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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Red Ramblers trample Clovers in sectional semi

Saturday, October 27, 2012

(Photo)
Cloverdale senior quarterback Justin Wilson (18) tries to pull free from the grasp of a Attica defender during Friday's sectional contest. [Order this photo]
CLOVERDALE -- There will be no miracle run. No team of destiny. The Clovers lost to Attica on Friday, 54-0, in what will likely be the final football game for team's nine seniors.

Cloverdale (1-10) hung around for the first quarter, trailing 12-0 after one, but injuries and mental errors continued to pile up until the dejected team went to halftime trailing 48-0.

"We just sputtered offensively and defensively," Cloverdale head coach John Butler said. "Once (Attica) started piling on, the mental side of things kind of took over and the speed went away."

CHS opened the game aggressively. Lining up for the opening kickoff, they boldly called for an onside attempt, trying to seize early momentum.

Kicker Cody Stout squared up and delivered perfect contact. The third hop sent the ball high over the Red Ramblers line and it was grabbed by Cloverdale junior running back Andrew Howard.

"We practiced that all week," Butler said.

He added that, after a fundamental adjustment and making sure to kick the ball just off center, Stout was hitting perfectly more than 70 percent of the time in practice.

Cloverdale stayed aggressive offensively, going for it on fourth-and-four from the Attica 33.

Howard came around the left edge, dragging defenders with him, but he could only muster two yards on the play. He was also knocked out of the game with an apparent concussion.

It was the furthest Cloverdale would be able to advance the ball all game.

Senior quarterback Justin Wilson completed just 4-of-19 pass attempts, including an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Junior fullback Taylor Mescall led the charge on the ground for Cloverdale, gaining 21 yards on 10 attempts.

With an offensive missing it's most consistent player and failing to gain any ground, the defense was forced to step up.

Adjustments in alignment and strategy to prepare for Attica's outside running game proved ineffective.

"The philosophy we had was different than we've had all year," Butler said. "(The defensive ends) cut them off, but we weren't getting pursuit. And without pursuit, the plays still work for (Attica)."

Carson Davis led the way for the Red Ramblers, gaining 162 yards on only nine carries, including three touchdowns.

Lance Whorrall, Brian Day, Brady Sheridan and Jeremiah Dunwell also scored for Attica.

As it became clear that CHS would be unable to come back, Butler spent the rest of the game giving his seniors all the work they could handle, including playing Wilson on defense for the first time this year.

"When it becomes apparent that it isn't going to happen, you get your seniors in there and let them play," Butler said. "We've got some seniors that didn't get to play a whole lot on one side of the ball or the other and we let them get out there and do the best they can and get what reps they have have left.

Jourdan Smith, Andy Lane, Glenn Sanders, Dustin Cummings, Larry Freund, Michael Woolvin, Jacob Williams, Heath Bennett and Wilson will graduate next spring.

"For them to commit to something like this in their senior year just shows great character on their part," Butler said. "To want to come out here and give this a shot, and then to stick to it; they could have quit a long time ago and they didn't. They chose to stay. I thanked them for that."

Butler said after that despite the disappointing season and week 11 result, he is proud of his team and his seniors.

"To go out there with the kids we had and win a week 10 game in the fashion we did (44-22 against Riverton Parke) and to have a chance to perhaps play for a sectional title game, it's just a special thing for them. Hopefully they'll never forget it," Butler said. "When you look at our season as a whole, to be able to play a week 11 game is something special.

"Considering all of the adversity we had to face as a football team, especially the kids, with all the injuries and being depleted and all that stuff. From that standpoint alone, it's very special to see them get another game."

Butler said winning a sectional game, as they did last week, not only helps the players' moral, but also gives them an extra week of practice and experience.

"The culture has changed," he said. "When I came here, priority No. 1 was to change the culture and the way kids work.

"And they've done it. It's just a matter of in-school recruiting and getting those new kids that play to buy in to the work ethic that the rest of the kids show for them.

"When we do that, then we'll continue to grow."

At Cloverdale

Attica 12 36 6 0 -- 54

Cloverdale 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Scoring summary

First quarter

A -- 8:28 55-yard run by Whorrall (2-pt fail), 6-0

A -- 3:37 10-yard run by Davis (2-pt fail), 12-0

Second quarter

A -- 10:39 1-yard run by Sheridan (2-pt good, Day), 20-0

A -- 8:32 80-yard run by Davis (2-pt good, Day), 28-0

A -- 5:13 12-yard run by Dunwell (2-pt good, Jordan), 36-0

A -- 4:13 12-yard run by Davis (2-pt fail), 42-0

A -- 3:04 20-yard interception return by Whorall (Wilson interception, 2-pt fail), 48-0

Third quarter

A -- 6:46 1-yard run by Day (2-pt fail, Sheridan pass), 54-0

Individual statistics

Rushing

Attica -- Davis 9 carries, 162 yards, 3 touchdown, 0 fumble; Day 7, 81, 1, 0; Whorrall 4, 70, 1, 0; Sheridan 4, 31, 1, 0; Jordan 3, 11, 0, 1; Dunwell 1, 12, 1, 0; Campbell 2, 0, 0, 2.

Cloverdale -- Mescall 10, 21; Warren 3, 12; Jon. Smith 1, 5; Howard 2, 3; McCullough 2, -2; Wilson 11, -16, 0, 2.

Receiving

A -- Day 1 reception, 17 yards; Dunwell 1, 17.

C -- Mescall 1, 37; Warren 1, 5; Stout 1, 3; Jon. Smith 1, 3; Wilson 1, 2.

Passing

A -- Sheridan 2/7, 34, 0, 0

C -- Wilson 4/19, 11, 0, 1; Stout 1/1, 2, 0, 0