Indians bulldoze Hedgesville, 28-12
by Horace Blankenship
Berkeley Springs used a strong running game and an efficient defense to defeat Hedgesville, 28-12 at Morgan Field on Friday, August 31. Cody Reed ran for more than 150 yards and Cody Hess three touchdowns as the two talented backs led Berkeley Springs to their second consecutive win of the year.
"I don't think there is a better tandem of running backs in the state," said Berkeley Springs coach Angelo Luvara. "Both have good speed and this year Hess is running over people, something Reed has always had in his arsenal. They are good."
Luvara doesn't seem to be the only one who believes Berkeley Springs has two special backs. "Those two kids are good," said Hedgesville coach Dave Lopez. Forty-two (Reed) is a man. I don't know how many times we had him at the line, then he's six yards downfield, 20 yards downfield. He's one of the best backs I've seen, but that 45 (Hess) isn't bad either. He finds creases and cuts it back."
The two teams traded punches for the first four series of the game, before Berkeley Springs went 63 yards in two plays for the first score of the game. After Sam Byrne returned a Hedgesville punt to his own 37-yard line, quarterback Matt Colwell hit tight end Zech Turner for 23 yards and a first down. On the next play, Reed busted through left tackle and rambled 40 yards for the initial touchdown of the night, with 2:10 remaining in the opening quarter. Josh Wise split the upright with the extra point kick, giving the Tribe a 7-0 lead.
Berkeley Springs then forced a three-and-out on the next series forcing an Eagle punt. The Indians returned the kick to their own 44-yard line and put together an eight-play drive to take a 14-0 lead with 8:35 remaining in the half. Reed ripped off a 17-yard run on a third-and-four from the Eagle 34- yard line to give the Indians a first down inside the Hedgesville 20-yard line. Hess did the rest with an 8-yard run on first down and then showed his power by breaking several tackles to score from nine yards out. Wise added the extra point giving the Indians a 14-0 lead.
The defense once more forced a three-and-out after the ensuing kickoff and the Indians got the ball back at their own 44-yard line. Berkeley Springs had all of the momentum and a chance to secure a three-touchdown lead, but, on the first play from scrimmage, Hedgesville recovered a Hess fumble and took full advantage when big fullback Mo Adams scored from seven yards out with 4:26 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-6.
Berkeley Springs had a chance to regain the momentum as they drove the ball down to Hedgesville's 19-yard line on their next possession, before a 15-yard penalty and sack of quarterback Colwell ended the half.
The fumble and missed opportunity by Berkeley Springs seemed to give the Eagles momentum when the second half resumed, as they put together a 13-play drive that ate 9:13 off the clock. However, due to Miles Milburn, who came up with a big third-down sack, and his defensive teammates, Hedgesville was stopped and forced to punt. The snap was muffed by the punter, Adams, who tried unsuccessfully to run for an Eagle first down.
"The defense was outstanding tonight," Luvara said. "That series at the beginning of the second half sort of killed them. Overall I thought we did a better job of controlling their athletes than they did ours."
Miburn had a huge night for the Indians, recording eight tackles and four sacks.
The two teams then traded possessions before Hedgesville punted the ball to Berkeley Springs' 8-yard line to end the third quarter.
The final 12 minutes began with Berkeley Springs taking over deep in their own territory. The Hedgesville defense quickly pushed the Tribe into a deeper hole. But facing a third-and-12 from the 6-yard line, Reed broke through the line and sprinted 40 yards, giving the Indians a much needed first down and terrific field position.
Five plays later Hess ripped through the Eagle defense from 17 yards out, Wise added the extra point, and the Indians had some breathing room, 21-6, with 8:52 left in the game.
Hedgesville could have packed it in at that point, but they didn't. In fact they marched 80 yards after the ensuing kickoff, with Eagle quarterback Taylor Hockman connecting with wide receiver J.R. Miles from 13 yards out to culminate the 10-play drive and cut the margin to 21-12. Hedgesville's big 2-point conversion attempt was stopped by the Indians' defense just short of the goal line.
Needing to score twice, the Eagles attempted an onside kick, but J.T. Thomas pounced on the ball for Berkeley Springs. The Indians picked up two quick first downs on runs by Reed and Hess, before turning the ball over on downs to the Eagles at their own 26-yard line with 2:57 remaining in the game.
On first down Hockman's pass was intercepted by cornerback Jimmy Harman ending any hopes of a Hedgesville miracle.
Hess scored from two yards out with 54 seconds remaining and Wise tacked on his fourth extra point of the game for the final margin of victory.
"This was a clean, hard-played, football game," Luvara said. "It was a very good high school football game."
The Indians will now host Class AA rival Grafton at Morgan Field this Friday, September 7. The Bearcats are also 2-0 after defeating Philip Barbour and Lewis County to open their season. The two teams have been evenly matched over the past few seasons and Luvara expects more of the same this year as well.
"They (Grafton) have a good team," said Luvara. "They are pretty physical and have some pretty good running backs. Both tailbacks are capable and I think it will be a real good football game."
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.