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Indians football: Week 8 Du Quoin drop-kicked by Nashville, 37-14; postseason comes down to season's final game

  • Almost! Gage Green stretches, but the pass is just beyond his reach.

    Almost! Gage Green stretches, but the pass is just beyond his reach.
    Doug Daniels photo

  • Group tackle on the Nashville runner.

    Group tackle on the Nashville runner.
    Doug Daniels photo

  • Jonathan Hamilton carries for the Indians.

    Jonathan Hamilton carries for the Indians.
    Doug Daniels photo

  • The Indians Nishan Woody slides under the Nashville ball carrier.

    The Indians Nishan Woody slides under the Nashville ball carrier.
    Doug Daniels photo

  • Doug Daniels photoIndians David Lee and Aiden Bradley bring down the Nashville quarterback during Friday's game at Van Metre Field.

    Doug Daniels photoIndians David Lee and Aiden Bradley bring down the Nashville quarterback during Friday's game at Van Metre Field.

By Geary Deniston
Contributing writer
updated: 11/9/2021 12:29 AM

DU QUOIN -- The Indians' postseason hopes are hanging in the balance after the Indians lost to Nashville, 37-14, Friday.

The final game of the regular season, between Du Quoin and Murphysboro this coming Friday, will be for all the marbles.

"We got to win there's no doubt about it," said Du Quoin coach Derek Beard. "Losing to Nashville was disappointing, but we have to forget about it and go back to work."

Du Quoin will celebrate Senior Night on Friday during the game at Van Metre Field.

Murphysboro has already clinched a playoff berth with a 6-2 record, but the Indians need the win in the worst way needing at least five wins to be playoff eligible. Du Quoin is 4-4.

It's been a one-step-forward, one-step-back kind of season for the Indians. Du Quoin opened with a win at Chester and followed with COVID-related forfeit to Harrisburg. They came back to beat Herrin at home and then lost to Carterville on the road. After another home win over Pinckneyville the Indians lost to Breese Mater Dei on the road. The last two weeks saw a victory at Anna-Jonesboro before losing to Nashville last week at home.

Nashville is another playoff-bound team, winning the SIRR Mississippi Division title with a 4-0 record and improving to 7-1 on the season.

The Hornets dominated the game Friday, racking up 406 total yards of offense while holding the Indians to 277, including just 41 yards rushing.

"The game plan was to run the ball and keep it away from them offensively and get some stops defensively," Beard said. "(But) they took away a lot of things and we weren't able to run the ball."

Defensively, Willie Moore recovered a fumble to end Nashville's first offensive series and Aiden Bradley had an interception in the fourth quarter to set up the Indians' final touchdown.

The game was played in a constant rain shower and the first quarter was sloppy. The Hornets fumbled three times and lost one on its first two possessions.

The Indians couldn't get the offense started, gaining just 14 yards on their first possession which ended with a punt; and only five yards on their second, which also ended in a punt by David Lee that left Nashville on its own 10 with 3:52 remaining in the first quarter.

Nashville then went on a nine-play drive that included a 25-yard gain on the second play with a 15-yard face mask penalty tacked on and a 17-yard run by Ian Blazier. Wide receiver Isaac Turner scored on a 15-yard run with 1:05 remaining. The kick was wide, leaving the Hornets with a 6-0 lead.

"We thought we were in pretty good shape after the first quarter, but we just didn't execute," Beard said. "We were hoping to get some stops and get the ball back in our hands, but we just couldn't do it."

The second quarter was all Nashville until the last minute. The Indians fumbled on their first play after the Turner touchdown to set up the Hornets at the Du Quoin 16. Three plays later Kolten Gajewski threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Turner. The kick was good.

"That fumble was a backbreaker, but I really thought we could bounce back from it," Beard said. "That's what we talked about all week that we were going to have to execute our offense and play a clean game. You can't give them the ball on the 16-yard line and expect good things to happen."

Du Quoin was then held to six yards and forced to punt again. Nashville drove 60 yards on five plays with Gajewski scoring from the 1. The kick was good again.

The Indians got on track on their next possession, driving from its own 35. The drive stalled and Du Quoin turned the ball over on the Nashville 42 on a 4th-and-6 incomplete pass.

The Hornets struck quickly ripping off big chunks of yardage on runs of six yards, 13 yards and 35 yards by Blazier, down to the four where Connor Gladson muscled the ball in. Eduardo Garibay kicked his third extra point and the Hornets led 27-0 with 3:03 left in the half.

Following the kickoff the Indians finally got on the board on a seven-play, 53-yard drive when David Lee connected with Nishan Woody for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 46.9 seconds left. Freshman Joey Wood kicked the point to cut the halftime lead to 27-7.

The only score in the third quarter was a 27-yard field goal by Garibay with 4:21 remaining.

Gladson upped Nashville's lead to 37-7 with a 10-yard run following by a Garibay kick 1:20 into the fourth quarter.

Backup quarterback Camden Waller played the fourth quarter and had a good outing. After missing on his first pass the sophomore completed his next six finishing with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Woody with 37.6 seconds left.

"Cam did a good job coming," Beard said. "David was cramping up a little bit and I didn't want to risk an injury late in the game when we were down by as much as we were."

Game stats

Nashville 37, Du Quoin 14

Nashville 6 21 3 7 -- 37

Du Quoin 0 7 0 7 -- 14

First downs: NV, 26; DQ, 13.

Penalties-Yards: NV, 5-45; DQ, 4-35.

Fumbles-Lost: NV, 3-1; DQ, 3-2.

NV rushing: Connor Gladson, 15-136; Ian Blazier, 14-134; Isaac Turner, 3-33; Kolten Gajewski, 9-22; Noah Miller 2-(-4).

DQ rushing: Jonathan Hamilton, 16-43; David Lee, 7-25; Jaden Smith, 1-4; Gabe Adams, 2-2; Camden Waller, 3-(-30).

NV passing: Kolten Gajewski, 8-13-0int-81-1TD; J.T. Malawy 0-2-1int-0-0TD; Isaac Turner 0-1-0int-0-0TD.

DQ passing: David Lee, 7-20-0int-98-1TD; Camden Waller. 6-7-0int-138-1TD.

NV receiving: Isaac Turner, 6-71-1TD; Ian Blazier, 1-9; Nolan Heggemeier, 1-1.

DQ receiving: Caden Hutchens, 4-93; Nishan Woody, 3-79-2TD; Ethan Hill, 2-40; P.J. Winters, 2-10; Gage Green 1-10; Jaden Smith 1-4.