Davenport West had favorable field position for the opening quarter-and-a-half Thursday night but couldn’t turn it into any points.
The Falcons changed their tactics.
Coach Justin Peters went to a wildcat formation and West’s offense started to take off.
Thanks to 239 rushing yards and a stellar performance from its defense, West snapped an 11-game losing streak to Clinton with a 19-7 victory at Brady Street Stadium.
“That’s all our offensive line,” Izaiah Schaeffer-Houston said. “They’ve spent a lot of time in the offseason getting stronger and adding muscle. We’re a more all-around team and can do any formation.”
Peters said the move to the wildcat was made to rest some of his players that were going both ways.
It immediately paid dividends. West had six rushes for 50 yards, capped by Cam Carter's 10-yard touchdown run.
“We actually had it in last year,” Peters said. “Our linemen have taken an incredible step forward. We’re still a little undersized, but they’re going to fire off the ball and hit someone.”
Clinton (0-2) was playing behind the chains most of the game. The River Kings were flagged 19 times for 107 yards, with the majority of those being false starts on their offensive line.
“We ran 137 offensive plays in practice this week and didn’t jump offsides one time,” Clinton coach Jon Wauford said. “I’m not sure what was going on there, but obviously I don’t have any play calls for second-and-30 or second-and-17.
“False starts really prevented us from having any chance of winning this game.”
West had a 9-0 lead at halftime and added to it on the opening possession of the third quarter. Schaeffer-Houston finished off a 14-play, 62-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown.
Andres Gonzales added a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter as West moved to 2-0 for the first time since 2015.
Clinton had only 47 rushing yards.
“We’re all together, all one unit this year,” defensive end Kyle Burton said. “We’ve got players making plays.
“The vibe is much better than last year. Everybody is close and everybody can have fun. But when it is time to get serious, we can get serious.”
Clinton scored in the final minute when Zach Hoffman hit JR Wauford for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The Falcons had seven different players carry the ball. Quarterback Payton Thompson finished with 68 yards while Tyreese Johnson had 65 and Carter concluded with 50.
West, which won despite 11 penalties for 90 yards, has a chance to move to 3-0 next week at Muscatine.
“This group has bought into focusing on them, focusing on us,” Peters said. “That’s the huge difference between this group and those in the past.
“We had some guys on the past where it was I. These guys have stepped up and said not anymore. We’re going to focus on us.”
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