Football rallies from first loss with blowout win at Clarion

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 at 10:27 PM
Football rallies from first loss with blowout win at Clarion by George Schmidt

The skies were dark, gloomy and threatening to rain, but it would be the Edinboro Fighting Scots football team that would bring the thunder. The Fighting Scots outscored the Clarion Golden Eagles, 62-14, thereby raining on Clarion's homecoming celebrations and moving to 4-1 on the year.

“I knew the team was capable of this, but I did not expect it by any means,” said Justin Lustig, Edinboro's head football coach. “Clarion was a very, very good team on film, but they made some mistakes and we took advantage of them; that was a big part of the game.”

It all started with the coin toss as Edinboro won the toss and differed to the second half. Clarion recorded a first down, but then stalled on the drive as the Edinboro defense proved to be too stout by stopping the run.

Quarterback Jake Sisson and the offense took over on their own 16 and didn't look back. After a score on a trick play — Walter Fletcher passed it back to Sisson and Sisson drove in from 8 yards out for 6 points — Austin Reese’s extra point attempt was good and Edinboro went up 7-0 at the 10-minute mark in the first quarter.

Edinboro put up 27 unanswered points before Clarion finally scored on an 11-yard from running back Delrece Williams. Williams carried the load for Clarion all day and went for 125 yards on 24 carries.

The score reached 48-7 before Clarion scored again. On that play, again, it was Williams for Clarion on a 3-yard rush. The Edinboro scores also included a 96-yard kickoff return by T’Naz Gregory for a touchdown.

Sisson had himself another terrific outing, as he went 22 of 37 for 357 yards total and 5 touchdowns. Sisson also went interception and sack free for the day.

“Practice was so much better this week and we went out there and executed,” Sisson said. “By far, it is the best feeling in the world when everything is going your way [and] you know you can just really do anything you want.”

Other notable Fighting Scots were James Clark, who had 7 receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Caratelli had another good day with 5 receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns, while Joran Williams came away with 4 receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.

The Edinboro defense really stuck to their semper gumby philosophy by being flexible but not breaking. As Clarion neared scoring position, the defense stiffened and simply refused to let Clarion through. Zuril Hendrick was larger than life as he picked off Simmons and scampered for a 27-yard "pick six." They made Connor Simmons, Clarion’s quarterback, uncomfortable all day. They moved Simmons off his mark and disrupted his passing lanes all day.

“It’s such a funny thing how that works. If a team wins big, they get blown out the next, [and] we had a really poor game versus IUP and a really great game versus Clarion,” Lustig said. “Now the challenge is can we do it again next week.”

George Schmidt is a sports reporter for EdinboroNow. He can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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