2017-09-20 / Sports

Berkeley Springs handles road test at Frankfort to earn first win

by Jamie Harris

Quarterback Tobin Whittington, 17, makes his way through the Falcon defenders in the Berkeley Springs win last Friday night. Quarterback Tobin Whittington, 17, makes his way through the Falcon defenders in the Berkeley Springs win last Friday night. The Berkeley Springs High School Indians had to hit the road for a contest at Frankfort on Friday, September 15. The Indians went into the contest looking for their first win of the season despite putting up some impressive offensive numbers in two of the three games they have played.

The host Frankfort Falcons were looking for win number two on the season, but were also struggling with consistency.

The Falcons struck first taking the open kickoff and driving down the field for the first score of the game to go up 7-0 after the extra point was good.

Berkeley Springs took the ensuing kickoff and was able to start from the Indians 35 yard line. On their first offensive snap freshman running back Payton Thompson took the hand-off and burst through a hole in the Falcons defense for a 60 yard gain, but was stripped of the ball inside the Falcon five yard line.

Matt Cowles, 50, on the left tackles a Frankfort ball carrier. Later he went on to intercept a Falcon pass clinching the Indian win. photos by Anita Kesner Matt Cowles, 50, on the left tackles a Frankfort ball carrier. Later he went on to intercept a Falcon pass clinching the Indian win. photos by Anita Kesner The Indians defense was able to hold the Falcon offense in check and forced a punt. The Indians returned the punt and set up excellent field position inside the Falcon 30 yard line. The Indians offense could not get anything started and turned the ball over on downs after three straight incomplete passes.

The Indians defense once again rose to the challenge as they forced a Frankfort fumble on a third down run.

The Indians offense got some help on a defensive off sides call to set up a first and five from the Falcon 25 yard line. On a fourth and one from the Falcon 21 yard line the Indians offense found the end zone when Trentin Ratcliff took the sweep toss and rumbled 21 yards in for the score. The two point conversion attempt was no good and the Tribe trailed 7-6.

Frankfort’s next offensive possession they turned to their run game and drove down the field to end the first quarter.

The start of the second quarter the Falcons punched in the ball for another touchdown and with the extra point attempt Frankfort held a 14- 6 lead.

The Indians mishandled the ensuing kickoff and found themselves starting on their own 10 yard line. On their first offensive possession of the second quarter Indians quarterback Tobin Whittington ran the read option to perfection as he broke free for a 40 yard run to move the ball to midfield. Whittington then completed a pass to Ty’Jae Armstrong for a 12 yard gain. The Indians once again found the end zone when Whittington found Josh Hartman open. Hartman made a nice catch and then bounced off a Falcon defender and sprinted 30 yards into the end zone. However the score was wiped off the scoreboard due to a penalty on the Tribe. On a long third down Whittington was able to pick up a Tribe first down on a nice run.

On second and four from the Falcon’s 15 yard line the Indians found the end zone on a Whittington touchdown run. The Indians went for the two point conversion and once again was denied a chance to tie the game. However, the Tribe climbed back into the game trailing 14-12 going into the locker room at the half.

The third quarter saw both offenses struggle moving the ball down the field. However, Frankfort was able to put a drive together and was knocking on the door inside the Indians five yard line when the third quarter ended.

The Falcons started the fourth quarter by punching the ball in for the touchdown and with the extra point attempt they had a 21-12 lead over the Indians.

Starting at their own 35 yard line the Tribe offense went to work. Whittington picked up five yards on a quarterback run. On second and five Whittington found Hartman for a first down completion.

On first and 10 from their own 47 yard line Whittington found CJ Ryan open for a 35 yard gain to set the Tribe offense up with a first down on the Falcon 14 yard line. A fourth and 10 defensive pass interference gave the Tribe some new life with a new set of downs at the Falcon 10 yard line. However the Indians could not capitalize on the new set of downs and turned the ball over on an incomplete fourth down pass.

The Indians defense stepped up once again and forced another punt. Then the Tribe offense found the end zone as Whittington broke free and sprinted for a 30 yard touchdown run. On the ensuing two point conversion attempt, Whittington broke free and ran in from three yards out to trim the Falcon lead to 21-20 half way through the fourth quarter.

The Indian defense behind the efforts of linebacker Matt Cowles once again stepped up and stopped the Falcon offense forcing another punt.

Facing a short clock the Indians had 92 yards in front of them and a go ahead touchdown. After two straight incompletions and a Whittington short run the Tribe was facing fourth and eight. Willing to gamble, the Tribe was able to pick up the first down when Whittington hit Hartman for a 14 yard gain. Continuing to move the ball down the field with a mixture of pass and run the Indian offense found themselves at the Falcon 28 yard line. Whittington took the snap and dropped back and found a wide open Hartman streaking down the right sideline for the go ahead touchdown. The two point conversion attempt was no good, but the Indians had rallied to take a 26-21 lead.

With the biggest test of the night facing them, the Berkeley Springs defense was ready for the challenge of protecting their lead. The Falcons did find some chinks in the Indian defense as they moved the ball to the Berkeley Springs 30 yard line. On second and 11 the Berkeley Springs defense came up with the biggest stop of the game when Cowles intercepted a Falcon pass to seal the 26-21 win for the Tribe.

Offensively, the Indians were led by quarterback Whittington (11 rushes, 111 yards, two touchdowns, one two-point conversion, 17/38, 187 yards passing, one touchdown, one interception and 22 yards receiving). Freshman running back Thompson had four rushes for 65 yards, Ratcliff (five rushes for 48 yards, one touchdown). The Indians were led in receiving by Hartman (seven receptions for 81 yards, one touchdown), Ryan (five receptions, 70 yards), Armstrong (four receptions, 29 yards) and Ratcliff (one reception for seven yards).

Defensively the Indians were led by linebacker Cowles who made numerous tackles including the game clinching interception. Cowles for his defensive efforts was named the player of the game by the local Frankfort radio station.

Berkeley Springs (1-3) will have a much needed week off. They will travel to North Marion on Friday, September 29 for a 7p.m. kickoff.

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