CAMANCHE— Fumble, fumble, fumble. Oh, and one more fumble.
That was the story for the Camanche Indians in their 35-7 loss to West Liberty on Friday night in their Week 8 contest.
“We can’t turn the ball over like that,” head coach Dustin Coit said. “That’s a really good team. Last week, we turned the ball over six times and when you do that against good teams usually the result on the scoreboard will happen.”
The Indians had four fumbles, three of which turned into Comet touchdowns. The first one came off the kick off, which gave the Comets a first-and-10 on the Indians’ 19-yard line.
They scored just 13 seconds into the first quarter.
The Indians made a drive down the field, but the second fumble of the quarter gave the Comets back the ball on their own 32-yard line.
Another score would have the Indians trailing 22-0 when they went into the locker room for halftime. Even though they made plenty of movement on each drive, it never resulted in points across the board.
“Our kids kept battling,” Coit said. “We didn’t stop. We were able to move the ball, then we would have a penalty or something and they would take over. That’s a really solid defense, they’ve been shutting teams down and we just can’t do that.”
Quarter three saw the Comets with the ball, and the Indians’ second chop block of the game. Another 5-yard penalty and they were within field goal range.
“We had a stretch where we had a lot of penalties and it came back a little bit tonight,” Coit said.
West Liberty quarterback Seth Feldman easily carried it in for their fourth touchdown of the game.
The Indians knew Feldman would be hard to handle. He came in to the game with 920 passing yards and 431 rushing, the team leader in both categories. He carried the majority of the offense for the Comets on Friday night, too.
“He’s a three-year starter who doesn’t run like a quarterback and throws the ball pretty well,” Coit said about Feldman. “We knew coming in we would have to stop him and for the most part we did an OK job on him. He’s a good player and he made plays when he needed to.”
The third Indian fumble happened in the third quarter, and the very next play the Comets threw a 31-yard touchdown pass. That was the last time the Comets would score, but they had the 35-0 lead.
“We just have to hold on to the ball, simple as that,” Coit said.
The Indians got on the board late in the fourth. After their fourth fumble in the third quarter, their defense stopped the Comets and they got the ball in their own territory. They marched sonly down the field and made it to the 6-yard line.
Another penalty sent them back to the 17-yard line. It didn’t matter, senior quarterback Baylor Crigger found Blake Hardison in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass just after the two minute warning.
The Indians fall to 3-5 on the season. Camanche will wrap up regular season play next week at home with a game against West Burlington.