By Doug Lindner
North Liberty Leader
SOLON– If you looked at the offensive stats, this game didn’t look bad for Clear Creek Amana’s (CCA) Clippers.
But if you looked at the score, it was another story.
The Clippers traveled to Solon Friday evening and ended up as fodder for the Spartans’ Homecoming celebration in a 42-7 loss, moving the Clippers to a 1-3 record and a third consecutive loss.
The Clippers racked up over 300 yards of offense, but penalties and miscues plagued CCA.
Junior quarterback Tanner Bandy was held to 6-20 passing for 68 total yards and two interceptions, one a pick-six to open the second half when CCA was already down 35-0 and facing a continuous clock.
Bandy was a hair more successful running the ball, collecting 69 yards on 13 carries, including the Clippers’ lone score, a 34-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
Jonathan Nzombo showed signs he could spark the CCA offense early on, but the Clippers continued to shoot themselves in the foot with costly penalties and mistakes.
After Bandy and Nzombo hooked up on a successful screen pass to move the Clippers near midfield, the drive stalled and a short punt gave Solon the ball back at its own 43-yard-line.
Later in the second quarter, a Nzombo 37-yard kickoff return was negated by penalty, and even though the Clippers were able to string together several first downs, a muffed punt gave the ball back to the Spartans on the CCA 9-yard line.
Each time, the Spartans were able to capitalize.
Nzombo had 88 yards on 20 carries to lead the Clippers; Andrew Beckler added 52 yards on three attempts, while Nile Rourke added 34 yards on only two tries.
Nzombo had two catches for 22 yards; Evan Downes was the leading receiver with a single catch for 27 yards, while Aaron Akers, Beckler and Rourke each had a reception.