Clearview claims sole possession of first in division
After toppling Columbia last week, Clearview kept on rolling in Week 8 as it used a suffocating defense and ground-and-pound style attack to defeat Fairview, 28-7, in a Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division matchup at James B. Daley Stadium in Fairview Park on Oct. 12.
It was a celebratory night for the Clippers (7-1, 3-0 PAC) as they cemented their spot atop the PAC Stripes Division as well as earned coach Mike Collier his 75th win at helm of the Clearview football program.
“They’re a tough team,” Collier said of the Warriors. “You can tell they have done a lot of work with their program and in the offseason, but our guys, they took them seriously and they worked very hard this week. We bounced back from an emotional high last week, but we knew we had to get up for a good game.”
In addition to Collier’s landmark victory, senior running back Drew Engle also made history as he became the all-time leading rusher in Clearview football history with over 3,800 yards
Engle reached the achievement late in the third quarter as the Clippers continued to feed him the ball.
“It feels amazing,” Engle said. “A lot of hard work was put into that, not only by myself, but as my team as well. I couldn’t have done it all by myself so I have to give my teammates through the years a lot of credit.”
Engle tallied 25 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown.
Clearview went to its ground game early and often, racking up 247 rushing yards. The obvious offensive strategy still caused Fairview coach Dave Latkovic and his staff issues as they struggled to stop the run throughout the evening.
“If you looked at it, we stacked the box and ran like a 6-2 and we were bringing guys all the time,” Latkovic said. “But that is high risk, high reward. So we are stopping them and stopping them and they just keep pounding and pounding.”
With the exception of a few break away plays, the Warriors (3-5, 2-1 PAC) offense had an anemic night, tallying 114 total offensive yards.
Latkovic was perplexed on why his team, playing for the top spot in the Stripes Division, showed such a lack of energy in its biggest game of the season.
“We didn’t play with any emotion,” Latkovic said. “You know, all season if you go and look at our first games we lost, we got after it real good and we played hard. We didn’t play with any emotion today, and hats off to them, that is a good, physical and athletic football team. We’re not as athletic and we’re not as physical, so we have to play with tremendous emotion.”
After a fumble botched a would-be 20-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, Engle punched it in in the opening seconds of the second quarter with a 1-yard run. As they have done all season, the Clippers went for two, converting with a pass from Chase Christensen to Dustyn Smith to make it 8-0.
It was a wild and wacky second quarter that saw two Fairview turnovers and one Clearview turnover, amongst a slew of penalties.
The Clippers kept their defensive pressure on Fairview quarterback Declan Jewitt all night, but perhaps no one was more smothering than Mason Argenti as he ripped the ball out of Jewitt’s hands at the Fairview 30-yard line for the score, giving the Clippers the 14-0 lead after a failed two-point conversion pass.
Jewitt was harassed all night, going 4-for-13 for 22 yards and three interceptions.
Clearview’s Chase Christensen didn’t have much better of a night, going 1-for-6 for negative-3 yards and one interception.
Clearview took a 14-0 lead into halftime, a score than coach Collier knew could have been larger if not for a pair of
turnovers and miscues.
“Absolutely, we were making way to many mistakes,” Collier said. We had too many penalties and a couple turnovers. We have got to clean that stuff in order to be successful down the road.”
Fairview came out strong with a surprising 64-yard touchdown run from fullback Tommy McNamara, cutting into the Clippers lead, 14-7.
McNamara provided a temporary spark as he finished with seven carries for 91 yards and one touchdown.
Despite McNamara’s huge play, Clearview battened down on defense, and that’s when senior David Renftle took over the game with a pair of highlight plays.
Renftle answered Fairview’s score with one of his own as he took it 81 yards down the left sideline to put Clearview back up 20-7 after another failed two-point conversion, following it with an 85-yard pick-six shortly after.
“It was just great, man,” Renftle said. “That pick that I got, it was great. I thought the ball was going to be just a little bit too far, but I saw it and then it set up perfect and as soon as I got it, man, it was just set up down the sideline.”
Renftle finished with seven carries for 119 yards and one touchdown.
PAC action continues as Clearview hosts Lutheran West on Oct. 19 while Fairview travels for a tough matchup against Columbia.
Clearview’s Dustyn Smith (left) celebrates in the end zone with teammate Mason Argenti who returned a turnover for a touchdown against Fairview on Oct. 12.