Indians Outlast Musketeers

Indians Outlast Musketeers

Brian Magee, Special Contributor

The Red Bud Musketeer football lost a close one Friday night at home against Cahokia Conference rival Carlyle. The Indians came to town with an 0-3 record for the season posted by an unusually young starting varsity team. The game looked like a good match-up for the Musketeers who had a number of players unable to compete due to COVID exposure. The coaching staff was able to fill all the holes to field a well-disciplined and talented team. The situation gave team members the chance to start a varsity game and showcase their abilities, as well as get some valuable playing experience.

The game began with the Musketeers receiving the opening kick and testing the Indians’ defense first. Red Bud was able to move the ball into Indian territory using their running game behind some solid blocking by the offensive line. Quarterback Easton Lucht had runs of eight and twelve yards during the sustained drive and a 20-yard pass completion on a tipped ball, to Ayden Shemwell, that moved the ball inside the Carlyle 35. Later, the team turned the ball over on downs when a fourth-down conversion came up short. The Indians took control of the ball and, much like Red Bud, were able to move forward utilizing the quarterback keeper. Carlyle was forced to punt near midfield, giving the Musketeers another go at it. After three such exchanges were repeated, the first quarter ended at 0-0.

The second quarter proceeded in much the same fashion as the first with the exception of a 75-yard pass connection between Lucht and Shemwell for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the play was called back due to offensive pass interference and the first half ended at 0-0. During the third quarter, Red Bud was able to move the ball on the ground using senior running back Nick Gantner and sophomore back Chase Lucht. Gantner had 9 carries for 39 yards on the night and recovered a Carlyle fumble deep in Musketeer territory, saving a touchdown and returning the ball to the Red Bud 35. Nick also caught 3 passes for 19 yards and recorded 7 tackles on defense.

The Musketeers pinned the Indians down deep in their own territory twice in the second half on punts that put them at the 5 and 3-yard lines, respectively but the Indians were able to work the ball out and avoid a defensive score by Red Bud. The Musketeers had a final attempt to put the game away with under a minute to play in regulation but the Indian defense remained strong and the game ended in a scoreless tie.

Red Bud won the coin toss for the overtime frame and started from the 10-yard line. The Boys drove to the 5-yard line on carries by Lucht and Gantner when on third down, Lucht found Gantner in the endzone for a TD pass to take a 6-0 lead. The two-point conversion failed, which proved to be huge, but the Musketeers had the lead. In order to win the game, the Red Bud defense had to stop the Indians from scoring on their possession. Carlyle took over at the ten and marched to a touchdown but the PAT kick missed and the score was 6-6 again. The Indians started the second overtime period again at the 10-yard line with a renewed life and quickly scored to take the lead. This time Carlyle successfully completed a two-point conversion to make the score 14-6. In order to tie the score, the Musketeers would need to score a touchdown and get the two-point conversion. Red Bud started at the ten and attempted a run but was stopped for a loss. On second down, Lucht dropped back to pass but the ball fell incomplete in the endzone. Third down and the Indians chased the Musketeer quarterback out of the pocket and dropped him for another loss. Finally, on fourth and long, with the game on the line, Carlyle sent an all-out blitz, dropping Lucht at the 20-yard line to end the game; final score: 14-6. The loss dropped the Musketeers’ season record to 1-3, 0-1 in conference play. The team travels to Sparta this week to battle the Bulldogs Friday night. Sparta is also 0-1 in conference play after a loss last week against Chester. Red Bud will have some players returning to action this week and are fired up after the close game last week. The Bulldogs will be looking for their first win of the season so it looks to be a good match-up. Make the short trip south to support your team. The kick-off is at 7:00.