Clarke football stayed true to its identity Friday, running its ground attack at Saydel as the Indians went on to break the school’s single-game rushing record, something head coach Duane Matthess had a sneaking suspicion they might accomplish.
The Indians ran to the tune of 479 yards as a team with three different ball carriers breaking the 100-yard mark in the process as Clarke toppled Saydel 47-18 during the Indians’ homecoming game.
But, that feat isn’t possible if not for Garrett Moore stepping into the offense in his first game of the year and breaking the individual single-game rushing record that had been intact since 1963.
Moore busted through the Eagle defense for 246 yards on 21 carries and three trips to the end zone in his first game back in the lineup.
“It’s amazing. I love it. The nerves, everything. I love my team,” said Moore. “All the hard work has finally paid off. I finally have a reason for why I’m at the gym all the time. Why I’m working out, why I’m working really hard. There is a reason for that.”
There didn’t appear to be any rust for the senior back as he bolted out to a 42-yard touchdown on the Indians’ first drive of the game and just the second play from scrimmage.
Moore provided the ability to do a little bit of everything when given the ball, be it dancing around defenders or stiff arming them to the turf and creating space using his physicality.
As far as his suspicion they might break the rushing record, Matthess didn’t hesitate when putting the faith in his squad.
“I didn’t see anything on film. I believe in Garrett Moore,” said Matthess. “I believe he is an explosive offensive weapon and teams are going to have to adjust for him.”
Quarterback Riley Domina punched in the next two scores for Clarke as he ended the homecoming contest with 121 yards on the ground and three scores of his own.
Chris Carson was the third Indian to rush for 100 yards, doing so on just six carries and finding paydirt once in the process.
“It makes me really proud because at times last season they didn’t seem like there was a lot of light at the end of the tunnel,” said Matthess. “These kids, just the perseverance and the grit that they showed, just shines through right now.”
Matthess added that the Eagles dared Clarke to throw the football, stacking 10 defenders in the box for long stretches of the game.
Even with some injuries, the Clarke offensive line and its dangerous backfield ran right at Saydel time and time again, only attempting three passes.
“Not that we don’t feel comfortable throwing, it’s just not what our offense is based around,” said Matthess. “We feel we can still get yards even with 10 in the box and we showed it tonight.”
The Eagles hung with the Indians early in large part due to the shifty nature of their quarterback/linebacker Cash Lee.
Lee returned an interception for a touchdown to get Saydel on the board early. Saydel’s QB busted out a long run that would have been a score on the Eagles’ opening drive, but a block in the back call negated the run, leading to an Eagles to punt.
The senior Saydel quarterback spent a good portion of the night stressing the Clarke defense with his lightning quick cuts that left Indian defenders reaching and missing tackles.
Alejandro Davis set up the Indians’ final scoring drive of the first half by blocking a Saydel punt, giving Clarke the ball in the red zone.
The Indians didn’t push their lead out to three scores until the fourth quarter when Moore scored his third touchdown of the contest on an 11-yard run with 4:27 left to go in regulation.
Carson added the final score on an 8-yard reverse play after Domina picked off Lee and scampered into the red zone on a long return.
After the record-setting performance Clarke is now 4th in Class 2A in rushing with 1,406 yards on the ground. They lead Class 2A in rushing touchdowns with 20.
UP NEXT – Clarke (3-2, 1-0 in Class 2A District 8) will host Des Moines Christian (4-1, 1-0) which is coming off a 48-14 win over Centerville.
Clarke 47, Saydel 18
Points by quarter
Sa 0 6 12 0 — 18
Cl 14 7 6 20 — 47
Cl – Garrett Moore 42 run (Brian Avalos kick), 11:26
Cl – Riley Domina 1 run (Avalos kick), :22
Sa – Cash Lee interception return (2-pt fail), 10:30
Cl – Domina 11 run (Avalos kick) 2:19
Sa – Garrett Shinn 15 pass from Lee (2-pt fail), 6:17
Cl – Riley Domina 6 run (PAT blocked), :10
Sa – Lee 49 run (2-pt fail), 0:00
Cl – Moore 1 run (Avalos kick), 9:54
Cl – Moore 11 run (Avalos kick), 4:27
Cl – Carson 8 run (PAT missed), 3:16
Rushing: Cl – Garrett Moore 21-246 and 3 TDs, Riley Domina 24-121 and 3 TDs, Chris Carson 6-100 and a TD, Amani Fry 3-23, Tanner Fry 1-3.
Passing (passes-attempts-interceptions): Cl – Domina 0-3-1.
Receiving: Cl – None.
Tackles (solo-assists): Cl – Domina (5-2), A. Fry (5-2), Taven Floyd (2-5), Zane Hart (2-1), Harley Leeps (2-1), Zethann May (2-1), Jacob Smith (2-1), Dalton Stubbe (2-1), Carson (1-1), Sam Cooley (1-0), Carlos Yanez (1-0), Alejandro Davis (0-1), Braedon Feehan (0-1), Tanner Fry (0-1).
Tackles for loss: Cl – Floyd 3, A. Fry 3, Stubbe 2.5, Hart 2, Smith 1.5, Domina 1, Davis .5, Feehan .5,
Quarterback sacks: Cl – Hart 1, Stubbe 1, Floyd .5, Feehan .5.
Interceptions: Cl – Domina 1-26, May 1-23.
Fumble recoveries – A. Fry 1.