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The long wait continues for Clipper football

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– The bell from the USS King (DD-242) hangs silently outside the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) football field. It waits to signal a Clipper victory.
Following a 38-9 Homecoming loss Friday night to Solon, the bell and the Clippers continue to wait for their first win of the 2011 campaign as the team sank to the bottom of Class 3A, District 6 with an 0-4 record overall; 0-2 in district play.
Despite motivational speeches pre-game from Coach Rodney Walls and special sideline guest (and CCA alum) Ashton Kutcher, the Clippers quickly found themselves sailing in troubled waters. After kicking off to the Spartans, Solon put together a 12-play drive ending in a touchdown. The Clippers caught a break though as a holding penalty on the Spartans negated the touchdown and pulled Solon back to the CCA 21-yard line. The Clipper defense held Solon at the 1-yard line, drove Spartan quarterback J. J. Hanus to scramble twice for negative yardage and forced the Spartans into a field goal.
Solon added two touchdowns in the first quarter for a 17-0 lead. The second touchdown came as Solon’s Colton Dall intercepted a pass from Dillon Villhauer intended for Andrew Beckler. Dall ran 72 yards along the Clipper sideline to score. Villhauer returned to the quarterback spot after serving a three-game suspension for an undisclosed conduct policy violation.
Two more Solon touchdowns in the second gave the visitors a 31-0 advantage at halftime.
The Clippers made it onto the scoreboard in the third quarter on a safety. A Villhauer punt pinned the Spartans on their own 4-yard-line. Solon’s Andy Klouda rushed 3 yards to open the Solon drive, but quarterback Hanus was sacked on the next play for CCA’s first points.
The Spartans opened the final 12 minutes scoring on a 9-yard run and activating the continuous clock with 11:54 remaining in the game.
Homecoming King Nash Stopko made a 10-yard run for the end zone in the final minute. With a Spartan pulling him down, Stopko made it just over the line with the ball. Caleb Sedlacek launched the PAT kick right down the middle of the uprights and CCA finally got a touchdown.
Stopko led the ground attack for CCA with 13 carries for 76 yards. Villhauer had 25 carries, many a desperate scramble to avoid the Spartan defense, but 32 lost yards gave him a net of 71 for the night. Konrad Moore had one carry for 12 yards, Jonathan Nzombo had one carry, but went nowhere.
Villhauer completed 11 of 18 passes for 89 yards and one interception. Tyler Schulte was the leading receiver with five catches for 59 yards. Zach Anderson caught one pass for 17, Moore took two for six, A.J. Liddell had one for four, and Stopko pulled down a pair for 3 yards.
Bryan Marmolejo returned two kickoffs for 24 yards, Jared Ganschow brought six kickoffs downfield for 102 yards, including a 30-yard dash.
Marmolejo led defensively with 11 total tackles, Villhauer had 10, and Miguel Mosaquites had five. Nzombo, Tanner Bandy, Ganschow, Terran Wagner and Tony Pederson were credited with three each.
The Clippers will face the Demons of Washington on Friday, Sept. 23, before returning home for Pink Night against Grinnell on Sept. 30.