by JACOB MEREDITH / sportingpumpkin.com
CIRCLEVILLE — The only guarantee in Friday’s game was that the Braves would come out victorious in this first round playoff game.
Unfortunately for host Logan Elm, it was the Braves of visiting Indian Valley posting the 48-27 victory.
“I was proud of our guys for their toughness and fight tonight,” LE coach Terry Holbert said.
And a fight it was between both Braves donning the red and white arrow. Logan Elm would get the ball to begin the game but would have a three-and-out to punt to Indian Valley.
The visiting Braves used a few Grady Kinsey rushes (20 carries for 193 yards on the night) to cap off the drive with a Kolton Thomas six-yard touchdown run to take the early lead 7-0.
The ensuing LE drive saw another punt, and Indian Valley answered with a Kinsey touchdown to take the score to 13-0 as the point after attempt was no good.
The Braves of Logan Elm put together a 10-play drive featuring a couple of Michael Bock carries. They helped set up an Aaron Walters 20-yard strike to senior Cameron Redd for a Logan Elm touchdown to make it 13-7 less than a minute into the second quarter.
After trading possessions, Indian Valley had a short field and made LE pay when Kinsey took it in from 15 yards out. A successful two-point conversion run made the score 21 to 7.
After intercepting a deep LE pass, Indian Valley responded with a backward pass to freshman QB Ryker Williams who connected with Kinsey for a 42-yard gain. A few plays later, Thomas went in from seven yards to make it 28-7, which is where the score stood at the half.
“I don’t feel that we were under prepared, we just didn’t put the right guys in the right places at the right times and Indian Valley was just more physical than us and are a great team,” Holbert said.
Indian Valley’s second play of the second half was a handoff to Kinsey, who raced 41 yards for his third touchdown of the night to make the score 35-7 toward the Braves of Indian Valley.
On the ensuing Logan Elm drive, the home Braves sandwiched a pair of completions to Keegan Diehl around a Bock run which set up a Michael Bock 24-yard touchdown. A successful PAT from Maggie Wilson made the score 35-14 less than two minutes into the half.
“I was really proud of our guys not giving up and fighting and being physical, we showed a lot of character and toughness,” Holbert said.
Indian Valley ate up more of the clock on its next drive, which was mostly on the ground. But a 27-yard pass to Eric Golder on fourth down set up first-and-goal.
On third down, an eight-yard rushing touchdown from Thomas, made the score 42-14 with 4:02 left in the quarter.
“Ultimately what you need to do to win a ball game, we didn’t do tonight, and I give credit to (Indian Valley),” Holbert said.
A turnover 20 seconds into LE’s next possession would lead to an Indian Valley 15-yard pass from Sam Carter to Eric Golder on the first play of the fourth quarter to cap off scoring for the visiting Braves at 48.
However, the home Braves were not done and put together a drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Walters to Carson Summers to make the score 49 to 20.
Logan Elm put together one last scoring drive that featured a couple first down passes to Redd and a big pass to Summers setting up an 18-yard scoring pass to Thompson to finish off the night’s scoring at 48-27.
“I really appreciate all our seniors, and what they did for our program,” Holbert says. “When we have time to reflect, and look back on it, we can say that this is one of the best teams in Logan Elm football history winning a league title, and, in the long run, I know we all want more and that is the reality of this game.”
Walters was 19-34 for 264 yards on the night with Redd having 10 catches for 128 yards.
Bock had seven rushes for 61 yards on the night and Thompson had nine carries for 35 yards.
Indian Valley 48, Logan Elm 27
By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Indian Valley 13 15 14 6 48
Logan Elm 0 7 7 13 27