The People's Tribune

Clopton Homecoming 2018

Clopton announced their homecoming royalty during halftime of the Clopton-Elsberry IndianHawks football game against Van-Far on Friday, Sept. 14. Seniors Matthew “Chewy” Dugan and Kaitlyn Kuntz were crowned this year’s king and queen.

IndianHawks Prevail Over Van-Far In Homecoming Bout

A dogfight, a shootout, a tight game was predicted as Clopton-Elsberry hosted Van-Far for Homecoming on Friday night and the two rivals didn’t disappoint.

The teams traded touchdowns all night with the IndianHawks scoring in the final minute for a 50-42 win.

Both teams came up empty on their first possessions as the IndianHawks fumbled and the Indians punted the ball away.

Clopton-Elsberry took over on their own 43-yard line with just under eight minutes left in the first quarter and took the lead quickly.

Just three plays into their second turn on offense, the IndianHawks reached paydirt as Shawn Yates connected with Derrick Taylor for a 27-yard touchdown.

The lead lasted just four minutes as Verlynn Johnson tied the game on a 20-yard run for a score with 2:47 left in the quarter.

The IndianHawks scored again in the first when Yates and Taylor hooked up again and added a two point conversion for a 14-6 lead after the first quarter.

Clopton-Elsberry stretched the lead 15 points early in the second quarter when Yates ran the ball three straight times, scoring on a 16-yard scamper to the left. The IndianHawks added the two-point try for a 22-6 advantage.

Van-Far struck back with good runs from their quarterback Eric Hombs, who capped an impressive drive with a 40-yard run for a touchdown. The Indians also added the two-point conversion for a 22-14 score.

Eddie Bonstell returned the kick-off into Van-Far territory and the IndianHawks went back to work.

Yates connected with Zakk Eivins to set Clopton-Elsberry up with a first and goal, then snuck the ball in for his second rushing score and a 30-14 lead.

Hombs notched another touchdown the next time the Indians got the ball to trim the deficit to just eight points as the game went to halftime with Clopton-Elsberry up 30-22.

The Indians got the ball to start the second half with a chance to tie, but were forced to punt away and continue to chase their red-hot opponents.

The IndianHawks stretched the lead back to double-digits when Damian Walker took the ball in for a four-yard touchdown at the mid-point of the third quarter.

Johnson answered for the Indians just before the final quarter began with the IndianHawks ahead 36-28.

The Van-Far defense got a stop on the next Clopton-Elsberry possession, then Hombs scored again on a 24-yard run for a chance to tie the contest with a two-point conversion. The try came up empty and the Indians still trailed 36-34.

With 3:35 left in regulation, Taylor scored for the third time on a 36 yard catch, but the IndianHawks failed on the two-point try and led the game 42-34.

That is when things got really interesting.

On the ensuing kick-off Verlynn Johnson broke through the first wave of IndianHawks and past the coverage, returning the kick 70 yards for a touchdown.

This time the Indians were successful on the conversion and tied the game 42-42 with just over three minutes left.

Clopton-Elsberry returned the ball to their own 45 to begin their final offense set.

The IndianHawks came up empty on their first three plays, but Yates hit tight-end Trevor Anthony to convert a fourth and fifteen to keep the drive alive.

Yates converted another long fourth down play, setting the IndianHawks up in the red-zone with a chance to win.

Clopton-Elsberry moved the ball down to the Van-Far five yard line and with 26-seconds remaining, Walker zipped across the goal line for the late lead. The IndianHawks added the two-point conversion to go up eight.

With one last gasp Hombs put the ball in the air, but Derrick Taylor picked off the pass to seal the 50-42 win.

Yates’ big night and final drive magic earned the Quarterback the Community State bank TribCast Player of the Game.

The IndianHawks were without the versatile Eddie Bonstell for much of the second half after an upper body injury.

Clopton-Elsberry has a short week due to the continuing officials shortage. The IndianHawks (2-2) will host Wright City (2-2) on Thursday night.

Van-Far (2-2) will host the powerful North Callaway Thunderbirds (4-0) on Friday night.

Coach Kevin Baldwin noted it was a great game that could have gone either way.

“It was a game of missed opportunities. Two weeks in a row now we have had opportunities to score and didn’t capitalize. We are definitely going to have to play better defense,” he remarked. “Our young kids are getting experience the hard way playing against juniors and seniors.”

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