Too much too soon
TIFFIN– Week one of the high school football season found the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers at home against the Mt. Pleasant Panthers. The Panthers put up a touchdown each quarter, taking the victory 28-16.
The Clippers had the first possession of the night, which came to a sudden stop just three plays in as a Konrad Moore pass was intercepted. It only took the Panthers two plays to put up the first touchdown followed by a successful PAT for the 7-0 lead.
Coach Rodney Walls’ crew tried to rally back with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. The drive started on the Panthers’ 45 yard line with Moore attempting a pass to Zach Anderson, which was unfortunately dropped. Nash Stopko rushed on second down for 23 yards up the middle to the 22 yard line, good for a first down. The Panthers pounced on Moore, sacking him and taking him back for a three-yard loss. Moore connected with Tyler Kasper for six yards before Kasper was dumped on the sidelines in front of the CCA coaching staff. On third down with seven to go, a Moore to Tanner Bandy pass was overthrown. Walls called a time-out, and when play resumed, Caleb Sedlacek set up for, and nailed a 37-yard field goal to get the Clippers on the board, 7-3.
CCA’s first drive of the second quarter was doomed. Stopko tried to rush, but ended up losing two yards. Moore was intercepted again by Mt. Pleasant’s Donnie Johnson, who made it 33 yards for the second Panther touchdown and a 14-3 score which held to halftime.
The Panthers led-off the third quarter with a seven play, 68-yard drive good for the third touchdown. The effort was all on the ground and included 20 yards worth of penalties (face mask and pass interference) against the Clippers.
With 3:17 left in the quarter, CCA took over on downs on their own 32-yard line. Moore completed a 36-yard pass to Tanner Bandy, putting the ball on the Panthers’ 32. Stopko took a 32-yard run for the Clippers’ first touchdown of the 2011 campaign. A two-point conversion play failed, putting the score at 21-9.
The Panthers struck again in the fourth quarter as a eight-play drive moved 58 yards, ate up over three minutes; and ended with a touchdown to make the score 28-9.
With 3:25 left in the ballgame, the Clippers put together their longest drive of the game and put one more touchdown on the board. Moore started the effort with an incomplete pass to Bandy, then followed with handing the ball to Stopko for a 12-yard run to the CCA 38 and a first down. Another incomplete pass, this time to Andrew Beckler was followed by a 12-yard pass to Kam Kahler and another first down. Moore then hit Stopko with an 11-yard pass and yet another first down. An illegal procedure call moved the Clippers back five yards and an incomplete pass from Moore to Jared Ganschow hindered the boys in blue.
But Moore nailed a seven yard pass to Stopko and a 13-yard throw to Beckler, putting the Clippers on the Mt. Pleasant 24, and buying another first down in the process. Moore hit Kahler with a 17-yard toss making it a first and goal for the Clippers. Moore hit Bandy for the touchdown with 1:35 remaining.
Stopko, a senior, led in rushing with 78 yards on seven carries. Moore kept the ball 17 times for 14 yards, Ganschow had one carry for four yards; and Tyrone Simpson made a pair of carries for zero yards (gain of one plus a loss of one). Stopko had four receptions for 57 yards, Bandy had four for 51, Kahler made two for 29, and AJ Liddell had two for 18 yards. Beckler, Kasper and Anderson had one catch each for 13, six and three yards respectively. Bryan Marmolejo had two punt returns for 16 yards. Ganschow had two kickoff returns for 28 yards, Kahler returned one kickoff for six, and Kasper returned one kickoff for a lucky 13 yards.
Moore, a junior, made his debut at quarterback completing 15 of 31 passes for 177 yards. He was intercepted twice and threw one touchdown.
Defensively, Marmolejo led with 17 tackles (initial, unassisted and assisted), Johnathan Nzombo had 16, Miguel Mosaquites made 11 total, and Stopko had 10. Kasper and Simpson made five apiece while Casey Rohret and Conor Schneider had four apiece. Kahler and Ganschow made three tackles each, Jacob Klingeman had two. Bandy, Tony Pederson, Connor Mougin and Anderson had one each. Mosaquites and Rohret both sacked the Panthers’ quarterback with a loss of seven and four yards each.
The Clippers go into Friday night’s battle on the road at Mid-Prairie (Wellman) 0-1 overall and 0-0 in Class 3A District No. 6.