Indians Cannot Overcome Turnovers Against Keokuk

Oskaloosa struggled to overcome turnovers Friday in the loss to Keokuk.

Oskaloosa struggled to overcome turnovers Friday in the loss to Keokuk.

by Wade Steinlage

Oskaloosa–A late rally fell just short as the Oskaloosa football team dropped a 14-7 non-district matchup with Keokuk on Homecoming Friday.

The Indians (1-3) committed six turnovers on the night, but still had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds. Unfortunately, Oskaloosa’s pass on fourth-down-and-five at the Chiefs’ nine-yard line was intercepted to seal the victory for Keokuk (2-2).

The OHS offense had little-to-no success for much of the game, but heated up down the stretch and actually finished with a 257-253 edge in yardage.

In a nightmarish start to the evening, Oskaloosa gained just two yards on its first drive before punting. The Indian defense entered and also showed no courtesy to the opposing offense as Keokuk punted after three unsuccessful plays as well.

Unfortunately, on the ensuing punt, the ball was fumbled and the Chiefs recovered. The next snap was a sack by Lukas Toubekis, but on third-and-12, the visitors struck for a 59-yard touchdown pass.

The Indians returned the next kickoff near midfield, but tragedy struck again with another lost fumble. The defense bent a bit, but did not break, holding Keokuk to a field-goal try, which sailed left of the goalposts.

Two short possessions followed before the Indians once again coughed up the pigskin on a punt return. With another short field behind them, the Indians again stiffened and forced the Chiefs into a turnover on downs in the OHS redzone.

The offense continued to come up empty, while the Chiefs finally put together a drive of their own, concluding the half with a late touchdown drive to lead 14-0 entering intermission. OHS had a chance to cut into the deficit, but after a few double-digit pass completions by Trevor Willett, the ball was fumbled yet again and recovered by KHS to close out the first 24 minutes of action.

The opening drive of the second half should have been a short one for the Chiefs, but a personal foul penalty on the punt kept it alive. Fortunately, the possession stalled out on the outskirts of the OHS redzone.

Looking to put a spark into the maroon, the coaching staff chose to go for it on fourth-and-one on OHS’ 29-yard line. The run did not collect the necessary yardage, but the OHS defense continued to do its job with a stop in its redzone.

Stuck on repeat, however, the Indians finally moved deep into Keokuk territory, only to have a pass near the endzone get intercepted once again.

After a quick defensive stop kept Oskaloosa in the game, Tatum Westercamp took over at runningback and with a determined motor, he clipped off a few big runs that energized the crew. Willett kept the drive going with two fourth-down completions and eventually the Indians got a bit of luck fall on their side as a toss into the endzone was tipped, but Wyatt Grubb was there to haul it in and make it 14-7 with 3:24 left in regulation.

A defensive stop was needed and it was awarded one last time. The Chiefs’ punt set the Indians up at their own 25-yard line with just 2:01 on the clock and no timeouts.

Willett then completed five of his next seven passes, including two for 20 yards to Grubb. Inside the Keokuk 10-yard line with mere seconds remaining, the Indians unfortunately were stymied with three consecutive incompletions before the Chiefs capped the night with one more interception in the endzone.

OHS, which never got the ground game established (14 rushes for seven yards), relied on Willett’s arm. He finished 20-for-36 for 250 yards and one touchdown, but also had two picks.

Grubb ended up as his top target with seven receptions for 99 yards, while Waylon Bolibaugh also hauled in seven balls for 87 yards. AJ Lawrence was a popular pick as well with four catches for 42 yards.

Westercamp guided the defensive unit with 13 tackles (two for loss), while Grubb added seven stops. Junior Ramirez matched Toubekis with a sack.

Next Up: Oskaloosa remains at home next Friday, hosting Clear Creek-Amana in its Class 4A District 4 opener at 7:30 p.m.

Posted by on Sep 17 2022. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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