Clearview claims sole pos­ses­sion of first in di­vi­sion

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Jon Behm

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.

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