GENESEE — In a year when almost nothing has been normal, Clearwater Valley High’s last 11 days have been especially odd: the Rams played three games, including one on a Wednesday and another on a Monday, and lost two star players to injury during the stretch.
They didn’t show it on Monday night, thumping Genesee 56-6.
Dylan Pickering ran for 201 yards and three touchdowns, Aiden Martinez added 110 yards rushing and two rushing scores, and the defense added a last-minute touchdown for good measure to help secure CV’s third football win since Oct. 2.
Clearwater Valley (4-2, 3-1) is now tied with Kamiah for second place in the Whitepine League with two games to go in the regular season.
“I thought, overall, our kids played hard,” Rams coach Allen Hutchens said. “We ran the ball hard, we got where we needed to be, we got some younger kids some playing time, which will be great in the long run. We had a good game plan and we executed it.”
The game plan, on a cold and windy night in Genesee, was run, run and run some more — even without starting tailback Jesse Knox, who is out for the season with an injury.
The Rams gained all 459 of their yards on the ground, with Pickering, Martinez, Will Willis and Nakiyah Anderson all rushing for touchdowns. Pickering scored all three of his touchdowns in the final 4 minutes, 21 seconds of the first half, putting CV up 26-0 at the break.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior was the Rams’ workhorse, logging 26 carries before giving way to backups in the fourth quarter. He was fed 14 handoffs in the second quarter alone, including nine during Clearwater Valley’s 16-play, 68-yard scoring drive that Pickering capped with 2-yard touchdown.
He rounded out the quarter with touchdown runs of 56 and 18 yards, putting an exclamation point on a dominant frame that ended with CV running 22 plays to Genesee’s 11.
“He’s a beast,” Hutchens said. “You could give him the ball 50 times in the game and he’ll run into a brick wall 50 times for you.”
Martinez got the start behind center in place of injured starter Anthony Fabbi. The 5-foot-6 senior didn’t complete any of his four pass attempts, but added another dimension to CV’s rushing attack with his speed and low center of gravity. He opened the scoring with a 10-yard TD in the first quarter and added a 70-yard score in the third, that one coming on a first-and-37 play after CV was pushed back by consecutive penalties.
“He’s shifty,” Hutchens said. “He can move around and cause some problems for people.”
Things weren’t as smooth for the hosts.
Genesee, also playing its third game since Oct. 2, struggled all night. Aside from their defensive shortcomings, the Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2) ended their first four offensive series with a turnover and quarterback Angus Jordan was sacked eight times. He left the game in the third quarter after taking a hit on an incomplete pass.
With his throwing hand and wrist taped, Jordan threw one practice pass behind the Rams’ bench and shook his head. He finished the night 4-of-11 passing for 18 yards and one interception.
“I’m optimistic. Only time will tell,” Genesee coach Alex Schnebly said of his sophomore QB. “I wish I knew information. … He’s going to get it checked out. I’m hopeful it’s nothing serious.”
Genesee ended the shutout when freshman Teak Wareham connected with Dalton McCann for a 40-yard catch-and-run score in the fourth. The play left Wareham and McCann as the Bulldogs’ leading passer and receiver, respectively, while Jordan led the rushing attack with 19 carries for 28 yards.
Clearwater Valley outgained Genesee 459-131.
“Our guys played a decent game,” Schnebly said. “We just weren’t able to catch those key moments in those certain situations.”
While Clearwater Valley is in good position to crack the postseason, Genesee has work to do. The Bulldogs’ next opponent is top-ranked and unbeaten Prairie.
“I think our kids just need to have some fun with it,” Schnebly said. “Football is supposed to be fun, and it’s hard to find that sometimes. I’m hoping we can catch that next week.”
Clearwater Valley 8 18 14 16—56
Genesee 0 0 0 6— 6
Clearwater Valley – Aiden Martinez 10 run (run good).
Clearwater Valley – Dylan Pickering 2 run (run failed).
Clearwater Valley – Pickering 56 run (pass failed).
Clearwater Valley – Pickering 18 run (run failed).
Clearwater Valley – Martinez 70 run (Will Willis run).
Clearwater Valley – Willis 23 run (run failed).
Clearwater Valley – Nakiyah Anderson 47 run (Keegan Robeson run).
Genesee – Dalton McCann 40 pass from Teak Wareham (run failed).
Clearwater Valley – Bass Myers 1 fumble return (Anderson run).
RUSHING — Clearwater Valley: Will Willis 10-56, Dylan Pickering 26-201, Aiden Martinez 9-110, Bass Myers 3-10, Nakiyah Anderson 2-71, Keegan Robeson 2-11. Genesee: Angus Jordan 19-28, Owen Crowley 2-8, Cy Wareham 2-9, Israel Adams 2-25, Teak Wareham 2-(-5).
PASSING — Clearwater Valley: Martinez 0-4-0–0, Anderson 0-2-0–0. Genesee: C. Wareham 1-5-1–8, Jordan 4-11-1–18, T. Wareham 1-2-0–40.
RECEIVING — Genesee: C. Wareham 1-(-3), Nolan Bartosz 1-12, Dawson Durham 2-9, Jake Odenborg 1-8, Dalton McCann 1-40.
Guernsey may be contacted at (208) 848-2268, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MD_Guernsey.