The Fair Park Indians showed character, heart and perseverance in a 24-20 comeback win against the Northwood Falcons at Independence Stadium in District 1-4A play Thursday night.
It was the tale of two halves as the Falcons jumped out of the blocks fast and had the Indians defense on their heels and down 20-8 at the end of the half. The first score was by running back DeAndre James for 10 yards through the middle of the defense. James had eight carries for 38 yards and a touchdown, and also a 13-yard TD catch in the first half.
Early in the second quarterback Peyton Bogan hit wide receiver extraordinaire Marquez Stevenson on a quick screen that Stevenson took for an 82-yard score. Stevenson had seven catches for 156 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Peyton Bogan was 13-of-19 for 213 yards and two touchdowns at halftime. The only show of fight was a 37-yard gallop by the Indians running back JaDarius Graves for the score, capped by CaDerric Allen’s 2-point conversion leaving the Indians down by 12 points.
“They shocked us at first and I’m more proud of our guys for not giving up”, Indians coach Mike Greene said. “It was 20-8 and they just kept battling and I’m proud of the comeback tonight.”
Unmoved by an raggedly offensive start and fumbled snaps in the first half, Mike Greene’s Indians (3-2, 1-1) begin to click on offense and defense evident when quarterback Louis Smith hit Allen on an out route that he took for 72 yards into the red zone. Smith then found speedster Robert Rochell for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Late in the fourth, the Indians chewed up the clock and yardage working their way down field culminating in a 1-yard touchdown keeper by Smith to take the lead.
“We were able to move the ball in the second and Louis Smith was able to manage the game and give our defense a rest”, Greene said.
With 2:22 left in the game Northwood (2-3, 0-2) ran a wide-receiver pass and Stevenson found LaDedric Smith wide open for a 52-yard score that was called back. The Falcons never recovered and dug a deeper hole for themselves with a host of penalties and finally turning it over on downs.