In 2016 Van-Far defeated the Missouri Military Academy to start the season and then fell off the tracks.
This year the Indians once again defeated MMA to open the regular season, the only difference is that this time around the team then beat Central Homeschool in week two at home last Friday 32-12.
"We played a terrible first half. We went into the game probably not as focused as we needed to be," said coach Kevin Baldwin. "We didn't execute very well in the first half, so we got with the kids at halftime and addressed what was going on and what we needed to do. Basically we put the wight on our offensive lines shoulders to make the second half a different half. They came out like I wish they would've came out at the beginning of the game and played a really good second half."
Even though Van-Far was down 6-0 in the first quarter, it came back in the second half to score 16 points each in the third and fourth to come out ahead by 20.
To its credit the Indians only allowed four first downs and held the Panther's to negative 16 yards rushing. While they also gave up 69 passing yards and a score, that was over the course of just two plays, both of which went to freshman Saxon Wright.
"Our defense played well. We didn't play very well in the first series of the game, but from the first series on our defensive coordinator made a couple of adjustments and after that we played very well," Baldwin said. "They took over the game just long enough for us to get our offense going. Any team that is successful as the year progresses is going to have a good defense. Offenses come and go. Even a good offense can have a bad night, but if you've got a good defense they can keep you in the game."
The catalyst for this success starts with Eric Hombs' 160 rushing yards on 30 carries, Trey Miller ran the ball 20 times for 68 yards and Jacob Garner added nine rushes for 42 yards. Hombs also completed 1-of-2 passes for 44 yards and an interception, Colten Jensen added six carries for 27 rushing yards and, as a team the Indians racked up 342 total yards of offense.
As for the defense, Jacob Garner led by example by making a team-high nine tackles, Nathan Beatty and Kyle Ebers had six defensive stops each and posting fourn tackles a piece were Alex Flowers and Verlyn Johnson. Van-Far made an interception and recovered four fumbles, as well.
The Indians, 2-0 overall, begin Eastern Missouri Conference action on Friday at Montgomery County, which is currently 0-2 overall despite playing in a pair of close games.