OSCEOLA – Clarke and Nodaway Valley battled throughout the first half, but the Indians took care of business in the second half, putting together a 38-12 win.
Clarke put up the game’s opening touchdown, a 19-yard touchdown run from running back Chris Carson.
Nodaway Valley responded with two scoring drives to take a 12-7 lead. The Wolverines got some help on the first score after a Clarke fumble recovered by Brady Hilpipre.
The first touchdown came after Tony Ayase broke the plane from three yards out to get the Wolverines on the board. Of the seven plays in the series, six of were carries by Ayase. He ended the game with 79 yards on 23 attempts and the touchdown.
“Very proud of that young man (Ayase),” said NV head coach Taylor Ashman. “He worked hard all summer. Was always at weights (and) our conditioning as well. He’s a guy we can trust to put the ball in his hands and he’s always going to fight for that extra yard.”
After Clarke missed a field goal, NV put together an 80-yard, 12-play drive for another touchdown.
Hilpipre’s lone carry went for the second score, a 12-yard run in which outmuscled multiple Clarke defenders, bringing a few into the end zone with him.
“We ran the football really well tonight. Again, our guys they’re starting to really believe in each other and find that confidence that we’ve been searching for,” said Ashman.
The Wolverines’ 12-7 lead lasted until the final moments of the first half when Clarke’s Payton Winship scampered for a 32-yard score with just over eight seconds on the clock.
In the second half, Nodaway Valley’s youth showed with mistakes that allowed the Clarke offense to put together scoring drives on a short field.
Clarke’s first score in the second half was a 5-yard drive after Winship picked off Wolverine quarterback Tyler Vandewater and took it inside the red zone. Clarke’s quarterback Riley Domina punched in a 1-yard score to extend the Indians’ lead.
Vandewater ended the game with 64 yards passing on seven completions.
Nodaway Valley’s ensuing possession ended with a blocked punt that the Indians recovered and took down to the 1-yard line, once again leading to a Domina keeper for six points.
Domina’s second touchdown put Clarke up 25-12 with 4:56 left in the third quarter.
The Indians rely upon an unusual, wing-T themed offensive set, giving the ball to a number of different backs on direct snaps, handoffs or sweeps.
Clarke’s deceptive offense is focused on the run and put together 276 yards on the ground while attempting just one pass over the course of the contest.
The Wolverines didn’t quit though, putting together a long, 11-play 44-yard drive that ended on a tough, fourth-and-long play with another Vandewater interception on Clarke’s 15-yard line.
“Sometimes we make a little mistake and we get back on our heels a little bit and it’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot,” said Ashman. “We have to find a way to keep that momentum on our side.”
Clarke added two more scores late, punching in a 22-yard touchdown by Fani Fry with 2:09 left to give the Indians a 32-12 lead. The Indians added another touchdown – on a Carson six-yard run – in the game’s final seconds to hit the final of 38-12.
After falling behind 12-7, Clarke scored the game’s final 31 points.
Nodaway Valley finished with 170 yards of offense and only four total team penalties, but the four turnovers put the Wolverines in a hole.
UP NEXT – Nodaway Valley (0-2) travels to AC/GC (0-2) where both teams will look for their first wins of the season.
“A lot of little things we have to keep working on, but the guys improved a lot from last week to this week and that is our focus,” Ashman said.
Clarke 38, Nodaway Valley 12
Points by quarter
NV 6 6 0 0 — 12
Cl 7 6 12 13 — 38
Cl – Chris Carson 19 run (Brian Avalos kick), 4:55
NV – Tony Ayase 3 run (PAT no good), :16
NV – Brady Hilpipre 12 run (2-pt fail), 3:05
Cl – Payton Winship 32 run (PAT blocked) :18
Cl – Riley Domina 1 run (2-pt fail), 8:06
Cl – Domina 1 run (2-pt fail), 4:56
Cl – Fani Fry 22 run (Avalos kick), 2:09
Cl – Carson 6 run (PAT no good), :03
Rushing: Cl – Payton Winship 7-94 and TD; Chris Carson 12-67 and 2 TDs; Riley Domina 22-64 and 2 TDs; Fani Fry 5-48 and TD; Amani Fry 2-3. NV – Tony Ayase 23-79 and TD; Austin Wilson 6-17; Brady Hilpipre 1-12 and TD; Tyler Vandewater 5-(-7).
Passing: Cl – Domina 1-1-0 for 18 yards. NV – Vandewater 7-21-3 for 64 yards.
Receiving: Cl – Payton Winship 1-18. NV – Clay Hohertz 2-23; Aryll Shantz 2-18; Wilson 1-12; Hilpipre 2-11.
Tackles (solo-assists): Cl – Domina 8-3; Harley Leeps 4-2; Jacob Smith 3-3; Zane Hart 1-6; Taven Floyd 2-2; Fani Fry 2-2; Alejandro Davis 1-3; Brian Avalos 1-2; Winship 1-2; Dalton Stubbe 1-1; Spurceton Buddenhagen 1-0; Juan Echeverria 1-0; Amani Fry 0-2; Zethann May 0-1.
Tackles for loss: Cl – Smith 2, Echeverria 1, Floyd 1, Hart 1.
Quarterback sacks: Cl – Davis 1, Hart .5, Stubbe .5.
Interceptions: Cl – Winship 1-42, Amani Fry 1-1, Zethann May 1-0.
Full Nodaway Valley statistics unavailable at time of press.