Two-point pass beats BD

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Clinton quarterback TJ Baker is on the run as the Patriots’ Landon Handy almost gets hands on for a sack. Photo by Tom Culler.

Deciding to take a chance at a two-point conversion pass to win its Tri-County Conference (TCC) contest paid off for Clinton’s varsity football team at Britton on Friday, Sept. 7, with the Redskins walking away with a close 15-14 victory.

A missed point after touchdown (PAT) kick may have cost the Patriots the game with both teams scoring a touchdown in the opening quarter. Clinton connected on its PAT. Britton Deerfield did not.

Clinton’s Cullen Zimmerman opened scoring with a 15-yard pass from quarterback T.J. Baker in the first quarter. A good PAT by Gannon Nelson gave the Redskins a 7-0 advantage with 2:50 left in the first quarter.

Tommy Garner hit the end zone on a nine-yard run to put the Patriots on the scoreboard but a missed PAT had Clinton up 7-6 by the end of the first quarter.

Nate Hoffman burst into the end zone for BD on a one-yard run with just 53 seconds remaining in the first half. A two-point conversion pass from Cody Meinert to Kris Iott followed and gave the Patriots a 14-7 lead.

After a scoreless third quarter, neither team could break through their opponent’s defense until Clinton’s Dylan Spurlock caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Baker with 3:52 remaining in the final quarter. A two-point conversion pass from Baker to Mike Mistopoulos after the touchdown gave Clinton a one-point lead it would cling to for the rest of the game.

“I thought we should of scored more points but two fumbles in the first half wasn’t good for a tight game,” said Patriot coach DJ Lutz. “Defense was great all night besides the final possession but give Clinton all the credit, they executed down the stretch and we didn’t.”

Lutz added that the Patriots now have to win 5-of-6 remaining contests to advance to playoffs and have someone knock off the Redskins to get a piece of the TCC title.

“If there is a team to pull it off sitting at 1-2 it would be this one,” Lutz said.

BD’s Nate Hoffman was 4-for-11 for 106 yards and a touchdown. Leighton Merritt added 107 yards for the ‘Pats while Tommy Garner rushed for one touchdown. BD’s Jordan Osbun had one reception for 66 yards.

Josh Reau led BD’s defense with 11 tackles while Landon Handy had six tackles including a sack.

Both Tristan Pizana and Quest Gonzales recorded interceptions for BD.

Baker led Clinton’s offense, rushing for 56 yards on nine carries. Colin Poore (10-48), Jared Sackett (1-4) and Brett Tschirhart (7-40) added rushing yards for the Redskins. Baker completed 9-of-17 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Spurlock (2-30), Poore (3-27), Mathew Sexton (1-30), Zimmerman (1-15), Mistopoulos (1-17) and Hunter Pizzo (1-10) had receptions.

Grant Clark, Nate Kaszuba and Devin Lillis were credited with solid line play by Clinton coach Scott McNitt.

Defensively, Clinton’s Brett Tschirhart and Grant Clark led the team in tackles with nine each. Baker (8), Zimmerman (3), Mike Sexton (3), Poore (3), Kyle Perry (8, fumble recovery), Mistopoulos (6), Foster Griffin (4, fumble recovery), Kaszuba (7), Keegan Ward (2), Zach Amsdill (3), Spurlock (8) and Pizzo (2) added tackles.

Clinton is now 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the TCC. The ‘Skins play next at Whiteford on Friday, Sept. 14, in another key TCC contest. The Bobcats are also 3-0 coming off an impressive 42-0 win over Sand Creek last week.




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