Colts hang tough, fall to Orriville at home

By Zach Jones -

It was fourth and goal with 2.3 seconds left on the clock, Clear Fork had one shot left to get the victory over the visiting Orrville Red Riders who lead 33-27; sophomore quarterback Thomas Staab took a quarterback keeper wide left diving just short of the goal-line as the game and the Colts’ improbable comeback chance ended.

Clear Fork got a second chance at a come from behind win after forcing an Orriville fumble deep inside their own territory with less than a minute remaining in the contest.

A lengthy drive that put the Colts’ on the Red Riders half of the field ended with an untimely Clear Fork fumble as the fourth quarter dwindled inside two minutes.

Clear Fork returned to the friendly confines of the Colt Corral following their road loss at Ashland last week.

Despite a quick touchdown from sophomore running back Ian McDanel, Clear Fork was outscored by Orrville 20-12 during the first half.

The Colts got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 6-0 lead on McDanel’s first score of the season.

Orriville answered the Colts’ lead in a hurry as junior running back Jacob Hershberger crossed the goal-line for the visiting Red Riders to take a 7-6 lead after the missed Colt extra point.

Clear Fork rallied back with a rushing touchdown from Staab, his eighth on the year, making the score 12-7 after a failed two-point conversion attempt from the Colts.

Senior Orrville quarterback Luke Smith then connected with junior wideout Jake Fitzgerald to make it 14-12 in favor of the visitors.

Smith added to the Red Rider lead with another touchdown pass to Caleb Batey and Marcus Conway and a punt return touchdown from Fitzgerald gave the Red Riders their 6 point victory margin.

A second half rushing TD from Staab gave the sophomore two scores in the contest. Junior running back Mason Back accounted for the other Colt score on the half, as he crossed the goal-line on a 10-yard run.

In spite of the Colts’ comeback attempt, Clear Fork falls to 2-7 on the year and 0-6 in the Ohio Cardinal Conference. Orrville moves to 3-6 on the season and 2-4 in OCC play.

The Colts wrap up their season at home next week against West Holmes.

By Zach Jones

Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at

Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at