BELLVILLE — Last Friday, Oct. 27, the Clear Fork Colts football team defeated Harding to secure the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference title, as well as their second undefeated regular season (1965).
Fast forward one week and for the first time in school history, the Clear Fork Colts football team is 11-0.
Clear Fork hosted the Clearview Clippers on Friday, Nov. 3 in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Regional football playoffs. The Colts, the number one seed in the Division IV, Region XIV bracket, easily handled the visiting number eight seeded Clippers; 44-0.
It was the defense that would get the contest started for the home squad as Clearview would receive the game-opening kickoff. The Colts’ “D” was up to the challenge and would force a quick, three and out, preventing the Clippers from gaining any positive yardage (3 plays, -7 yards).
The high-powered Clear Fork offense would take over on their own 35 yard line to begin their first drive of the contest. Clearview’s defense would manage a sack of quarterback Blake Dinsmore, but Clear Fork would gain the necessary 65 yards to score their first touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run by the QB. Sloan Bowman’s extra-point attempt would go wide left but the Colts were up 6-0 with 7:07 still remaining in the opening quarter.
After another big stand by their defense, the Colts began their second drive from their own 33 yard line. Clear Fork would continue their march down the field against the Clippers defense and the second drive would lead to a second TD. Dinsmore connected through the air with Bryce Lyon for a 50-yard TD strike to put the home team up 12-0. Dinsmore would tack on the two-point conversion to give the Colts the early 14-0 advantage.
Clear Fork would start the second quarter with their third touchdown of the contest, a 19-yard scurry by Dinsmore, paired with a Bowman PAT and the Colts owned a commanding 21-0 lead with 11:53 remaining in the first half.
The Colts would be forced to punt on their fourth possession of the game but would come right back to their familiar offensive ways on the next possession as Dinsmore would pass for his second touchdown of the night, this one from 12 yards out to Bowman. With the added PAT, Clear Fork was up 28-0 but was far from finished.
Dinsmore would throw an interception on the sixth Clear Fork drive of the game but Trevon Trammell would return the favor on the opposing Clippers drive, picking off Clearview quarterback Anthony Terry. Trammell proceeded to add to the Colts scoring on their next drive, marching in for the TD after a 27-yard reverse. Bowman added another extra-point to give Clear Fork the lopsided 35-0 lead.
Bowman would finish the first half scoring for the Colts, converting on a 25-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half of action. Clear Fork headed into the locker room with the 38-0 lead, causing the second half to begin with the continuous clock rule in effect.
Clearview’s luck would continue to wear thin as their opening kickoff was botched, giving the Colts the ball at the 38 yard line. Enter Jared Schaefer at quarterback. The Clear Fork offense would need just one play to add their eventual final score of the game as Schaefer connected with Lyon for a 38-yard aerial strike. Bowman added his final PAT and the score reached 44-0.
The Clippers had their most promising drive of the evening in the second half on Friday coming to a screeching halt. Clearview had the ball first and goal at the Clear Fork three yard line but would fail to convert and eventually turn the ball over on downs.
Clearview would drive the ball deep into Clear Fork territory late in the final quarter, only to see a fumble recovered by Colts sophomore Blake Miller give the ball to the home team to run out the remainder of the clock.
When the clock reached all zeroes, Clear Fork would move on in the playoffs while making history and Clearview would see their nine-game winning streak snapped.
Total offense: Clear Fork Colts- 27 carries, 114 yards, 13 catches, 296 yards, 410 yards total; Clearview Clippers- 20 carries, -7 yards, 6 catches, 88 yards, 81 yards total.
Notable stats for the Colts: Dinsmore- 12 carries, 70 yards, 248 yards passing, 2 passing TD, 2 rushing TD, INT; Trammell- 10 carries, 44 yards, rushing TD, INT, sack; Lyon- 5 catches, 176 yards, 2 TD; Schaefer- passing TD, sack; Bowman- 3/5 PAT, 1/1 FG (25 yards); Jacob Bailey, Jay Swainhart and Daniel Spencer- sack each and Miller- fumble recovery.
Next up for the undefeated Colts will be a rematch with the fifth seed in their regional tourney, the Bellevue Redmen. Back on Sept. 1, the home team Colts needed overtime to defeat the visiting squad from Bellevue; 20-14. The two teams are set to clash on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Arlin Field, home of the Mansfield Senior Tygers. The winner of that regional semifinals match up will face-off against the winner of No. 2 Shelby (11-0) and No. 3 St. Mary’s Memorial (10-1) for the regional title.
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