By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. — The conditions were perfect for football Friday night in Frankton so it was hard to explain how Anderson Prep could put the ball on the ground seven times, losing five of those fumbles.
No matter the explanation, Eagles (1-0) coach Otis Cress was pleased to walk off the field against an uber-athletic Jets (0-1) team with a 36-28 victory at home.
Frankton’s Colton Waymire showed his diversity by snatching up the first two fumbles the Jets coughed up and on offense running 16 times for 110 yards and two scores.
He and Nik Clark carried the bulk of the load for the Eagles as Clark toted the ball 30 times for 208 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion while also booting the extra points.
Cress said that despite the win, he feels like his team needs to get in better shape. Missed tackles plagued his team all night, and he felt like that was a direct result of conditioning.
“We’ll take a win,” he said. “We need to work on conditioning, get in shape. We wore down and started making mental mistakes, missing tackles.”
Cress also said the Eagles are very thin with only 34 players dressing this year and several of those players being underclassmen.
The Eagles coach said he was proud of the fact that when his defense needed to make a stand it was able to do so. That was never more evident than in the last four minutes of the game when APA was threatening inside the 10-yard line and couldn’t poke it in for the score on four attempts – turning the ball over on downs.
“Defensively, when we had to make a stand, a big goal-line stand, they did,” Cress said. “I’ll give them credit for that. I’m proud of them for that.”
Jets coach Joe Kwisz said despite the loss his team has some positives to take away.
“This is the biggest shock to me as I’ve had at APA, we are simply a team that doesn’t fumble,” he said. “We’ve done other stupid things, I’ll be the first to take for that, but we’re usually not a fumble happy team. So that was very out of character for us from that respect.
“A huge positive from tonight was just the overall character of the team. Last year we crumbled when we got down one score. Today we were down two scores at a time, and we were able to fight back.”
Frankton took the lead for good at 21-14 with 9:06 remaining in the first half and held a 36-20 lead with 11:32 left in the game before Caston McConnell scored with 10:42 and D’Andre Patterson made it 36-28 with the two-point conversion.
Patterson wheeled through the Frankton defense busting tackle after tackle and ended the night with 16 carries for 180 yards with two touchdowns and the two-point conversion. His scores were from 86 and 32 yards, respectively.