FORT WAYNE – This was no two-minute drill, on a long, soggy homecoming night at Spuller Stadium. This was two-minute drilled.
First Northrop fumbled the opening kickoff, and South Side recovered. Three seconds gone.
Then South Side’s Dionte Walker broke an inside reverse 35 yards for six on the Archers’ first offensive play. Eleven seconds gone.
Finally, Northrop went three-and-out, and, again on South Side’s first offensive play, Donovan Clark ran the same inside handoff and took it 73 yards for a score.
Time elapsed: 2:05. Eventual final score: South Side 47, Northrop 21, in a game that was played in a persistent drizzle and echoed to the not-so-distant thunder of the South Side ground game.
The Archers (2-3, 2-3 SAC) piled up 414 rushing yards, with Clark dinging the Bruins for 249 yards and four touchdowns and Walker gashing the Bruins for 101 yards and another score. All told, four different Archers scored, a ringing endorsement of South Side head coach Eddie Fields’ commitment to the double wing.
Our kids have been hearing a lot of noise about how the double wing can’t score, but we told them this was a game last year we put up 40, Fields said, referring to South Side’s 43-40 loss to the Bruins a year ago. From here on out we put up some pretty good points. We just had to get our kids to believe a little bit.
They did. And then they turned that belief into something concrete.
We just have to execute, Clark said. Everybody knows the talent we have on this team with me and Nathan (Braster), two D-I players. And we have a lot of D-I prospects on this team. We just felt like we needed to show everybody that was doubting us that this South Side team still has life, and we did that.
As for Northrop (1-4, 1-3), the disastrous opening sequence morphed into further disaster. The Bruins turned the ball over three times in its first four possessions, and South used them as a launch sequence toward a 26-0 lead that, by the time Clark crashed ashore from a yard out with 8:26 to play in the second quarter, left the Bruins too far adrift to catch-up.
They got a couple back on two John McKinney-to-Jacoby Claypool touchdowns, the first at 5:36 of the second. The second came with 1:12 to play in the half, McKinney finding Claypool from 28 yards out on a third-and-21.
But Clark immediately set sail again, rolling 80 yards for his fourth touchdown of the half. And when the Archers marched 65 yards in 12 plays to open the second half, chewing up seven minutes in the process, it was a 41-14 game and the Bruins were done.
Anytime (our kids) get off that good start I think it’s a big advantage for us, Fields said. And I was more impressed with the fact that they finished. We gave up one touchdown I wasn’t impressed with, but other than that they did finish well, and I’m very proud of that.