Clearview shuts out Avon

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By Dennis M. Balzer, Morning Journal Correspondent

Sat, Oct 23, 1999

AVON -- Clearview traveled to Avon last night, attempting to avoid their first losing season in 15 years and keep the winning tradition alive that the school has become synonymous with over the years.

The Clippers finished at 1-9 under legendary Clearview coach Tom Hoch in 1984, and this years team needed to finish out the year with two wins to avoid a losing season.

This year's team only numbers 21 players, and with the small band of warriors that coach Rocky Hammond has to work with, the Clippers passed their first hurdle as they beat the Eagles, 12-0.

'It wasn't pretty but it's a win,' said Hammond. 'We are well aware of the responsibility that we have to the community of Clearview followers and it is important to us to finish the season on a winning note.'

Both teams failed to move the ball on their respective first offensive series', and it appeared that both were going to be content to grind it out on the ground.

That is, until Nick Wosbobunik found Bret Schuster behind the Eagle defensive secondary and lofted a perfect strike that had six points written all over it. But, Schuster let it slip through his hands, putting his team into a fourth-and-13 punting situation.

After Schuster punted 36 yards to the Avon 24, the Clipper defensive team came up with the first turnover of the game that led to a 6-point Clipper lead.

It was Schuster intercepting an Eagle pass at the 45 and returning it 10 yards to the Avon 35, before the Clipper offense used a 10-play, 35- -yard drive that put their first points of the game into the books.

Jarrod Murphy scored on a 3-yard run to give his team a 6-0 lead. The attempt for a two-point conversion failed, but the Clippers had already scored enough points to win this contest.

'Give that first score to the defense,' said Hammond. 'I turned the defense over to assistant coach Matt Wilson, and he made a few changes and came up with the big plays that kept them out of the endzone.'

Neither team was able to score through the middle quarters, but the Clippers did some bookend scoring when Schuster hauled in a 12-yard scoring pass from Woskobunik with 3:31 left in the game to give his team a 12-0 lead.

Justin Carrasquillo made 75 yards with 19 carries.

'We were able to stop them most of the time tonight,' said Avon coach Lee Powell. 'But they made the big play when it counted the most, and unfortunately, those big plays led to touchdowns.'

The Clipper offense was led by Murphy, who carried the ball 19 times for 90 yards, and Wosbobunik, who gained 60 yards on 15 attempts.

'I also turned the offense over tonight and put it into the hands of assistant coaches John Szalay and Homer Newman, who called all the offensive plays and should be given credit for this win,' said Hammond.

Besides Schuster's interception, Joe Carlton and Mark Kraft each picked off Eagle passes.

Avon was led by Justin Carrasquillo and Bill Hassell, who gained 75 rushing yards each on an identical 19 carries, while Dan Zegaric and Erik Gorman each intercepted Clipper aerials to lead the defensive attack.

The Eagles, who dropped to 2-4 in the Lorain County Conference (2-7 overall), will finish out the season at Keystone next week. The Clippers, who improved to 3-3 in the LCC (4-5 overall), will host Firelands in what very well may be their biggest game in the last 15 years.

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