Clearwater manages to avoid Eisenhower surprise
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CLEARWATER Clearwater coach Dirk Ankerholz had to be creative in his approach TO Fridays game against Eisenhower. With Marc Marinelli being the new coach for the Tigers, Ankerholz didnt know what to expect.
That was evident through the first half, but the Indians took control in the second half and defeated Eisenhower 23-3.
I was nervous, Ankerholz said. It doesnt help when youve got a new coach in a new position in that first game, because you have absolutely no idea what hes going to show you. So youve got to prepare for everything, and you really get ready for nothing.
Eisenhowers defense did not falter under early pressure. After quarterback Dalton Dinkel fumbled the ball, and Clearwaters Alex Smith recovered it in the third play of the game, Eisenhower stopped the Indians drive and pressured John Becker to miss his field goal attempt.
Its all respond on the fly, which was a reason the first half was really slow going for us, because we were trying to figure out how they were defending us, and what we wanted to do to attack it, Ankerholz said.
After three Eisenhower first downs, the Tigers punted to Clearwaters 30-yard line, and after two plays Clearwaters Hunter Hall passed to Becker for a 25-yard gain. This was followed by a 33-yard run from Hall to put the Indians at first and goal, and set up Devin Roth for a 4-yard touchdown with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter.
The second quarter was back-and-forth, and when Eisenhower had its first serious attempt at a touchdown, it settled for a 33-yard field goal from Blake Lynch. In the final seconds of the period, Clearwater faced a similar situation, and Becker put in a 22-yard field goal to take a 9-3 lead at the half.
When youre an option-based team, youre traditionally slow out of the gates, and we were like that tonight too, Ankerholz said. Eisenhower played well early, and we finally got some timing right, and in the second half we really cut down on our penalties, really cut down on the self-inflicted wounds.
Despite missing an early field goal attempt in the third quarter, Clearwater hung on and Hall ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining in the period. The momentum carried into the fourth quarter.
After Eisenhower recovered a fumble early in the period, Clearwaters defense forced a fumble three plays later, and recovered it to start a 55-yard drive that ended in another touchdown for Hall.
We just self-destructed at times, Marinelli said. Our defense would step up and make a stop, and then we would turn the ball over. Wed get a big play on offense, and then wed go backwards.
Hall controlled Clearwaters offense, running 145 yards on 18 carries, while completing 16 passes of his 22 attempts for 147 yards. Eisenhowers Drake Damon led the Tigers offense with 74 yards on 18 carries.
CRoth 4 run (two-point conversion failed)
ELynch 33 field goal
CBecker 22 field goal
CHall 12 run (Becker kick)
CHall inches run (Becker kick)
RushingEisenhower, Damon 18-74, Dinkel 4-1, Ramey 5-(-1), Evans 1-(-5), Thompson 4-24. Clearwater, Roth 12-61, Hall 18-145, Ellis 2-8, Adamson 3-20, Becker 2-44, Thomas 1-(-2), Wright 1-(-5).
PassingEisenhower, Dinkel 1-6-28-0, Ramey 4-11-90-1. Clearwater Hall 16-22-147-0.
ReceivingEisenhower, S. Brown 2-35, Evans 1-43, Marx 1-38, Strunk 1-2. Clearwater, Becker 8-117, Wright 1-2, Roth 4-22, Rausch 1-6.