2016-08-23 / Front Page

Cloverdale Shows Improvements In Season Opener With South Putnam

Staff Report


Cloverdale junior Ethan Radford sacks South Putnam quarterback Allen Plunkett in a week one loss. (Staff Photo) Cloverdale junior Ethan Radford sacks South Putnam quarterback Allen Plunkett in a week one loss. (Staff Photo) The end result remained a loss, but the improvements coach Tony Meyer’s Cloverdale Clovers displayed during a season opening loss to South Putnam Friday night indicated far more than the 26-8 loss on the scoreboard.

Holding the visiting Eagles scoreless through the opening period, Cloverdale posted the first score of the night on a two-yard quarterback keeper from junior Drew Boyette. Junior tailback Tyce Jackson caught a short pass from Boyette in the Clovers’ backfield for the two-point conversion.

The Cloverdale sideline and stands were full of energy as the first quarter came to a close, and South Putnam quickly quieted the surroundings on an 83-yard kick-off return by Aidan LeBlanc. A two-point conversion run failed, but South’s Kyle Shaffer added his first of three touchdowns on a 14-yard scamper to give the Eagles a 12-8 halftime lead.


Clovers’ junior cornerback Nick Winders deflects a long pass to a South Putnam wide receiver. (Staff Photo) Clovers’ junior cornerback Nick Winders deflects a long pass to a South Putnam wide receiver. (Staff Photo) Shafer went on to add a touchdown run in the third and fourth quarters, respectively for 129 yards on 22 carries.

Cloverdale ended the night with Boyette throwing 2-for-5 with an interception and 20 yards passing. He also rushed nine times for 25 yards. Jackson ended the night with 15 carries for 58 yards, while Tyler Kaeff racked up 48 yards on eight carries. Cloverdale’s Nick Winders caught two passes for 20 yards. The Clovers racked up 169 yards of total offense, compared to 259 from South Putnam.

Cloverdale caused six South Putnam penalties for 69 yards, while committing just two for 20 yards. The Clovers, though, lost three fumbles on the night.

“It was a hell of a first half, if you take the kick-off return and the two fumbles away, it was a great game,” Meyer said of his team’s first outing. “Our defense held Shaffer to 129 yards, last year, he ran for over 250 against us, and we held them to 259 yards of total offense, we didn’t hold anyone under that last year. We did exponentially better.

Honestly, I thought we were going to beat them. Defensively, if you watched the game, our kids really took the fight to them. Last year, we were good for a quarter, this year, we played strong all four quarters. We had a couple of players who didn’t have their best games, but we did a pretty solid job. ”

The Clovers (0-1) will travel north to Greencastle Friday night for a week two match-up against the Tiger Cubs and Meyer’s brother, coach Mike Meyer. Greencastle earned a 27-20 home win against Crawfordsville in week one and defeated Cloverdale by a score of 56-6 a season ago.

“We have no injuries, so we have 100 percent of our guys back. We’re going to practice and work on some of the things we didn’t do so well against South Putnam, really focusing on our offense to get that to where it’s more mobile. I have total confidence in our kids to go and be very competitive,” Meyer said. “Greencastle is about as well coached a team as we’re going to see and I think it will be a really good test for us. We have to move the ball consistently. When I say that, we did some things well in the first half against South Put, but they picked up on where we were trying to focus, we have to do a better job of evolving as the game goes. They really clogged up the center of the field and there wasn’t any place for us to run up the middle, so we have to do a better job of using different parts of the field for our offense. I think we’re going to do that. Our kids are in good shape, I think the conditioning is paying off. Last year after our first game, we were down four kids and this year, none are injured, so we’re rolling along.”

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2016-08-23 digital edition