Bellevue gets rematch with Colts
Clear Fork is the top seed in Division IV Region 14, while Bellevue comes into the regional semifinal game at No. 5.
Ten weeks ago the two teams squared off in a game that came down to an overtime win.
The Colts took a 20-14 win in the OT period after stopping the driving Redmen on fourth down inside the Clear Fork 5.
Clear Fork scored on its first play in overtime to take the 20-14 lead. Trevon Tramell busted loose for a 20-yard rushing score. The Colts missed the extra point, giving Bellevue the chance to get the win.
The Redmen looked to respond after Bryce Ray was able to break open a play to get his team to the Colts 4.
“We were down near their end zone with their band playing,” said Bellevue coach Ed Nasonti. “My guys couldn’t hear the cadence. The center snapped the ball while my quarterback was trying to shift things around. (The center) thought he was given the go to snap the ball and my QB wasn’t ready for it.”
After the muffed exchange, an incomplete pass on fourth down sealed the win for Clear Fork.
“It was a physical game,” said Clear Fork coach Dave Carroll. “They have some big kids. It was a hard-hitting game.”
With less than four minutes in the game, the Redmen held a 14-7 lead. Dakota McPeak caught a long pass that could have put the game out of reach. A holding call on the play called back the play and the momentum turned.
“We were inexperienced at that time,” Nasonti said.
The Colts had success running the ball the last time these two teams squared off. All three of the Colts scoring plays came on the ground. Two of those belonged to Blake Dinsmore. His first was a 4-yard plunge, followed by a 1-yard punch.
Dinsmore has split time at QB in nine of Clear Fork’s games. Carroll said that Dinsmore has roughly 900 yards for both passing and rushing. The QB has carried the ball 121 times for 899 yard and 17 touchdowns. Tramell is another player who will get some carries in Week 12.
“(Trevon) is probably our best player on the field,” Carroll said. “He was first-team all-conference.”
What the Colts do best is running jet sweeps and QB counters out of the spread and empty sets. Carroll said that his team is about 50/50 run/pass with a little more on the run side.
“If I had to give it a number, I say 52/48,” he said.
Bellevue’s game plan is the same this week as it has been all season.
“Our plan is to stop what they do best,” Nasonti said. “We have to stop the jets sweeps and the (QB) counters.”
Carroll is concerned about Ray, McPeak and Trenton Francis.
“That Ray kid is big and fast,” Carroll said. “McPeak, he is a heck of an athlete. He has good speed and good hands. And Francis is probably going to be the fastest kid on the field.”
Francis missed the game in Week 2 due to an injury from the week before.
Ray led the Redmen rushers with 839 yards, while Francis added 746 in the regular season. Francis had scored 12 times with Ray contributing six. McPeak led all receivers with 974 yard and nine TD grabs in the regular season, while Francis added 324 yards.
Nasonti said his team is fully aware of what it needs to do to get the win against the Colts.
“We don’t have to tell them anything,” he said. “They know what they need to do to make our team better. Our focus is strictly on making us a better football team.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Nasonti said after being asked if he is doing anything different. “Our package is in. We are constantly trying to refine it. We tweak the game plan to give the kids a chance to play their top plays. When push comes to shove, we are going to do what we do.”
Going into this rematch Carroll said it doesn’t matter how many times teams see each other.
“It doesn’t matter if this is the fifth time we are playing Bellevue. If both teams aren’t motivated in the second week of the playoffs, then why are you there? It’s been 10 weeks. Everyone has tweaked something.
“It’s about effort, preparation and execution. The better the team you play against, the better you have to be. We have to try to not play at the same level as our competition. I keep reminding them, ‘it is now one-and-done,’ and that’s only thing different.”