After winning his first game ever as head high school football coach 34-12, one might expect Clarksburg Coyotes new head coach to be happy. However, Coach Bob Plante did not sound happy after notching his first win.
“We didn’t execute our offense very well,” said Plante via phone after his game. “We won the game, and that is good, but we didn’t win because of our execution. We didn’t really drive the ball; we big played them.”
That is exactly the response you would expect from a coach who hopes to develop men of character and “true grit,” as much as winning football games.
Plante took over as the second head coach in Clarksburg history just five weeks ago. His first day at Clarksburg was July 17. While most high school football programs were well into summer workouts, the Coyotes were just meeting their new head coach.
“We started out slow, but we hung in there and continued to play hard,” said Plante. “We came out in the second half, and we played hard. We talk about guys getting gritty, and that the kind of stuff you want to look for. This is a young team. This is a brand new offense and defense for these kids, and they are still learning it. And I have got to do a better job of coaching it. We are still kind of getting to know each other,” said Plante.
For a team that doesn’t understand the offense, the Coyotes were able to score 34 points. Junior quarterback Joseph Perkins threw five touchdown passes. If that’s what the new look Clarksburg team can do without understanding the offense, the Coyotes have put Montgomery County on notice that it is a new dawn in Clarksburg. If they ever begin to execute to Plante’s standards, it will be a program to watch.
Perkins got the scoring going for Clarksburg with a pass to senior receiver Justice Williams at the 9:30 mark in the first quarter. The Kennedy Cavaliers scored on a short run but failed on the two-point conversion with 2:52 left in the first.
After a Justice Williams interception, Perkins found sophomore Casey McKinney for a 28-yard touchdown pass to put the Coyotes up 14-6 at the end of first quarter.
In the second quarter, the defense would step up again, as McKinney intercepted a Kennedy pass. The turnover led to Perkins’ third throwing touchdown of the game, a 38-yard catch and run by Justice Williams with 7:49 left in the second quarter. The Coyotes missed the extra-point kick. The score is 20-6 7:49 left in the second quarter
Clarksburg defense would come up with another turnover when junior Jevon Coche recovered a fumble. A few plays later the fumble recovery would lead to Perkins’ fourth touchdown, this one is a 66-yard catch and run to junior Toron Williams to extend the lead to 27-6 with 3:43 left in the first half.
However, a special teams breakdown would allow Kennedy to return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown cutting the lead to 27-12 at halftime.
“We are explosive, and we can throw the ball well,” said Plante. “We made some mistakes and made more mistakes and then bam we hit a long touchdown pass because the other team is loading the box and in man-to-man.” Kennedy plays defense by crowding the line and forcing the other team to throw the ball. “I want our kids to execute well every down. I want us to be better at our fundamentals and better at our execution. I don’t like giving up a touchdown on a kickoff.”
“There were some things in this game where we were sloppy,” said Plante. “We had too many penalties. We did settle down in the second half and had a better game defensively. I was proud of the way we played the second half of that game.”
In the third quarter, the Coyotes forced another turnover as Casey McKinney got his second interception of the game, which led to a Perkins’ five touchdowns, a 13-yard scoring pass to senior Kory Fleming to cap the scoring at 34-12 with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Clarksburg will host Urbana in the home opener next Friday. The Hawks are coming off of a 14-7 loss to Westminster on Friday night. “We have Urbana at home next week,” said Plante “We will have our hands full, and we need to get back to work and get better. I am concerned that if we play this way next week, we are going to be in a dog fight.”
Top: The Coach Plante era at Clarksburg begins with a victory over Kennedy.
Photo by Fred Levy.