Photo by Rob Howe
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – Even blowouts can be a sign of growth.
Clear Creek Amana’s football team was coming off a disappointing loss at Liberty High, a game it led at halftime, and faced a winless Clinton team that had already been shut out twice and had three games with a continuous clock.
Instead of going through the motions, the Clippers took care of business and routed the River Kings, 43-0, Friday at Clipper Field. CCA improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in District 5.
It will play at Davenport Assumption (4-2, 2-0), next Thursday.
“It was fun,” junior running back Alex Figueroa said.
The Clippers controlled the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively. They scored the first five times they had possession in the first half to roll up a 36-0 lead.
“We were just trying to do our jobs because everyone else was working hard, so we’ve got to work hard too,” co-captain and two-way lineman Kyle Pitlick said. “We’ve got to work harder than they do because we’ve got to get out there. It takes pride. You’ve got to care about your teammates more.”
The Clippers’ drives were over in a handful of plays. Their first-half touchdown drives were:
*4 plays, 52 yards
*6 plays, 54 yards
*3 plays, 62 yards
*4 plays, 59 yards
*5 plays, 49 yards
“We had a great running game. Our line was blocking awesome, and just everything was working for us tonight,” junior receiver Brock Reade said.
Running backs Cole Pfister, Figueroa, and Gage Freeman combined for 141 yards on 15 carries. Wide receiver Sam Stevens ran jet sweeps twice for 24 yards. Figueroa, Pfister and Stevens didn’t carry the ball in the second half as CCA substituted liberally.
“Our blockers were really good, and we just made plays,” Figueroa said. “We came out there hungry, and we wanted to score. We wanted to get in the end zone.
“It’s always our game plan to hit them first and keep going. We can’t slow down because we slowed down in that Liberty game last week. It’s an answer back from that.”
Quarterback Ryan Navara completed 8-of-10 passes for 188 yards, all in the first half. Sophomore Ben Swails played the second half and threw for another 72 yards.
There were big plays galore.
T.J. Bollers set up the first TD with a 38-yard reception from Navara.
Navara hit Reade with a 50-yard pass for the third touchdown. Reade had to adjust his route and leap for the catch, and then he left two or three River King tacklers in his wake with spin moves as he scored.
“It couldn’t have been done without the line, and the quarterback threw a great ball,” Reade said. “I was trying to go deeper, and then I had to cut back right in front of him so I could catch the ball. (The spins) just kind of came to me. It felt right to do it, so I did it. That feeling will never get old; it doesn’t happen much.”
It was Reade’s second touchdown reception of the season.
Figueroa’s 29-yard dash around right end set up the fourth TD.
Clipper blockers took down the Clinton defenders, but the running backs really exposed the River Kings’ poor tackling.
None of the Clippers went down on first contact. Pfister, at 5-foot-6, 160 pounds, is a one-man wrecking crew when he carries the ball, and if he has to go down is determined to take tacklers with him.
“I just keep pumping the legs,” Pfister said.
To add insult to injury, Freeman returned the second-half kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown despite Clinton’s attempt at a squib kick.
Defensively the Clippers were superb.
“We all just rallied to the ball,” Stevens said. “We all trusted each other and knew we’d do our job.”
They appeared to anticipate every play. It was almost as if they were in the huddle with the River Kings.
“That comes from watching a lot of film,” Pfister said.
They held Clinton to six yards rushing, 120 passing (63 of which came on the final three completions as time ran out) and seven first downs.
Players acknowledged the motivation they felt after the tough loss to Liberty High.
“Yeah, last week really hurt,” Pitlick said.
“We just had to play a lot better than we did last week,” Pfister said. “We got beat out last week. Tonight we came out and fixed our things. The holes were wide open.”
First downs 7 19
Rushing-yards 19-6 29-160
Comp-att-int 16-29-0 14-20-0
Passing-yards 120 260
Punts-avg. 7-33 0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-50 2-20
CCA – Ryan Navara 1 run (J.J. Denny kick)
CCA – Cole Pfister 4 run (Denny kick)
CCA – Brock Reade 50 pass from Navara (Denny kick)
CCA – Alex Figueroa 1 run (Treyton Bickel pass from Navara)
CCA – Pfister 5 run (Denny kick)
CCA – Gage Freeman 75 kickoff return (Denny kick)
RUSHING – CLI: Ulysses Patterson 10-13, Jai Jensen 4-12, Tavian Bailey 1-3, Trevion Bailey 1-(-2), Zach Hoffman 1-(-7), team 2-(-13). CCA: Alex Figueroa 4-48, Cole Pfister 5-47, Gage Freeman 6-46, Sam Stevens 2-24, Harrison Cory 4-9, Lukas Tenhagen 3-2, team 2-(-6), Ben Swails 2-(-11)
PASSING – CLI: Jai Jensen 16-29-0-120. CCA: Ryan Navara 8-10-0-188, Ben Swails 6-9-0-72, Gage Freeman 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING – CLI: Trevion Bailey 5-72, Ulysses Patterson 6-34, Seth Dotterweich 4-14, J.R. Wauford 1-0. CCA: T.J. Bollers 2-57, Brock Reade 1-50, Tom Johnson 2-49, Kaden Gisleson 2-23, Sam Stevens 1-20, Wes Quinlan 1-14, Riley Wolfe 1-12, Harrison Cory 1-9, Gage Freeman 1-8, team 1-8.
Did you enjoy this subscription free article? Help keep Your Prep Sports free by becoming a member.