The LCMS eighth grade football team put in a powerful performance in its 2019 season opener to start the season at 1-0 when the Indians decisively defeated the Clear Creek Bobcats 32-0 on Thursday, August 29.
“This is one of the best eighth grade teams that I have coached since I have been here,” said LCMS head football coach Darren Glenn. “They have a passion for winning, they don’t like to lose and they work hard everyday. I am proud of this eighth grade team This is, hopefully, a new turning point for our football program here. This is a good group. They understand what it takes to win.”
The Indians needed just five plays on the opening possession of the game to score their first touchdown versus the Bobcats.
After a nice kickoff return and two strong runs by Jonathan Castillo, the Indians handed the ball off to Will Wood. Wood tried to find a seam, but the hole in front of him collapsed as the second level of the Bobcats’ defense converged on Lumpkin’s offensive linemen and clogged all running lanes. The carry only netted Wood a yard, but the running back proved he wouldn’t be stopped again on the next play when he bulldozed his way through the Clear Creek defensive line and outran the Bobcats’ defenders to the end zone. The 58-yard touchdown run by Wood put Lumpkin up 6-0. Wood added another two points to the Indians’ lead with a powerful run to convert on a two-point attempt, extending the lead to 8-0 with 5:38 left in the first quarter.
After a the Indians’ defense forced a quick three-and-out on Clear Creek’s first possession of the game, the Indians’ offense went back to work.
Castillo picked up five hard-earned yards to start the drive. The Indians then showcased a bit of their aerial attack when quarterback Harper Davenport connected with Preston Cox for an 11-yard reception that put Lumpkin at midfield. Wood followed with a 15-yard run to get the Indians inside Bobcat territory at the 35-yard-line. After an incomplete pass, running back Bradley Hicks ripped off a 12-yard run to get the Indians near the red zone at the 23-yard-line. On the next play, Wood put his head down, barreled through the defensive line and separated himself from the Bobcats’ defense to score his second touchdown of the game, this time a 23-yarder. Wood’s touchdown run upped the Indians lead on Clear Creek to 14-0. Wood once again was able to find his way into the end zone on the two-point try and Lumpkin held a 16-0 advantage with 9.8 ticks left in the first quarter.
With the Indians’ offense cruising, the Indians’ defense did its part when they sacked the Clear Creek quarterback, forcing a fumble, and pounced on the loose ball.
The turnover gave Lumpkin excellent starting field position at the Clear Creek 33. The Indians made the most of the gift from their defense and on the fourth play of the drive Hicks took the ball to the house on a nine-yard carry to put the Indians ahead 22-0. Wood for the third time in the first half converted the two-point attempt with a powerful run to up the lead to 24-0 with 4:15 left in the first half.
The score would remain the same when the two teams headed into the halftime break.
Neither team’s offenses could get anything going on their first drives of the second half. The Bobcats’ opening drive ended with a Lumpkin interception and the Indians’ first possession of the second half ended with a punt. The two drives ate up the majority of the third quarter.
Clear Creek was in the midst of their second drive of the half when the fourth quarter began. The Bobcats started to build a bit of momentum, but that was squashed when the Indians forced a fumble on a quarterback keeper that was scooped up and ran in for a touchdown. The defensive score extended the Indians’ lead to 30-0. Castillo ran in the two-point conversion to give Lumpkin a 32-0 advantage.
Clear Creek tried to erase the shutout on its final drive of the game when Glenn put in his backup defensive unit, but the Indians’ backups wouldn’t allow that to happen. The game ended with a big stop by Lumpkin’s defense on a fourth-and-six play for the Bobcats.
“Nobody quits on this team,” Glenn said. “The backups knew that we weren’t going to put anyone else in for them. They had to stop them just like our first string had to stop them.”
The decisive 32-0 victory gave the Indians a 1-0 start to the 2019 middle school football season.
Glenn was impressed with the blocking of his offensive line through the game and credited them for allowing the Lumpkin running backs and the Indians’ offense to have a big day.
“The offensive line got to the second level and blocked well all day,” Glenn said.
Glenn also thanked the LCMS football fans that filled the stadium for providing a supportive atmosphere for the players during the game.
“Look at this community support here tonight,” Glenn said. “This community supports these football players, they support football and they support the school system.”
The LCMS eighth grade football team will be back in action when the Indians travel to Pickens County to face off with the Dragons tomorrow, Sept. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.