One fourth-quarter play all Indians need

October 20, 2007|By Mark Keller

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A football game often can turn on one play.

No. 4 Berkeley Springs proved that theory true on Friday.

The Indians ran just one play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, but it was a big one - a 76-yard touchdown run by fullback Cody Reed that helped give them a 22-16 victory over Mountain Ridge at Morgan Field.

"That's all we needed, I guess," said coach Angelo Luvara. "We ran the one that counted. They ran the 10 that didn't count."

Credit that to the Berkeley Springs defense, which halted two Miners drives short of the end zone in the final period, including a goal-line stand as time ran out.


The Miners ran twice as many offensive plays (73) as the Indians (36), but gained only 43 more yards.

Credit that to Reed, who rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries - an average of 16.1 yards per carry. Reed gained 9 or more yards on eight of those carries.

Credit also quarterback Matt Colwell, who made the play call at the line of scrimmage on Reed's final scoring jaunt.

"We had two plays called - one to the left, one to the right - and he had to make the call according to the defense," Luvara said. "He made exactly the right call, the kids picked up on it and blocked it and there was nobody near (Reed) until he got to the safety.

"With Reed and (Cody) Hess running on the safety, we'll take that every time."

Mountain Ridge (5-2) got the ball at its own 14-yard line with 30 seconds left in the third quarter holding a 16-14 lead. Using variations of their wishbone offense, the Miners employed four different ball carriers to grind their way down to the Indians 24 before stalling. Matt Farris threw incomplete in the flat on fourth down to return possession to Berkeley Springs.

That possession was brief but effective, as Reed broke through the line untouched and moved right, stepping through a diving tackle attempt by a Miners defensive back and coasting in for the score. Colwell connected with Justin Thomas for the two-point conversion to give the Indians (7-1) a 22-16 lead with 3:30 remaining.

"That's all it took for them, that one play," said Mountain Ridge coach Roy DeVore. "But then, (Reed's) an all-state running back for a reason. That's the kind of guy you like to have in those situations."

The Miners wasted no time moving back down the field. Starting from their 42, Farris went around end four times to get the ball to the Indians 31, where Stephen Whetstone took over.

Whetstone carried twice to get inside the 25, then later went 17 yards up the middle to give the Miners first-and-goal at the 5 with less than a minute remaining.

DeVore stuck with Whetstone, but the Indians appeared to be getting wise, holding him to 1 yard on both first and second down, then dropping him for a 2-yard loss on third down.

On fourth down, the ball squibbed free in the Mountain Ridge backfield. And though the Miners recovered the fumble, possession - and the game - went to the Indians.

"Those two stands in the fourth quarter were huge. I was afraid we scored too quickly," Luvara said. "It was a whole team effort. It took every one of us out there tonight."

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