|CLARION-LIMESTONE CLAIMS FIRST KSAC TITLE SINCE 1993|
|OCT. 25 WEEK NINE - Clarion-Limestone 34, A-C Valley 0|
|By Chris Rossetti
STRATTANVILLE – Clarion-Limestone’s won its first KSAC title since 1993 with a 34-0 win over A-C Valley Friday night in the rain and mud at C-L.
"It was just a matter of these guys getting down in the mud, which there was a lot of, and getting it down," C-L’s first-year head coach John Kundick said. "It is great for the kids. It is great for the coaching staff. Everyone has worked hard, and the kids have won the KSAC."
For senior offensive/defensive lineman Jordan Johnston, winning the conference title is a special feeling. Johnston is a four-year starter for the Lions (9-0 overall, 8-0 KSAC) and remembers his freshmen year when C-L went 4-5.
"We have come a long way," Johnston said. "The seniors all worked really hard. It has been a long ride. When it started out, we didn’t do so well. But we kept working. We got a lot of younger guys to step up and play, and we are a full team now. Everyone is stepping up and working together."
C-L’s defense had a lot to do with the Lions winning the KSAC title this year, and it was no different against A-C Valley (0-9, 0-8).
The defense held the Falcons to 49 total yards in the game and four first downs including negative 15 in the second half. Even more impressive was that 56 of those 49 yards came on two plays. On the Falcons other 42 offensive plays they gained negative 7 yards.
"Our defensive effort is superb," Johnston said. "We have awesome linebackers, and everyone on our defense does their jobs. They are all awesome. We love playing defense. We love to go out there and shut people out and hold them to negative yards. We love that stuff."
C-L’s defense needed to come up with a big effort, because the offense struggled, particularly in the first half leaving the Lions up by only 14 points, 14-0, at halftime.
"I think these kids realized they were going to win the game," Kundick said. "It is not to say anything bad against A-C Valley. The kids knew they were going to win. It is a combination of a lot of things. No excuses. The whether stunk, I think we got a couple of bad call. But whatever that is football. They did what they had to do."
The Lions dotted the scoreboard for the first time late in the first quarter thanks to an A-C Valley turnover.
The Falcons had the ball at their 5-yard line after holding C-L on downs.
But on A-C Valley’s first play from the 5, Colt Burk fumbled the ball with the Lions pouncing on it at the four.
Three plays later, Brendan Huwar scored on a 4-yard run to give C-L a 7-0 lead with 1:11 left in the quarter.
The Lions struck again early in the second quarter when Hayden Johnston scored on a 29-yard run with 9:19 left in the half to give the Lions a 14-0 lead.
The run came on a fourth-and-4 play.
C-L looked like it was going to blow the game open when the Lions recovered a lose ball on the ensuing kickoff at the A-C Valley 31.
But two holding penalties on C-L forced them to punt the ball back to the Falcons.
Late in the half, the Falcons looked poised to score when Zack Heeter broke a 32-yard run and Corey Clawson hit Matt Knight with a 24-yard pass down to the C-L 30-yard line.
A 5-yard run by Heeter put the Falcons in a second-and-5 with under a minute to play, but A-C Valley lost five yards in the next two plays giving C-L the ball back.
In the second half, the Lions scored two touchdowns in the first 6:49 of the third quarter to break the game open.
The first score came on a 1-yard run by Huwar with 9:17 left in the quarter giving C-L a 21-0 lead. The run capped a three-play, 44-yard drive that included runs of 21 and 22 yards by Huwar.
The Lions then went up 27-0 on a 3-yard run by Hayden Johnston after the Lions had gotten the ball at the A-C Valley 34 following a punt. Ben Brooks did the balk of the work on the drive rushing twice for 20 yards.
"There were a lot of adjustments made at halftime," Kundick said. "We practice the way we think they are going to play all week, and they come out and do something different. You really don’t know (what they are doing), because the kids are on the field the whole time (and can’t tell us). At halftime the kids start telling us where they are and adjustments are made. That is how it goes."
The Lions final touchdown came with 15 seconds left in the game when C-L lineup up two senior offensive linemen, Jordan Johnston and Matt Steele, in the backfield. Steele got the call and scored his first varsity offensive touchdown on a 3-yard run.
NOTES: C-L has now won 9 straight games and 17 consecutive regular season games. Both streaks are tops in District 9 … A-C Valley has now lost 14 in a row and 17 of its past 18 games … Thanks to Otto-Eldred’s win over Johnsonburg, A-C Valley now has the longest losing streak in District 9 … The Lions will host Ridgway next week in the opening round of the District 9 Class A playoffs … According to information distributed by District 9 prior to the season, the top seeded Lions should meet the fourth seeded Elkers at 7 p.m. Friday. But there is a chance District 9 will decide to play that game Saturday at 7 p.m.
CLARION-LIMESTONE 34, A-C VALLEY 0
Score by Quarter
ACV – 0 0 0 0 – 0
C-L – 7 7 13 7 – 34
C-L – Brendan Huwar 4 run (Rocky Davis kick) 1:11
C-L – Hayden Johnston 29 run (Davis kick) 9:19
C-L – Huwar 1 run (Davis kick) 9:17
C-L – Johnston 3 run (Kick failed) 5:11
C-L – Matt Steele 2 run (Davis kick) :15
First Down 4 12
Rushes-Yards 38-30 51-270
Passing Yards 19 19
Passes: Comp-Att-Int 2-4-0 2-13-2
Total Yardage 49 289
Punts-Average 7-27.4 3-25.7
Fumbles-lost 7-4 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-17 6-55
Rushing – A-C Valley: Brad Hurrelbrink 8-10, Colt Burk 3-(-3), Corey Clawson 8-(-13), Zack Heeter 15-42, Luiz Gonzales 4-(-6). Clarion-Limestone: Brendan Huwar 23-90, Ben Brooks 5-81, Hayden Johnston 16-78, David Brooks 4-9, Matt Steele 3-12.
Passing – A-C Valley: Corey Clawson 2-for-4, 19 yards. Clarion-Limestone: Hayden Johnston 2-for-13, 19 yards, 2 ints.
Receiving – A-C Valley: Matt Knight 2-19. Clarion-Limestone: Ben Brooks 1-8, Brad Beggs 1-11.
Punting – A-C Valley: Luiz Gonzales 7-192, 27.4 avg. Clarion-Limestone: Hayden Johnston 3-77, 25.7 avg.
Interceptions – A-C Valley: Josh Hill, Zack Heeter.