Football wins final home game against Clarion

Category:  Sports
Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 11:06 AM
Football wins final home game against Clarion by Paul Petrianni
Edinboro takes home second straight win against Clarion.

Edinboro football would recognize 10 seniors on Saturday at Sox Harrison Stadium, with several, including Aaron Rogers, Myles Turner and Ta’Nauz Gregory, leaving their fingerprints on a 27-20 victory over Clarion.

After a three-and-out on their first possession, the Fighting Scots flipped the switch with one of, if not their best drive of the season. They would cover every inch of 81 yards, calling 13 plays and taking almost seven minutes off the game clock. The drive also had its fair share of dramatics, featuring two fourth down conversions, both on pass completions from starting quarterback Levi Becker.

He talked about his improved play.

“Having a few starts has helped me slow down the game, and [it’s] simplified a lot of my reads,” said Becker. “It’s also helped me keep my confidence up and not panic when something may go wrong.”

One of these passes went to Khalil Jackson, giving ‘Boro the ball inside the red zone. The next fourth down conversion awarded the Scots six points, as Becker threw a perfect fade route in the back of the end zone to the always steady senior wideout Gregory.

Following the score, the ‘Boro defense would quickly provide for the offense, as they have all season. Maurice Sims would come up with a strip of Quinn Zinobile, while Turner would recover the football at the Clarion 31-yard line. CJ Reyes-Diggs, in for the injured Dorian Woody at running back, would then break a play up the field for a season-long rushing gain of 26 yards.

The ‘Boro drive would stall after the big run, though. From there, the Scots would need the assistance of the two-time PSAC West Special Teams Athlete of the Week Vicente Arriagada, who would knock in a 28-yard field goal. This field goal would be the final points of the first quarter as the Scots led 10-0.

Arriagada, following the win, spoke of the mentality this year, not only for the team but himself.

“We go into every game with the mentality that we will defeat our opponent; we have the skills and talent to compete with anyone at this level.”

The Clarion offense would eventually put together a nice drive to give them three points — a 27-yard field goal by James Metzgar.

Following the first Golden Eagles points, Rogers would respond, celebrating his senior day with an interception (it was his second game in a row with a pick). After a nice return of 17 yards, the Fighting Scots would find themselves at their own 49-yard line.

It was here that history was made. Gregory, chasing records all season long, would pass Earnest Priester for first all-time in Edinboro receiving yards. He’d do so in style, with Becker hitting him for a 36-yard touchdown. The record-setting score would put Edinboro up by 14 going into the half.

As the second half began, ‘Boro would continue to put points on the board. Arriagada would place the ball right between the uprights, as he’s done all season, for a 21-yard field goal. The boot increased the lead to 20-3.

Clarion would get back on track, answering after a short punt gave them good field position. Four plays and 44 yards later, they’d find the end zone as Mylique McGriff was left open, where he then barreled passed the goal line. The touchdown would cut the lead in half, 20-10.

But ‘Boro wasted no time getting those points back. After a small gain from Reyes-Diggs on first down, Becker found a streaking Gregory who slid in behind the Clarion defensive backs for a 53-yard touchdown. Gregory’s third touchdown of the day and 35th in his career would push the lead up to 17. The dynamic pass-catcher is now tied with Priester for first in the record books for career touchdowns received.

“It’s awesome to be the guy who helped Ta’Nauz get those last few yards and touchdowns for the records; he’s a great player and I’m excited he got to leave his mark on this program,” said Becker joyfully.

These would be the last points for ‘Boro, who would have to hold back the Golden Eagles as they attempted a comeback. McGriff would score again on a 7-yard rush, cutting the Scots lead down to 10.

Then, after an Edinboro turnover, the Golden Eagles would take over at the Scots’ 33-yard line. Clarion would continue to move the ball to the Edinboro red zone, getting all the way down to the 6-yard line. Ryan Bischof, though, would make two huge plays to limit the damage. He first held Mcgriff to no gain on a rush attempt, while then sacking the Clarion quarterback, forcing them to take the field goal. Metzgar would knock the field goal through the uprights, cutting it to a one score game.

The ‘Boro offense would struggle to get anything going in the fourth quarter, but the defense would show up when needed most. Senior cornerback Marquese Moore, for one, came up with a huge interception to give the ball back to the home team.

After an Edinboro three-and-out, the Golden Eagles would have one more opportunity to tie or take the outright lead. But it was the Scots defense again stopping them on the two minute drill. Clarion would make it as far as their own 43-yard line before being halted. Three straight plays were broken up by ‘Boro corners.

When the clock expired, the Scots found themselves up 27-20, moving them to 3-6 overall and 3-3 within the PSAC West.

They will travel Saturday to take on the Crimson Hawks of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) at noon.

“Right now, we have some momentum and confidence going after winning two straight. We want to go get this win at IUP on Saturday,” concluded Becker.

Additional Photos:

Edinboro takes home second straight win against Clarion. Khalil Jackson reels in a pass from Levi Becker.

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