December 11, 2023

Cardinals get best of Indians

The Clarke Indians took on the Clarinda Cardinals at Clarinda for their homecoming last Friday, falling 38-26 in a close-fought game.


With Clardina set to receive the opening kick, Rafael Avalos kicked a line drive that was fielded by Clarinda’s Karsten Beckel to start their drive at their own 28. A series of handoffs from quarterback Noah Harris to Dominick Polsley moved the Cardinals across midfield before being stopped at the 40 and backed up on a tackle by Clarke’s Lane O’Hair to the 45. Clarinda punted the ball on lack of downs, with it rolling inside Clarke’s 15.

Clarke began their own drive back downfield, with Jack Cooley making passes to Cole White, Brock Watson and Drake Moore for first downs, with penalties backing the Indians up for yardage loss. Unable to make it past their 45, Clarke’s Oscar Castro punted on 4 and 14.

With the ball back in Clarinda’s hands, Harris and Karson Downey worked on moving the ball towards Clarke’s endzone. Castro took Downey down at the five, but Polsley made the first touchdown of the night on the next play, followed by two points from Harris.

Clarinda’s Jaxon Miers kicked the ball downfield, where it was caught by Watson at the 10. Watson ran the ball back up the far side dodging tackles for his first of two kick return touchdowns of the night, a 90-yard return and his longest of the season. With Avalos in to kick, the score closed to 8-7 in Clarinda’s favor.

Clarinda returned to the scoreboard with another eight points, with a touchdown from Downey as he ducked a tackle by Cooley, and Harris in for another two.

A squib kick to Watson found him with nowhere to go, and he was taken down inside Clarke’s 25. Clarke attempted to find a first down, but were unable to and Castro punted from Clarke’s 28 down near Clarinda’s 20.

With Clarinda back in possession, they made it to Clarke’s 15 before time ran out in the quarter.


Picking back up on a 1st down, Polsley was taken down at the one-yard line to bring Clarinda to first and goal. A false start on the offense backed them up just outside the five, with Polsely making it back to the two. Two tries later, Polsely punched it in for another six, with Downey in for the following conversion to move Clarinda 13 points ahead 22-7.

An attempt at an onside kick by Clarinda found Castro on top of the ball starting their 44. On a fourth down and four, Cooley sent the ball downfield to Jesus Vega, who caught it over the hands of Clarinda defense fro a first down. Clarke fought for another first down, coming from Moore who was pushed out of bounds at the five for a down. A lofting pass from Cooley to Vega in the endzone found six for Clarke, with a kick from Avalos to bring the score 22-14.

Castro kicked a touchback, and Clarinda had several small drives before being forced to punt on lack of downs. As Clarke moved from their 40 downfield, moved back by false starts for 3 and 15 from their 35, Cooley pitched the ball to Vega, who again caught it for a first down at Clarinda’s 46. Cooley faked a pitch but lost the ball, and it was recovered by Clarinda.

Clarinda made it back down to Clarke’s 31, and a long pass from Harris to Beckel in the endzone was batted away. Clarke took back over at their 31, unable to get a first down as the clock ran out on the half.


The third quarter started off with another kickoff return touchdown from Watson, this time over 80-yards on the return. A two-point from Cooley to Watson was caught, but officials ruled the catch was no good as Watson came down out of bounds.

Clarinda executed a series of plays gaining first downs before being stopped at Clarke’s 31 on lack of downs and an unsuccessful pass attempt on fourth and six. Clarke’s drive started strong, but flags for unsportsmanlike conduct and false start and a quarterback sack found them at four and 40, with Castro punting the ball away from their own 22.

With under five minutes to go, Clarke received another flag that gained the Cardinals 15 yards for a person foul. Polsley dove in for a touchdown, and two points by Downey moved the Cardinals to a 10-point lead 30-20.

Clarke picked the ball back up with just over two left to play, and worked down the clock on the quarter with a series of plays to move them down across midfield near the 35 going into the final quarter of the game.


Start at the 35 on first and 10, Cooley threw a pass to Vega who was brought down near the 30. A personal foul on Clarinda moved Clarke up 15 yards, and they made their way to first and goal. A false start on Clarke backed them up, and a pass to Vega was again batted down in the endzone. The next pass to Vega moved Clarke to the one, and Cooley punched it in for a touchdown. The extra point attempt by Avalos was no good.

A series of plays for first downs by Clarinda brought Polsley in for a touchdown, with Downey in for two to bring the score 38-26.

With 4:15 left on the clock, Clarke began their drive at their with Moore picking up the kickoff and making it down across the 30. A pass from Cooley across midfield near the Cardinal 40 intended for Watson was intercepted by Beckel, turning the game back over Clarinda at their 39. Clarinda was able to get in two first downs as the clock ran down before taking a knee to end the game with about :40 second left on the clock.

Next game

Clarke will host the Interstate 35 Roadrunners (3-3) Friday at 7 p.m. This is Interstate 35′s first year in Class 2A.**

Clarinda 38, Clarke 26

Cld: 14–8–8–8

Clk: 7–7–12–0

Individual stats not available at press time.