The Tigers returned to their winning ways Friday night, in the midst of a festive homecoming crowd, as they soundly defeated the Spartans 35-3. The victory evened their record to 3-3 while the Spartans are winless at 0-6.
The Spartans’ opening kickoff was scooped up by Jahlin Humphries at the Tiger 10 and returned 55 yards on a nifty run, getting the ball to the Pace 35. Clewiston drove to the 7 before an errant Davis Witt pass was intercepted in the end zone.
The Tiger defense made it a three-and-out event for the Spartan offense and a poor punt would have given the Tigers the ball back near midfield, if not for a blocking penalty which pushed them back 10 more yards. The infraction was just an omen of what kind of night it was going to be in the penalty department. In all, Clewiston received 152 yards in penalties on 15 calls.
From their 33, Menta’ Jones provided the leg work with 6 carries for 32 yards and scoring the first touchdown on an 8 yard smash. Kicker Colt Flynn tacked on the point-after, his first of five on the night and keeping him a perfect 26 of 26 on the year.
Early in the second quarter, Witt showed his legwork talents when he ran a quarterback draw off the left side for a 24 yard touchdown. The score came after a five minute Tiger drive, with Davis contributing another run for 12 yards and Maurice Murphy chipping in with 24 yards on 3 tries.
After a change of possessions, the Spartans had the ball at the midfield stripe. But on the first play, freshman quarterback Daelen Menard was picked off by Tiger safety Anthony Walker who returned the ball 27 yards to the Spartan 40 yard line. It took the Tigers only 7 plays to reach the end zone with running back Isaiah Jackson getting the last two yards. With Flynn’s kick, Clewiston was sporting a 21-0 lead.
The Spartans finally got some offense going on their next drive, moving the ball from their 20 to the Tiger 27. Menard then attempted a pass across the middle where Tiger linebacker Teandre Johnson snared the ball and proceeded to turn on the speed as he jaunted 77 yards for Clewiston’s first defensive score of the year.
Clewiston got a gift early in the third quarter when the Spartans went into punt formation, the ball sailing over the punter’s head, and being downed at the Spartans’ 12 yard line. Jones covered that 12 yards on one run, dragging a few defenders with him. Flynn added the Tigers final point for the night and a running clock was started with 9:24 remaining in the period.
From there, Coach Pete Walker freely substituted and Monsignor Pace relied on their passing game in an attempt to get back in the contest. But the Tigers managed to keep things in check. In the waning moments of the game, Menard did connect on 24 and 23 yard passes and as time expired, kicker Matias Rodriguez nailed a 30 yard field goal to give the Spartans their only points.
The Tigers unveiled a revamped offense with more spread formations, direct snaps to quarterback Davis Witt, and misdirection plays. Jones, who was doubtful for the game due to a lingering injury, was an important factor in the offense with 89 yards on 11 carries and two scores. Witt’s insertion into the running attack was also a big plus as it added something unexpected.
Defensively, Clewiston put forth an opportunistic effort, holding the Spartans to only a net 18 yards rushing on 20 attempts. The interceptions by Walker and Johnson, with good returns and a defensive touchdown by Johnson, were key. Johnson also had 2 tackles for losses. Defensive end Delroy Greenland had 6 solo tackles, with a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss. Defensive end Jamarkis Weston aided the effort with 2 blocked passes.
Monsignor Pace 0 0 0 3 – 3
Clewiston 7 21 7 0 – 35
1Q: Clewiston: Menta’ Jones 8 yard run
2Q: Clewiston: Davis Witt, 24 yard run, kick Colt Flynn; Isaiah Jackson 4 yard run, kick Colt Flynn;
Clewiston: Teandre Johnson 77 yard interception return, kick Colt Flynn
3Q: Clewiston: Menta’ Jones 12 yard run, kick Colt Flynn
4Q; Monsignor Pace: Matias Rodriguez 30 yard field goal
Rushing: Clewiston: Menta’ Jones 11/89, Isaiah Jackson 2/4; Tyrin Summers 3/19; Maurice Murphy 8/31; Davis Witt 6/62
Passing: Clewiston: Davis Witt 16/8/1 104 Receiving: Clewiston: Reginald Henderson 1/3; Andre Taylor 1/37; Tyrin Summers 4/39; Menta’ Jones 2/25