Backup quarterback saves Indian Creek
WINTERSVILLE — M-A-Z-A-R spells relief.
Junior backup quarterback Sam Mazar came off of the bench in the third quarter for injured starter Brennon Norris and led the Indian Creek football team to 22 points in the fourth quarter against Cambridge. The Redskins rallied from an eight-point deficit to defeat the Bobcats, 35-28, Friday night at Kettlewell Stadium.
Indian Creek trailed Cambridge, 21-13, in the fourth quarter, but Mazar threw two touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the Redskins to the come-from-behind victory.
“That is why you have a backup quarterback practice,” Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor said. “You don’t want to have anything happen to your starting quarterback, but if something does, you have someone ready. We ran the same offense. Sam made some really big throws, and our receivers made some really nice catches.”
Mazar found Brandon Fleming for a 31-yard touchdown with 32.3 seconds left in the game to give the Redskins the lead for good.
“We told our kids in the offseason that Indian Creek is a very-disciplined team,” first-year Cambridge head coach Josh Lowery said. “Defensively, they are tough. Offensively, they have some good skill players. We knew that coming in.”
For the game, Mazar was 3 of 4 for 79 yards, the two touchdowns and an interception, while also throwing for a two-point conversion. He ran the ball twice for 23 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown run, and he caught one pass for 5 yards.
Norris was injured on a scarmble at the Cambridge 13 with 8:43 remaining left in the third quarter.
“It was an emotional moment,” Connor said. “He’s a leader.
“We always talk about we want to make the district proud, and all 49 or 50 kids made the district proud. They rallied. The younger kids were making a lot of noise. They were screaming. They really picked us up.”
Norris finished the game with 30 yards through the air with an interception. He ran eight times for 60 yards and caught one pass for 8 yards.
On the next play after Norris was injured, the Redskins attempted a 30-yard field goal. The kick sailed wide, keeping the score 13-7 in Indian Creek’s favor.
After the missed field goal, the Bobcats drove 80 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Travon Jeffrey, who finished with 98 yards and two touchdowns, scored on a 5-yard touchdown, and Evan Hannon booted the extra point to give the visitors a 14-13 lead with 3:34 left in the third.
Indian Creek turned the ball over on a fumble on its first play of its ensuing drive, and Cambridge took over at the Redskins’ 19.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 21-13 when Trent Valentine hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Cody Moore, and Hannon booted the PAT with 1:56 remaining in the quarter.
The Redskins responded as Mazar threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Fante with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter. Trailing 21-19, Mazar hooked up with Brock Lucas for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 21.
Next, Mazar gave the lead back to the Redskins when he scored on a 25-yard run with 3:03 left to play.
Cambridge answered as Jeffrey ran for a 9-yard score to tie the game at 28, with 1:13 still showing on the scoreboard clock.
“Cambridge is well-coached,” Connor said. “Their coach did a great job in his first game. It was a great high school football game.”
The Bobcats had a chance to tie the score, but their desperation pass in the end zone fell incomplete on the last play of the game.
“That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” Lowery said. “I am proud of our kids. They did not give up.”
The Bobcats took the lead in the first quarter when quarterback Cooper Kerns caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from Valentine to make the score 7-0 with 7:38 left in the quarter.
Valentine, who also ran the ball once for 7 yards, caught 11 passes for 139 yards in the game.
“He is a good player,” Connor said. “We told the kids the game was going to come down to whoever could make the most plays. We had a lot of kids step up and make plays.”
Indian Creek came right back as Lucas returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. However, the two-point conversion pass failed, keeping the score at 7-6 with 7:21 remaining in the quarter.
The Redskins took their first lead when Matt Schaefer ran for a 7-yard score, and Brandon Hiles split the uprights with his extra points, making the score 13-7 with 2:47 left in the quarter.
“Both teams did what they said they were going to try to do,” Connor said.
The Redskins have won two straight games against the Bobcats after Cambridge defeated Indian Creek at Kettlewell back in the 2016 season opener.
“They have done the same thing all three years,” Lowery said.
Both teams play at home this week. Cambridge is slated to play John Glenn, while Indian Creek will face Buckeye 8 North Division rival East Liverpool.
Meadowbrooke defeated John Glenn, 32-26, in overtime Friday night on the road, while East Liverpool defeated Shadyside, 14-7, at Patterson Field.
Indian Creek 35, Cambridge 28
Cambridge 7 0 14 7 — 28
Indian Creek 13 0 0 22 — 35
CAMBRIDGE: Kerns 58 pass from Valentine (Hanlon kick)
INDIAN CREEK: Lucas 90 kick off return (pass fail)
INDIAN CREEK: Schaefer 7 run (Hiles kick)
CAMBRIDGE: T. Jeffrey 5 run (Hanlon kick)
CAMBRIDGE: Valentine 24 pass from Moore (Hanlon kick)
INDIAN CREEK: Fante 13 pass from Mazar (Lucas pass from Mazar)
INDIAN CREEK: Mazar 25 run (Hiles kick)
CAMBRIDGE: T. Jeffrey 9 run (Hanlon kick)
INDIAN CREEK: Fleming 31 pass from Mazar (Hiles kick)
RUSHING: Cambridge 44-136-2 (C. Moore 14-11, T. Jeffrey 23-98, Lacey 1-5, Kerns 5-15, Valentine 1-7); Indian Creek 36-194-2 (Fante 13-56, Norris 8-60, Schaefer 12-50, Fleming 1-5, Mazur 2-23).
PASSING: Cambridge 18-21-237-2-0 (C. Moore 17-20-179-1-0, Valentine 1-1-58-1-0); Indian Creek 7-16-117-2-1 (Norris 3-11-30-0-2, Mazar 3-4-79-2-1, Lucas 1-1-8-0-0).
RECEIVING: Cambridge 21-234-2 (Kerns 1-58, Valentine 11-139, Tuttle 4-21, D. Moore 2-16); Indian Creek 7-117-1 (Norris 1-8, Mamula 2-45, Mazar 1-5, Walker 1-15, Fante 1-13, Fleming 1-31).
FIRST DOWNS: Cambridge 21; Indian Creek 13
PENALTIES-YARDS: Cambridge 13-93; Indian Creek 10-78
PUNTS-AVERAGE: Cambridge 5-28; Indian Creek 1-31
FUMBLES-LOST: Cambridge 1-1; Indian Creek 2-1