When Sissonville had to put away Herbert Hoover once and for all Friday night, the Indians pretty much turned the ball over to Trent Stowers and blocked for him.The Indians jumped out to a 21-0 lead and held on for a 27-20 victory on the Huskies' field in Falling Rock. In a game of long scoring plays, Stowers scored on a 60-yard run and a 35-yard pass from Austin Crawford.All told, Stowers ran for 155 yards on 18 carries and added 52 yards on four receptions. But his best work may have come in the final 2:59, when he helped the Indians (3-3) gain three first downs to run out the clock.He had six carries on an eight-play clock-eating drive, including gains of 3, 6, 7, 8 and 8 yards - unspectacular but effective. He made the Huskies key on him, allowing Crawford to pick up one first down with an 18-yard keeper around the end, and Jarrett Mowrer to pick up the Indians' 21st and final first down with a short gain.That snuffed out a spirited Hoover rally and pushed Sissonville's rushing total to 303 yards."Trent got injured in the Scott game [Sept. 14], and I felt like in practice he prepared and finally felt better," said Indians coach Eddie Smolder. "It showed tonight on a lot of his runs. He ran hard and played with heart. Overcoming an ankle injury's hard to do."Crawford went 9 of 12 for 120 yards and three touchdowns, also hitting Nathan Miller twice for scores. Miller caught five passes for 60 yards but could have had a 76-yard TD catch on the game's first scrimmage play. Wide open, he dropped it.That wasn't a problem, as his 19-yard TD catch finished an 11-play drive. Stowers had a 17-yard run on a third-and-5 to keep the drive alive.But Stowers' next run was the flashiest play of the night. Two plays after the Indians held Hoover on downs, Stowers hit a hole off right tackle, cut left and broke a few tackles, stiff-armed a pursuer and dived into the end zone for a 60-yard TD. After Tyler Shaffer's interception set up Stowers' 35-yard TD catch from Crawford, the Indians were up 21-0 early in the second quarter.The impending rout never materialized, even though Hoover was stopped on downs at the Indians' 23-yard line on its next possession. Then a defensive touchdown started the comeback.
On third-and-4 at the Hoover 47, Crawford threw a swing pass to Dominic Walker, who couldn't hang on to it. He and players on both sides thought it was a forward pass and walked away, but the ball went backward and the officials remained silent. With prodding from the home crowd, Zane Weese picked up the waiting pigskin and ran it 43 yards for a touchdown.Hoover (1-5) hung on to keep the deficit at 21-7 at the half, and had the ball to start the second half. On the third play, Shaun Dotson blew up through the middle and kept going, scoring on a 59-yard run to make it 21-14.After an exchange of punts, the Indians took a two-score lead again with a 15-play, 81-yard drive that gobbled up 91/2 minutes. Stowers had six runs and one reception, but an 8-yard gain on fourth-and-2, on the first play of the fourth quarter, was especially critical. Crawford hooked up with Miller for a 12-yard TD and a 27-14 lead.Hoover answered with a 13-play, 82-yard drive with 12 runs and a single pass. Eventually, the Huskies simply fed fullback Tyler Hoffman eight times, gaining 44 yards and the final 5 for a TD. The extra point was missed, setting the score at 27-20.The big problem: The clock melted from 8:55 to 2:59 left. The Huskies opted to kick long for a touchback, but Stowers and Sissonville ran out the clock.
Dotson ran for 133 yards and Hoffman added 61, most of Hoover's 212 rushing yards. The Huskies were outgained 423-273, but the halftime margin was 263-95."Our kids have played hard all year," said Hoover coach Tim Meyer. "They came out, they got up on us early and we struggled to come from behind."Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.