By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– The 2012 Homecoming for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers was tarnished Friday night as visiting Central DeWitt had its way with the guys in blue, winning 30-14 and dropping CCA to a 3-3 record overall.
The Sabers struck at the end of the first quarter on a 5-yard run capping a 13-play drive that covered 87 yards. The extra point kick was good and the guests had a 7-0 lead. Earlier in the period, Mitch Stopko gave the home crowd a reason to cheer, and hopes for a touchdown as he carried a punt return 39 yards to the Sabers’ 22 yard line. The drive ended less than a minute later on a fumble, which was recovered by Central DeWitt.
Toward the end of the second quarter, DeWitt struck again, this time on a 15-yard run. Again the kick was good, and the Sabers took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
Central DeWitt struck twice in the third with a 1-yard run and a 4-yard pass both good for touchdowns. The point-after kick was blocked on the first touchdown, but a two-point conversion play was good on the second for a 28-0 lead. The Clippers put a drive together toward the end of the third, and carried it over into the fourth quarter to get on the scoreboard.
The drive started with less than a minute to go in the third, and looked to be doomed with two incomplete passes. But, a 15-yard interference penalty against the Sabers bought CCA a first down. Another incomplete pass was followed by A.J. Liddell taking a Konrad Moore pass 10 yards, while Stopko followed-up with a 1-yard rush for another first down. The Clippers, sitting at first and goal on the 9 yard line would need seven more plays before Moore was able to hit Zach Anderson for 5 yards and the touchdown. Niels VanElsas nailed the point-after kick and it was a 28-7 ballgame with just over 11 minutes left to play.
The Sabers sacked Moore and picked up a safety for the 30-7 lead with just under nine minutes remaining to the dismay of Clipper nation.
Stopko again gave the crowd a reason to cheer, blocking a Saber punt and giving CCA possession on their own 25 yard line with 4:39 left on the clock. The joy was short-lived with the drive dying seven plays later on their own 39.
With 1:31 left in the game, the Clippers again mounted a charge on the Sabers. Moore passed to John Nzombo and Tanner Bandy for 3 and 30 yards each. Another incomplete pass was followed-up with a 12-yard completion to Andrew Beckler, putting the Clippers on DeWitt’s 28 yard line with a first down. Moore found Jared Ganschow with a 28-yard pass to give the Clippers their second touchdown. VanElsas nailed the extra point and with 28 seconds to go, it was 30-14. The Sabers took a knee on their resulting drive, ending the game.
Ganschow and Nzombo led the Clippers in rushing with 11 and 10 yards respectively. Moore completed 19 of 40 pass attempts for 168 yards and the pair of touchdowns. Anderson took six of those passes for 55 yards, Tanner Bandy caught seven for 53, Ganschow caught one for 28 and Beckler took two for 20. Liddell caught one for 10 as well as the Clippers tried to use an air war against the ground-pounding Sabers. Central DeWitt rushed for 447 yards to CCA’s 49.
Defensively, Bryan Marmolejo and Miguel Mosaquites led with 11 tackles (total) each while Aaron Campbell and Stephen Jensen had 10 each. Kam Kahler had nine, Ganschow had seven and Josh Martinac got in on six.
The final home game of the regular season is set for Friday, Oct. 5, as Anamosa comes to town. The freshmen will kick-off at 5 p.m. with the varsity to follow. It’s the White-Out” game and Senior Night as well. The regular season ends on the road with trips to Marion and Maquoketa.