FINDLAY — Clearview threw caution to the wind against the second-ranked team in the state, Ottawa-Glandorf.
It didn’t matter.
The Clippers opened the game with an onside kick, tried a double pass and put the ball in the air throughout the first half. Despite the wide-open approach, Clearview found little success as the Titans took control early and scored often, putting 52 points on the board in the first half and cruising to a 72-0 victory in the first round of the playoffs.
The Clippers tried to catch the Titans off-guard on the opening kickoff, dribbling the ball off the tee. Sid Moening jumped on the ball to give Ottawa-Glandorf outstanding field position at its 48.
Late in the first quarter, with Clearview trailing 21-0, starting quarterback Roger Engle threw a backward pass across the field to Ryan Vargo. Vargo caught the ball and fired it deep over the middle toward Gerrell Williams, who was open behind the defense. The ball nipped off Williams’ hands and fell harmlessly to the turf.
Late in the half, already down 38-0, the Clippers went for a first down deep in their territory. Facing fourth-and-1 from the 30, Engle was stuffed for a 1-yard loss.
Clearview coach Mike Collier knew his team would have to pull out all the stops.
“In a game like this against such a great team you are going to have to hit on all those things,” Collier said. “You’re going to have to have some breaks go your way. It just wasn’t our night.”
While preparing for the Titans, Collier saw nothing but size and speed across the board. He knew his Clippers would be hard pressed to go toe-to-toe with them.
“On film we could see that they’re a physically dominant team,” he said. “We knew we were going to have to take some chances and we were hoping we could catch them off-guard. We did some different things, but it’s kind of hard to outscheme bigger and stronger. It’s football and you have to be able to block, tackle, get off a block and make plays. We were not able to do that tonight.”
Engle, a sophomore, figured his team would not be able to count on winning through trickery, but thought if the Clippers could have found some early success it might have made a difference.
“We knew we couldn’t just rely on trick plays, but we came out and wanted to show it,” Engle said. “But it could have gotten us off to a quick start if we would have recovered that onsides kick.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.