaffer run) 8:08
OV -- Shaffer 69-yard run (Rannard run) 6:27
OV -- Bradley 68-yard run (Shaffer run) 7:01
OV -- Shaffer 24-yard run (Conversion failed) 3:48
OV -- Rannard 1-yard run (Conversion failed) 6:17
OV -- Bradley 16-yard run (XP no good) :13
OV -- Shaffer 36-yard run (Conversion failed) 10:03
Next game: Cloverdale travels to North Putnam next Friday.