Clarke football recorded its first win under the Jerrod Gaskill era Friday night, knocking off Chariton 35-14.
The win was gladly welcomed by the group, getting the monkey off their back and giving the team some confidence as its progressively become a better team each week.
“Not only first win, but first points of the season. It was phenomenal,” Gaskill said on his first win as head coach. “Chariton is a rival of ours. We have a trophy we created a couple years ago. Our name hasn’t been on the trophy yet, so now it is. That was a little bit extra special, just beating Chariton because it’s been so long since we have.
“... For the guys, they were so down after Albia. They worked their tails of and getting a loss the way that we did, not scoring a touchdown. These guys were so fired up (after the win). I’m so proud of those guys and so happy for our team that we could all do it together.”
The Indians entered Friday without recording any points on the season, being outscored 113-0. Moving the ball was no issue for Clarke in Week 4 as the Indians’ quarterback Zethann May racked up over 250 yards of offense and three touchdowns through the air.
Gaskill said he felt the man coverage Chariton played was an advantage the Indians had due to their wide receivers’ athleticism.
May found Josue Torres at 1:45 in the first quarter, scoring the first points of the season. Entering the second down, Chariton found the end zone on a 22-yard pass to tie the game at seven, holding even until the second half.
Clarke took an advantage of a turnover on the opening play of the third quarter. May connected with Tanner Fry for a touchdown and added seven more points on an interception returned for a touchdown by Tyler Binning.
Leading 21-6, Dale Showers broke away from the Chargers’ defense, getting down the field for a 75-yard touchdown run. May and Kamis Bulis connected late in the fourth quarter for an offensive explosion the Indians haven’t seen this season.
The running game, something Gaskill expected to be the strength of the offense, isn’t where he would like it to be at this point in the season after losing senior starting running back Chris Carson in the opening scrimmage.
“It has been a struggle, but Osten Blevins has stepped in the past two games and has done pretty well for us. Dale Showers, he had an explosive 75-yard touchdown run, and he’s never played football before.”
Defensively, holding Chariton to 14 points and 248 total yards, things have improved weekly. The Indians cut their total points allowed by 17, 15 and eight points.
“I have to credit our defensive coordinator Brian Reece,” Gaskill said. “He works his tail off to come up with the best scheme that we can. He literally changes his defensive scheme every single week to the offense that we’re facing.”
UP NEXT – Clarke takes on Saydel on the road for the Eagles’ homecoming Friday at 7 p.m.