MARTINS FERRY - The push for the postseason has begun.
Indian Creek bolstered its hopes of securing a position in the Ohio Division III playoffs by virtue of a 27-14 victory against Martins Ferry on Friday night at Purple Rider Stadium at the Dave Bruney Football Complex.
''We had some mistakes in the first half,'' Indian Creek coach Andrew Connor said. ''We had turnovers and some penalties that hurt, but the kids did a great job overcoming them. The kids didn't let that affect them.
''We just kept battling and finally got a win down here.''
The victory, which was Creek's first at Martins Ferry, keeps the Redskins in the thick of the Region 11 playoff chase. Indian Creek was 10th in last week's ratings.
Martins Ferry. meanwhile, fell to 5-2. The loss is a setback for the Purple Riders' postseason chances in Division IV as they entered in sixth.
''Indian Creek has a very nice team,'' Bruney said. ''They are a senior-dominated team. Both teams played extremely hard.
''It was an intense, good high school football game."
Things got off to a great start for the hosts.
Receiving the opening kickoff, the Riders lined up in the Wildcat with shifty junior Brian Styles breaking free for a 72-yard burst to the Creek 1, and senior Sean McGee bulled in from from there it 7-0 1:47 into the game.
Creek drove deep into Ferry territory but Riders senior Cody Schau picked off an Alex Young pass at his own 5 to thwart the threat.
A Ferry three-and-out gave Creek possession near midfield and again the Redskins marched deep into Ferry territory before settling for a Young 41-yard FG try that was wide left.
Another Ferry three-and-out allowed Creek to set up shop at the 38-yard line. The Redskins needed 11 plays, culminating in a 27-yard TD from Young to Corey Goodrich which came on fourth-and-13. Young's PAT knotted things at 7-7.
After another Ferry punt, Creek moved deep into enemy territory but Styles stepped in front of Young's pass and returned it to the Ferry 30.
Two plays later, junior QB Eric Flowers found Schau on a slant and he shook a tackler and broke free for a 63-yard TD to make it 14-7 with 7:05 left in the half.
Creek put together an eight-play drive on the ensuing series but Ferry's Zac Coole pounced on a fumble at the Riders' 23.
The Redskins got another crack with 1:08 showing and Young's passing moved IC into the red zone with 12 seconds left. Young scrambled to left and just before going out of bounds, found junior Blake Roar in the corner of the end zone for the score to knot things at 14-14.
''The score before the first half was really big,'' Connor said. ''That was just a critical score with all that went wrong in the first half and to be tied at the half was really big for us.''
The second half belonged to the Redskins.
Indian Creek took the kickoff and immediately put together a seven-play drive with Young covering the final 3 yards for the score and a 20-14 edge.
Creek salted the game away with a 61-yard drive with Roar plowing in from 3 yards out. Young booted the point after extending the lead to 27-14 with 11:11 showing in the fourth.
Indian Creek racked up 301 yards on the ground with senior Logan Woods leading the way with 167 on 18 totes. Young passed for 127 yards and rushed for 60 more.
Styles led the Ferry offense with 93 rushing yards on eight carries. Flowers completed 8 of 20 passes for 100 yards with Schau being his favorite target with three catches for 76 yards.