Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clarke County's single wing stymies Indians

August 28, 2009
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Nostalgia doesn’t always conjure up fond memories.

Take Angelo Luvara, for example. He got blasted by a blast from the past by Clarke County (Va.).

“It was a single wing set,” said the Berkeley Springs football coach. “That set football back 100 years. It reminded me of when I was playing.”

It’s hard to say, but it would be hard to imagine that 45-0 scores were put up on the scoreboard back in 1909.

It was on Friday.

Clarke County’s offense looked in midseason form, scoring four touchdowns in the first 14 minutes en route to hanging a season-opening rout on the Indians.

“We knew they would be a good football team,” Luvara said. “They didn’t run any plays that we didn’t see before.”

That would be hard to believe, because the Eagles ran plays where it was hard to see the ball, let alone tackle the defender.

Clarke County shunned the Indians — with deception, confusion and explosion.

“I was really happy,” said Clarke County coach Chris Parker. “We ran the single wing last year out of necessity. We brought it back this year with some refinements. We have four guys in the backfield who can throw the ball. I’d be pretty confident running any offense with those guys back there.”

Clarke County used a maze of direct snaps, reverse action and multiple tosses to set up the running game while sucking the Indians’ defense up to the line of scrimmage. Then the Eagles were able to throw. It wasn’t often but it was effective and made Berkeley Springs have to respect the possibilities.

“We were a little nervous in the beginning in the secondary and with a new quarterback,” Luvara said. “We played well in the second half, but when you get beat 45-0, there isn’t much good to say.”

Clarke County rolled up 335 yards of offense, averaging 10.5 yards per play, and scored on all six of its possessions in the first half while posting all 45 points.

Running back Grant Shaw had 128 yards rushing and two touchdowns in six carries. Sam Shiley added 94 yards and two scores on 13 carries and tacked on two-point conversion runs on the Eagles’ first three scores.

“We didn’t handle their front very well,” Luvara said. “That’s pretty much the story in any football game.”

Clarke County came out of the blocks quickly. The Eagles scored on the second play after the opening kickoff on a 55-yard sweep by Shaw for an 8-0 lead in the first 1:14. After stopping Berkeley Springs on a three-and-out with aggressive defense, Shiley scored on a 41-yard run to cap a three-play, 60-yard drive for a 16-0 lead with 8:00 to go in the quarter.

Quarterback Zach Shiley scored on a 10-yard play to give the Eagles a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Shaw scored on a 23-yard run and Sam Shiley added a 1-yard burst before connecting on a 40-yard scoring pass to Billy Parker to cap all the scoring in the game.

The Indians were held to 65 yards and four first downs in the first half, with two of them coming in the last 30 seconds of the half. Berkeley Springs didn’t help itself by turning the ball over four times on Zach White interceptions. Clarke County also crowded the line of scrimmage to shut down the running game.

For the record, Parker said the Eagles didn’t set football back a century, just six decades.

“The package we are using is the same system that the old Princeton and Wabash teams used 60 years ago,” Parker said. “The key thing is deception. We have the personnel to play it.”

Clarke County 45, Berkeley Springs 0
Clarke County 24 21 0 0 — 45
Berk. Springs 0 0 0 0 — 0
CC — Grant Shaw 55 run (Sam Shiley run)
CC — S. Shiley 41 run (S. Shiley run)
CC — Zach Shiley 10 run (S. Shiley run)
CC — Shaw 23 run (Connor Shendow kick)
CC — S. Shiley 1 run (Shendow kick)
CC — Billy Parker 40 pass from Z. Shiley (Shendow kick)
First downs 18 4
Rushes-yards 56-365 20-50
Passing yards 67 23
Comp-Att-Int 2-4-0 3-15-4
Total offense 60-432 35-73
Punts-avg. 1-36 5-36
Penalties-yards 5-43 1-5
Fumbles-lost 4-2 0-0
Records: Clarke County 1-0; Berkeley Springs 0-1.

The Herald-Mail Company
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Hagerstown, MD 21740


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