There was more to Indian Creek coach Brett Cooper’s game plan in his team’s 52-0 win over Owen Valley than just getting quarterback Roman Purcell plenty of open space to run.
The Braves only made things look that easy.
Given time to make the right decision against a manageable opponent, Purcell was dominant. The senior rushed for 142 yards and two scores and added another through the air as Indian Creek bounced back from two tough setbacks and plowed over the Patriots on Friday night at home.
“I told our kids all week that we were going to run the football,” Cooper said. “That’s how we’ve been since I’ve been here, and in the first two weeks, we kind of got away from that.
“We scaled it back and went after them (Friday). When you can block and get a dynamic athlete free, you’re going to make some big plays.”
The Braves (1-2, 1-0 WIC) made several big plays on both sides of the ball, relying on running backs Brandon Murray and Owen Sego when they didn’t keep the ball in Purcell’s hands. Murray got the Braves started with a pair of first-quarter scores, while Sego provided the finishing blow to the Patriots (0-3, 0-1) with a 6-yard run that gave Indian Creek a 35-point edge.
But the play that really broke Owen Valley’s back came from Purcell, who showed that this would be his night on the Braves’ second series of the game.
On the first play of the drive, Purcell cut toward the Braves’ sideline and raced around everyone in a white jersey, streaking down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown run that gave Indian Creek a 14-0 lead and seemed to crush the Patriots’ resolve.
“We came out and executed the game plan,” Cooper said. “We got everybody involved tonight, and we didn’t do a very good job of that in the first two weeks. When you spread the ball around enough, the outcome is usually good for us.”
A good outcome was badly needed for the Braves after suffering two routs at the hands of Evansville Mater Dei and Greenwood. This time, Indian Creek was the one triggering the running clock with its success, which Cooper hopes will be the springboard that puts the conference in play for the Braves after learning from the opening two weeks.
“We needed that confidence-builder, and I’m really happy for the kids.” Cooper said. “I’m glad they got a little taste of what work, and success, looks like. Any win where we come out and execute on offense and defense tells our kids that we can go play.”