Clovers game at Marshall called off at halftime

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Saturday matinee in Indianapolis' east side was the setting for Cloverdale's second football game of the year.

Facing off against John Marshall High School, the Clovers got in a half of back-and-forth play before storms in the area halted play just before the second half began. Unable to get on the field again, the game was ruled a no-contest with the Clovers trailing 20-13 at the interval.

Cloverdale head coach Jarrod Duff said the team showed some good signs in the half of football, particularly in the passing game.

"We threw the ball well," Duff said. "We still had some missed assignments in the passing game but we were able to effectively throw the ball. We have to run the ball better than we did today though. We've got things in the running game to clean up, but we saw some really good things for sure."

The game itself got off to a rough start for the visitors, which lost a fumble three plays into the game. Marshall needed only two plays to capitalize as Xavier Starks ran in from 17 yards out to give the Patriots a 6-0 lead.

Cloverdale lost another fumble on its next possession and lost the ball on downs next time out, leading to Marshall's second score of the game.

The Patriots marched 50 yards in five plays, capped by a Drew Milbrooks one-yard touchdown run. The play ended the first quarter with the hosts leading 12-0.

A pair of penalties on the ensuing kickoff allowed the Clovers to start the second quarter already in Marshall territory. Four plays into the drive freshman Duke Duff connected with junior Max Secrest for a 27-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit in half at 12-6.

After forcing a turnover on downs, Cloverdale went to the air again to take the lead from the hosts.

Senior Mark Osmialowski, who started at quarterback, hit on passes of 47 yards to senior Wade Warren, seven yards to senior Cody Stout and five yards to Secrest to give the Clovers a 13-12 lead with 3:03 left in the half.

Using two quarterbacks had benefits for the Clovers, Duff said.

"Mark and Duke both have strengths," he said. "We wanted Mark to play more on defense. In doing that, we felt like we could get him some rest on offense. We played to both Duke and Mark's strengths. They both do certain things well and I thought they both played well."

Marshall responded in four plays to reclaim the lead. A 33-yard Starks run set up Nigel Willis for a 17-yard TD run with 1:45 left in the half. Starks ran in the two-point conversion to give the Patriots a 20-13 advantage. The Clovers failed to move the ball on the final drive of the period.

With the ball teed up and Cloverdale's kicker readying to start the second half, the officiating crew halted the game for weather-related concerns.

Storms moved into the area shortly thereafter and, because of IHSAA rules, the game was called off as a no-contest as the two schools could not meet to finish the game the following week.

While the game won't be finished, Duff said he could find some areas to improve. One thing that hurt the squad Saturday was putting the ball on the ground.

"We talk all the time about ball security and do drills to help that," Duff said. "That's going to be a point of emphasis because losing two fumbles put us behind the eight-ball, especially the second one.

"We were driving the ball at the time and whether it is penalties or turnovers, those are drive killers."

Cloverdale hosts Monrovia in its first home game of the season Friday and Duff said the squad had to be ready for a hard-hitting contest.

"Monrovia is a physical team," Duff said. "They run a double-dive offense, they're physical and they play well. We're going to have to be ready to play against a team that will play smashmouth with us. We have to continue to get better with technique and try to get better this week."

At Marshall High School
Cloverdale 0 13 -- 13
John Marshall 12 8 -- 20

Game called at halftime -- no-contest

1st Quarter

JM -- 9:30 Starks 17-yard run (XP no good) 6-0
JM -- 0:00 Milbrooks 1-yard run (XP no good) 12-0

2nd Quarter
CL -- 9:55 Secrest 27-yard pass from Duff (conversion failed) 12-6
CL -- 3:03 Secrest 5-yard pass from Osmialowski (Smith kick) 12-13
JM -- 1:47 Willis 17-yard run (Starks conversion) 20-12

Total Yards
Cloverdale 137; Marshall 209

Cloverdale 2 (2 Fumbles); Marshall 0

First Downs
Cloverdale 6; Marshall 6

Fourth Down Conversions
Cloverdale 1-2; Marshall 0-2

Cloverdale 0-0; Marshall 11-92

Cloverdale 0; Marshall 0

Individual Stats
Cloverdale 15-24-- Howard 5-15; Smith 4-6; Warren 2-8; Osmialowski 2-(-1); Stout 1-(-2); Duff 1-(-2)
Marshall 16-203 -- Starks 10-119, TD, Willis 4-77, TD, Milbrooks 2-7, TD

Cloverdale -- Osmialowski 4-11-62, TD; Duff 4-6-51, TD

Marshall -- Willis 1-3-6

Cloverdale -- Warren 5-74; Secrest 2-32, 2 TD; Stout 1-7

Marshall -- Vaughn 1-6

Next Game: Cloverdale hosts Monrovia Friday.

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