A look back at the first half of the football season for the Indians

OFFENSIVE LEADERS

Passing

1. Senior quarterback Drew Edwards, 43-87 for 598 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions

2. Senior receiver Logan Havner, 2-2 for 36 yards

3. Sophomore quarterback Brockton McLaughlin, 5-13 for 82 yards and four interceptions

Receiving

1. Senior receiver Logan Havner, 21 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns

2. Senior running back Jack Dulle, eight receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns

3. Senior running back James Hutchcraft, four receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown

Rushing

1. Senior running back James Hutchcraft, 74 carries for 340 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown

2. Senior running back Jack Dulle, 30 carries for 106 yards (3.5 yards per carry)

3. Sophomore running back Connor Kinder, eight carries for 74 yards (9.3 yards per carry)

To Note: Edwards has rushed 35 times for 64 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns

DEFENSIVE LEADERS

Tackles

1. Senior linebacker James Hutchcraft, 46 tackles, two tackles for a loss and two sacks

2. Senior defensive lineman Rudy Escobar, 38 tackles, three tackles for a loss and four sacks

3. Senior linebacker Drew Edwards, 27 tackles, two tackles for a loss

To Note: Junior defensive lineman Jack Creasy, sophomore defensive lineman Davis Sallee and senior defensive lineman Matt McCubbin have one sack each.

Fumbles

Senior linebacker Elijah Stark and Creasy have forced one fumble each for a total of two. Freshman defensive lineman Matt Barnes, Hutchcraft, Dulle, Edwards and Creasy have all recovered a fumble each for a total of five.

Interceptions

Osage has not recorded an interception so far in 2019.

MEMORABLE MOMENT

School of the Osage was tested in its Tri-County Conference opener against California in week three and it was a test the Indians passed with a 20-14 win over the Pintos. Whether it was three turnovers, penalties or any other negative play, there was plenty that went wrong for the Indians as they trailed by a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter. That was when Osage found the spark it needed as Dulle punched in a 14-yard screen pass for a touchdown and recovered a California fumble on the ensuing drive that led to Edwards scoring the game-winning touchdown on a 2-yard quarterback sneak. The Indian defense took care of the rest in the remaining five minutes and it was the second straight week the unit had not given up a point in the second half. The game showed what a little perseverance can do, even when things have gone wrong, and how important it is to keep fighting until the final whistle.

FIRST HALF STAR PERFORMER

Hutchcraft is a busy man on both sides of the ball. As an “Iron Man” who plays both offense and defense, Hutchcraft has taken the role of “Bell Cow” as the team’s leading rusher and he is also the leading enforcer on defense with the most tackles so far in 2019. The senior is not a bad option in the passing game either with the third most receiving yards on the team. Simply put, he makes his presence known on any given night and has been a key contributor through the first five games. He should not have any trouble finding opposing ball carriers to bring down in the future and time will tell how the Indians will look to utilize a player who has accounted for nearly a third of the team’s total offensive yards. One thing for certain is that the senior does not seem to be lacking any energy in his final season with the Indians.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

It has been a season of mixed results for Osage so far in 2019. Until the last two games against Hallsville and Boonville (teams who are both 4-1) the defense had mostly looked sharp giving up no more than 17 points in any single game. Meanwhile, the offense has been challenged having to overcome some self-inflicted obstacles like 11 turnovers or some penalties that have seemingly kept the unit from being fully unleashed and reaching its full potential. If the defense, currently giving up 23.8 points per game, can get back to its form from the first few games and the offense, currently averaging 11 points per game, can find some more consistency, the Indians can put together a strong second half. The combined record of the last four regular season opponents is 9-11 so it is a schedule that can allow for a nice finish, but games are won on the field and getting off to better starts in each game would help in that effort. Time to see if Osage is up to the task and is firing on all cylinders by the time the playoffs arrive.