CLIFTON — Coaches love to say that a team plays like it practices during the week.
On Friday night, Westville coach Guy Goodlove saw that trite but true statement come to fruition as his Tigers couldn't overcome their myriad of mistakes in a 24-13 loss to Clifton Central in a Vermilion Valley Conference Alliance football game.
"We made a lot of mistakes — but we made them all week long,'' Goodlove said. "We were lining up in the neutral zone all week in practice. We were fumbling the football. The things you saw tonight, we have been doing all week long.
"When you play a lesser opponent, you can get by with some of that stuff, but not with someone that is as good as Clifton Central.''
And each miscue — small or large — played a factor in the final outcome.
But, it was definitely the big ones like a snap over the punter's head in the first quarter, three consecutive 15-yard penalties (two personal fouls and one unsportsmanlike conduct) in the second quarter, a fumble in the third quarter and then a missed defensive assignment that resulted in 18 points for the Comets, who improved to 3-1 with the victory.
"We gave them a touchdown right before half with those 15-yard penalties,'' Goodlove said. "We marched them right down the field and basically put them in the end zone.''
Still, Westville (3-1) was in a position to escape with a victory thanks in part to an 81-yard kickoff return by Will Terry to open the second half.
The Tigers had five possessions in the second half where they could have taken the lead with a touchdown. Two of them stalled out in Clifton Central territory, and a third ended with Westville quarterback Julian Ledesma fumbling at the Comets 18-yard line.
"We had them on the ropes,'' Goodlove said. "We were ready to score and we made another mistake.
"You can't play your opponent, when you are also playing against yourself.''
Clifton Central quarterback Luke Shoven, who was 14-of-21 for 179 yards and three touchdowns, delivered the ultimate backbreaker with 4 minutes, 16 seconds left in the contest when he hit a wide-open Tristan Schmidt for a 46-yard touchdown pass giving the Comets a 24-13 advantage.
"Eventually, you are going to pay for your mistakes and we paid tonight,'' said Goodlove, who hopes that Friday's setback can turn into a learning lesson.
"You can go two ways. One way is where we quit caring and quit working. In which case, you will not be part of the team. Or, we can decide to be better and get these things cleaned up.''
Everything started off well for Westville.
Junior Landen Haurez capped a six-play, 71-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 6:06 left in the first quarter.
But the next 10 possessions for Westville resulted in four punts, an interception, a fumble and four turnovers on downs, including a 25-yard loss late in the first quarter as a snap sailed over the head of punter Andre Johnson.
On the very next play for the Comets, Shoven was hookied up with Schmidt for an 18-yard touchdown and Clifton Central had pulled within 7-6.
Both Westville and Clifton Central open conference divisional play next week.
The Tigers will travel to Hoopeston for a 7 p.m. contest against the Cornjerkers, who are 2-2 after a 28-6 victory over the Watseka Warriors. Clifton Central is also on the road with a Friday contest at Watseka.
BHRA 49, Momence 0
BISMARCK — Quarterback Dawson Dodd completed 11 of 13 passes — six for touchdowns — as the Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin Blue Devils defeated the Momence Redskins 49-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Bis-Henn/Ross-Al (4-0) finished with 433 yards of total offense with Dodd passing for 235 yards and running for 56. Running back Rhett Harper, who scored the Blue Devils seventh touchdown, finished with 96 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Senior Mason Hackman was Dodd's top target with 7 receptions for 148 yards and four touchdowns, while Enrigue Randle and Karson Stevenson had the other two touchdown receptions.
Salt Fork 28, Iroquois West 14
CATLIN — In a battle of unbeaten teams, the Salt Fork Storm scored three times in the third quarter to pull out a 28-14 victory over the Iroquois West Raiders in a Vermilion Valley Conference Alliance contest at Byerly-Hageman Field.
Salt Fork, which trailed 14-7 at halftime, tied the game at 14-14 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Ethan Davis, who ended up rushing 102 yards on 10 carries and he had a team-high 13 tackles.
The Storm took the lead for good just 1 minute, 19 seconds later on a 15-yard touchdown run by Ethan McLain.
Salt Fork quarterback Colden Earles had a pair of touchdown passes to Garrett Taylor, the first open the scoring and the second capped the scoring.
HAAP 28, Watseka 6
WATSEKA — The Hoopeston Area/Armstrong-Potomac football team have already doubled its win total from last season.
The Cornjerkers took the lead and held on to beat Watseka 28-6.
Abel Colunga ran for 194 yards with a touchdown for HAAP, while Anthony Zamora passed for 85 yards and three touchdowns, Hunter Cannon caught four passes for 55 yards and two scores and Kollin Asbury had a 30-yard catch for a score.
Oakwood 30, Dwight 22
DWIGHT — After three tough defeats, the Oakwood football team battled to get a win on Friday.
The Comets were down 22-0 in the second quarter, but then started to score on will as they beat Dwight 30-22.
Gaven Clouse had 182 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns for Oakwood, while Josh Young had 37 yards and four touchdowns and connected with Griffen Trees four times for 59 yards.
Seneca 63, GRFC 6
GEORGETOWN — The Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman football team finally hit the home field on Friday.
But it was not a fun homecoming as the Buffaloes lost to Seneca 63-6.
GRFC will start Vermilion Valley Conference South play next week against Salt Fork.
Seeger 50, Covington 30
WEST LEBANON, Ind. — The Seeger football team jumped out to a 28-8 lead in the first quarter and would go on to beat Covington 50-30 on Friday in Wabash River Conference action.
Peyton Chinn ran for 297 yards and five touchdowns for the Patriots, including an 51, a 8 and 68-yard touchdown runs. Ethan Hernandez had a 75-yard kickoff return and Rayce Carr caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from Chinn.
Alan Karrfalt passed for 207 yards with two touchdowns for the Trojans and ran for 98 yards and two scores. Savion Waddell had six catches for 91 yards, Dane Gerling had three catches for 38 yards, Duncan Keller had seven catches for 36 yards and Neil Ellmore had three catches for 28 yards.
Seeger is 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Wabash River Conference and will face Fountain Central Friday, while Covington is 3-2 and 2-2 and will face South Newton in non-conference action.
N. Vermillion 47, Riverton Parke 16
CAYUGA, Ind. — The North Vermillion football team got their first Wabash River Conference win of the season in a major way.
Cody Tryon scored four different ways as the Falcons beat Riverton Parke 47-16.
Tryon scored on a kickoff return, a fumble recovery, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown as North Vermillion continued its long winning streak over the Panthers.
The Falcons are 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the WRC and will travel to Attica Friday.
Fountain Central 42, Attica 13
VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — A.J. Hall passed for 160 yards and four touchdowns as the Fountain Central football team beat Attica 42-13.
The Mustangs scored all of their points in the first half and cruised from there to beat the Red Ramblers.
Hall hit Layne Lynch four times for 102 yards for two touchdowns, connected with Brian Chirinos three times for 23 yards and two scores and Austin Pickett once time for 23 yards.
On the ground, Pickett ran for 87 yards with a touchdown and Owen Acton ran for 77 yards and a score.
Luke Foxworthy had 12 tackles with two tackles for losses and a sack and Dawson Blue caused two fumbles.
The Mustangs will host Seeger on Friday.