MIDDLE — Despite rain-soaked conditions, with 30-mph wind gusts hampering play, Indian Valley made Senior Night an especially enjoyable experience as the Braves hammered winless rival Claymont 60-8 in an Inter-Valley Conference South football clash Thursday night.
The 32nd meeting between Claymont and Indian Valley was the final regular season game at Kelley Field.
The Braves (9-1, 4-1) will play their final game at Kelley Field next week when the team hosts a Division IV regional quarterfinal one week from Saturday.
Indian Valley wasted no time as the Braves scored three touchdowns in the first three minutes of the game.
"We came out and executed the way we were supposed to, and put ourselves in a good position early," said Indian Valley head coach Matt Lancaster. "We emphasized staying focused on execution, rather than the score."
Trevor Myers got the scoring started with a 93-yard kickoff return for a score just 16 seconds into the contest.
After recovering an onside kick, Indian Valley ran one play. Then, on the second play, Shane Thornton raced 53 yards for a touchdown to give the hosts a 14-0 lead just one minute into the game.
After a Mustang three-and-out Indian Valley needed just another minute before Andrix Bowersock ran the ball in from four yards out to give the Red and Blue a 21-0 lead.
Noah Wells scored the fourth Braves touchdown in the first quarter from six yards out to give Indian Valley a 28-0 lead.
Ty Myers got into the mix early in the second quarter with a 25-yard scamper to give the hosts a commanding 35-0 lead and start the running clock.
Just a minute later, Thornton scored his second touchdown of the game -- a 15-yard run to make it 42-0 midway through the second quarter.
Zach Love, who entered the game with over 1,100 rushing yards, scored his first touchdown on a 53-yard run to put the Braves up 48-0.
Thornton, who entered play with over 800 yards rushing himself, amassed more than 100 rushing yards in the first half. He capped off those early efforts with a 47-yard touchdown romp for a 54-0 advantage. The Braves scored on every possession in the first half.
Claymont continued to play hard with the game already decided, which speaks for the character of the Mustang team, especially in Thursday’s weather conditions.
Claymont (0-10, 0-5) managed to avoid a shutout when Adrian Holmes raced 47 yards with eight minutes left in the game. Grayson Mooneyham added the two-point conversion for the final score.
Indian Valley’s seniors and other starters did not play a down in the second half, as the continuous clock made for a swift third and fourth quarter.
"It’s always a positive when you can get some of the younger guys some varsity time, valuable experience that helps sustain programs," said Lancaster.
Kelley Field has been a constant in the football program since it was constructed by the Midvale Blue Devils Booster Club, along with the help of some students. It "officially" opened in 1957. Prior to 1957, games were played on the field but there were no seats or lights. The original lights were purchased from New Philadelphia High School.
Indian Valley North’s Big Blue and I.V. South’s Rebels high school football teams both played their home games at Kelley Field until 1988 when the two schools consolidated to form the Indian Valley Braves program.
A new field is being built next to the high school in Gnadenhutten and is expected to be ready for the upcoming season.