Clay defender Brad Stanton forces a fumble by Scott's Darell Brown in the second quarter yesterday as the Eagles built a 17-0 lead over the Bulldogs by halftime at Penn/Webb Stadium.
Scott played great football for one quarter last night.
The other three belonged to Clay, and the visiting Eagles scored the game-winning touchdown with 7:03 remaining in a 23-18 City League football victory at Penn/Webb Stadium.
Perhaps still smarting from their near upset of St. John's Jesuit here a week earlier, the Bulldogs (3-3, 1-2) were slow to get rolling.
Clay (3-3, 2-1) took advantage immediately, grabbing a quick 14-0 edge and extending it to 17-0 by halftime.
"Our kids came out really focused and executed," Clay coach Jeff Lee said. "We saw some things on film, and we thought they'd be a little achy after their tough loss last week against St. John's. So, we hoped to get out of the gate quick and get 'em."
The halftime break came with a wake-up call for Scott, which seized control of the game with three unanswered third-quarter TDs by senior quarterback Derek Bobo.
Scott's Anderson Fletcher breaks up a Clay pass intended for A.J. Achter. Achter had scored on a 51-yard pass from Brent Graham and he also caught a key pass in the Eagles' winning drive.
"They're so versatile and talented and have so much team speed," Lee said of Scott. "We hoped to keep a lid on things. But, all of a sudden, that lid started to boil over. Then our defense came up big."
Scott opened the second half on Anderson Fletcher's 52-yard kickoff return to the Clay 30. Four plays later, Bobo ran the final yard 1:42 into the third quarter. The Bulldog defense forced a Clay punt, and Scott went 45 yards on seven plays with Bobo again covering the final yard to make it 17-12 with 5:21 left in the third.
Again the Scott defense forced a Clay punt, but this time A.J. Achter's kick was fumbled by Fletcher, and the Eagles recovered at the Bulldog 33. For the third straight possession, however, Scott's defense stood firm.
Following a punt, Bobo (15 carries, 82 yards) took the Bulldogs on a quick four-play, 81-yard TD drive. He started it with a 28-yard run, Antwoine Ramsey bolted 46 yards for a first-and-goal at the 7, and Bobo ran the final three yards for an 18-17 Scott lead with 15.2 seconds left in the third.
That's when Clay's own senior QB, Brent Graham (11 of 17 passing, 136 yards), took over.
"He's been that way for two straight weeks," Lee said of Graham. "We had some big plays in the Whitmer game [19-17 comeback win], and we had some big plays again today. He's the conductor back there, and the guys really respect him. He comes up big for us."
Graham (seven carries, 41 yards) directed a 12-play, 77-yard TD march that included three third-down conversions.
The first was his own 16-yard scramble on third-and-14. The second was his 17-yard pass to Achter on third-and-four. The last was his 13-yard screen pass to Brad Rucki on third-and-nine to the Scott 28.
A play later, sophomore running back Nick Tammerine (28 carries, 93 yards) took a pitch and streaked through the middle 26 yards for the winning TD with 7:03 to play.
"We came out flat," Scott coach Matt Davis said. "The kids showed a lot of heart the second half, and we made three great drives. But we needed to hold 'em on that first drive in the fourth quarter. They made the plays when they needed to make 'em, and we didn't make 'em at the end we needed to."
Scott drove from its 20 to the Clay 29, but threw incomplete twice just five yards from a first down. The Bulldogs got the ball back on their 35 with just 7.7 seconds to go, but Bobo (10 of 21 passing, 108 yards) saw his final pass fall incomplete to end the game.
Clay struck early, taking a 7-0 lead 1:17 into the game on its third play from scrimmage. Graham found Achter over the middle for a 51-yard score.
Clay's next TD came on Tammerine's six-yard run over right tackle, closing a 43-yard drive with 2:28 left in the first quarter. Justin Guy's booming 47-yard field goal gave Clay its 17-point edge 7:06 before halftime.
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