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Clearview Clippers hold off Amherst Comets
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview’s Alex Pearson, right, stiff arms Amherst’s Anthony Bucci in the second quarter on Friday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Clearview’s Lance Billings heads down the field to score on a 86-yard touchdown in the second quarter at Tom Hoch Field on Friday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Amherst's Derek Eibon, center, breaks away from the Clearview defense for a large gain in the second quarter at Tom Hoch Field on Friday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Amherst's Donte Dower, left, follows his blocker Dennis Breeding down the field in the second quarter at Tom Hoch Field on Friday night.
The Clippers made clutch plays on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and came from behind to beat Amherst, 27-24 at Tom Hoch Field on Friday night.
No one came up bigger than Clipper senior defensive back Alex Pearson.
Trailing 27-24 in the fourth quarter with 7:25 on the clock, Amherst started its potential game-winning drive on their own 45-yard line after the Clippers scored on a go-ahead touchdown run by quarterback Roger Engle.
The Comets were marching down the field, thanks to a heavy dose of rushes by Logan Mahar, including five-straight runs for 38 yards. With the ball on Clearview’s 8-yard line, Amherst quarterback Anthony Eliopoulos rolled out to his right for a pass in the end zone, but instead, it was intercepted by Pearson, who returned it for 41 yards.
“Alex Pearson made a great break on the ball, and I think people are going to hear more about that young man throughout the year,” Clearview head coach Mike Collier said.
Clearview (2-1) ran down the clock and forced Amherst to use its time outs. The Comets had one last opportunity to score when they had the ball with 16 seconds on their own 21-yard line, but was unsuccessful.
Amherst looked strong in the first half and led 14-0 at one point.
On Amherst’s third possession of the first quarter, Comets running back Donte Dower slashed through the defense for a 59-yard rush, setting up Amherst at the 13-yard line. A couple plays later, Eliopoulos hooked up with tight end Nathan Nunez for a 6-yard touchdown pass, giving the Comets a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, running back Derek Eibon scored on 5-yard run, giving Amherst a 14-0 lead with 8:40 left in the second quarter.
After struggling for most of the first half, Engle got into a rhythm on the Clippers first possession of the second quarter. Clearview had the ball on their own 27-yard line and marched 73 yards down the field to score.
Engle was 6 of 7 on the drive for 80 yards and a touchdown. A series of two 5-yard penalties backed the Clippers to the 17-yard line, but that’s when Engle connected with Gerrell Williams, trimming Amherst’s lead to 14-7.
“For us to get on the board meant a lot,” Engle said. “As soon as we got on the board, the momentum changed.”
On the kickoff after a field goal by Amherst, Pearson returned the kick and fumbled the ball on the 14 yard line. The initial call was that he fumbled the ball, but was overturned as the officials agreed that Pearson was down by contact. One play later, Clearview scored on an 86-yard touchdown run by Lance Billings and trailed 17-15 at halftime.
Clearview scored on its first possession of the second half when Engle threw a 39-yard strike to Gerrell Williams, his second touchdown of the game, giving Clearview its first lead of the game at 21-17.
Engle was 18 of 31 for 245 and threw two touchdowns. He also had four rushes for 20 yards and a touchdown. Williams finished the game with seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Amherst regained the lead on their next possession when running back Derek Eibon ran it in from one yard out. The Comets were ahead 24-21 — the last lead of the game.
Amherst (0-3) had 231 rushing yards in the first half and was limited to just 88 yards in the second half.
Logan Mahar had 26 rushes for 150 yards for the Comets and Eibon had 10 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Eliopoulos was 8 of 20 with 105 yards passing with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Clearview 27, Amherst 24
Amherst (0-2) 7 10 7 0 — 24
Clearview (1-1 0 15 6 6 — 27
A — Anthony Eliopoulos 6 pass Nathan Nunez (Jared Sciarrotta) kick)
A — Derek Eibon 5 run (Sciarrotta kick)
C — Roger Engle 17 pass to Gerrell Williams (Engle kick)
A — Sciarrotta 32 yard kick
C — Lance Billings 86 run (Treval Mitchell pass to Williams)
C — Engle 39 pass to Williams (2-point conversion)
A — Eibon 2 run (Sciarrotta kick)
C — Engle 2 run (Engle kick no good)
First Downs — Amherst 17, Clearview 12.
Yards Rushing — A 319 (Mahar 150), C 137 (Lance Billings 86).
Yards Passing — A 105, C 245.
Passes Att.-Comp.-Int — A 20-8-2, C 31-18-0.
Fumbles-Lost — A 1-1, C 1-1.
Penalties-Yards — A 5-45, C 8-61.
Last Updated: 9/14/2013 12:39:27 PM EST