By Sam Parsons
The Oskaloosa Indians began their district schedule on Friday night with the general expectation from the public that they would be blowout fodder for Clear Creek Amana, but proved to be anything but.
The Clippers entered the game with a question mark at the quarterback position with senior Jackson Schmidt being hobbled by a foot injury during the week, and he would be knocked out just a few plays into their first offensive drive. Sophomore QB Cale Berry took over and was able to finish off an 8 play drive to open the game with a handoff to junior RB Sam Pettinger that resulted in a 31 yard touchdown to put the Clippers on top 7-0 midway through the 1st.
The Oskaloosa offense was intercepted on its first drive, which gave the ball right back to Clear Creek Amana in Osky territory. They were able to move the ball within range for their long distance kicker, sophomore Joey Dains, to boot a 35 yard field goal with the wind at his back to extend the lead to 10-0, where it remained through the end of the 1st quarter.
At the outset of the 2nd quarter, special teams woes struck again for the Indians. Sophomore Parker Lewis’ punt attempt was blocked and the Clippers jumped on it inside the Osky 10 yard line to begin their next drive with 1st and goal from the 9. The Indians’ defense responded in earnest, however, as the Clippers only advanced 5 yards before settling for a 21 yard field goal off the foot of short distance kicker Max Carlson to make it a 13-0 ballgame. At this point, it seemed as though the Clippers would cruise to a victory.
That’s not what happened. Oskaloosa’s offense came alive and was able to mix the run with the pass to great effect on a 10 play, 69 yard drive capped off by a 20 yard touchdown pass from junior QB Trevor Willett to senior WR Waylon Bolibaugh, followed by a PAT off the foot of freshman kicker Linus Morrison, to cut into the deficit and make it 13-7 about halfway through the 2nd quarter. Neither offense could get anything going for the remainder of the half, so the score held steady into the break.
The second half began with a surprise onside kick attempt by the Clippers, but their aggression would backfire as their kick coverage team touched the ball before it went 10 yards, setting Oskaloosa up just inside Clipper territory for their first drive of the half. They would make the Clippers pay to the tune of another 10 play drive that was finished with a 1 yard touchdown plunge from senior RB Tatum Westercamp, who filled in admirably for the injured Dom Piersel while continuing to play the lion’s share of defensive snaps at linebacker. Morrison converted the extra point to give Oskaloosa the lead, 14-13 in the 3rd quarter.
Looking for a spark on offense, the Clippers made the switch at QB back to Jackson Schmidt, who elected to play through the foot pain, but was slow out of the gate. A 3-and-out gave the Indians the ball once again, this time with excellent field position at the Clipper 39 yard line. Osky was able to muster enough yardage to set up a Linus Morrison 30 yard field goal from the left hash, but Morrison’s kick missed wide right. The score remained 14-13 heading into the final quarter of play.
Both defenses traded strong possessions for the first half of the fourth quarter. Another Parker Lewis punt was blocked, but the Clipper offense promptly fumbled the ball back to Oskaloosa. However, with less than 5 minutes left in the game, Oskaloosa’s mojo ran dry: Clipper QB Jackson Schmidt took advantage of an aggressive defensive call to fire a quick slant to senior wideout Andrew Schlemme, who hauled in the pass and looked up to find no safety help over the top and took off for a 78 yard touchdown. Schmidt took matters into his own hands for the 2 point conversion to make it 21-14 CCA with 4:31 remaining.
Four plays into the drive that followed, Trevor Willett was intercepted for the second time, this time by senior DB Asher Roehler. The Indians’ defense, as it has done time and time again this year, answered the bell with a 3-and-out, but senior Reece Hoffman delivered a rugby punt and the football delivered a Clipper roll inside the Oskaloosa 5 yard line to the 3. With 1:42 left, Oskaloosa was left without any timeouts and they needed to go 97 yards to tie it up. It was too much to ask, as the Clipper defense recorded a pick-6, with Hoffman the beneficiary. The game ended 28-14 in favor of Clear Creek Amana.
Oskaloosa (1-4) will travel to #8 Newton next week. Clear Creek Amana (3-2) will host Cedar Rapids Washington.
Trevor Willett: 12/25, 107 yards, TD, 3 INT; 1 sack, 6 yards lost, 0 fumbles
Jackson Schmidt: 3/4, 73 yards, TD
Cale Berry: 3/4, 32 yards
Tatum Westercamp: 29 carries, 98 yards, TD
James Woods: 2 carries, 4 yards
Sam Pettinger: 11 carries, 47 yards, TD
Cale Berry: 9 carries, 26 yards
Jack Stevens: 2 carries, 7 yards
Waylon Bolibaugh: 4 rec, 47 yards, TD
Wyatt Grubb: 5 rec, 34 yards
Parker Lewis: 3 rec, 26 yards
Andrew Schlemme: 1 rec, 78 yards, TD
Reece Hoffman: 2 rec, 13 yards
Sam Pettinger: 2 rec, 8 yards
Jack Stevens: 1 rec, 6 yards