BELLVILLE — A 21-7 loss to Granville Friday night at the newly unveiled turf-covered Colt Corral wasn’t what Clear Fork had hoped for in its home opener.
“They’re a well-coached team. It was a dogfight and we flinched. Three interceptions. It’s hard to beat a team like that,” head coach Dave Carroll said.
He was quick to not place the blame solely on senior signal-caller Brennan South, however.
“Our quarterback’s a great kid. I’m not putting that on his shoulders,” Carroll said.
“We wanted to be able to establish some kind of running game. We knew our running game wasn’t great, but that was terrible.”
South was 18-for-25 for 175 yards. The Colts managed 102 yards rushing with South leading the way with 91 of those.
Clear Fork put together a terrific 18-play, 86-yard drive to open the game. A 3-yard pass from South to Tacoma Orr, combined with a Gabe Blauser extra point kick, made it 7-0.
“We didn’t come in here planning to run it 3 out of 4 downs, but we needed to run it 1 or 2 out of 4 downs. The only running play that worked was the quarterback draw.”
But the Blue Aces countered with a 24-yard pass from Bo Buttermore to tight end Christian Hilton to knot the game at halftime.
Orr had 5 catches for 39 yards and Ashton Lyon 5 for 42. Lucas Kern added 4 catches for 42 stripes.
Lyon paced the Colts defense with 11 tackles.
The second half Clear Fork couldn’t get its offense, punting on its first two possessions.
“They play two safeties off at 12 yards. They’re not going to give you the big play,” Carroll said. “They play all zone, a very safe defense. When you see Cover-2, you run the football and we couldn’t.
“We knew that’s a weak spot. We lost some very good football players up front from last year. We’re not where we need to be up front.”
Granville put together a 9-play, 60-yard scoring drive, capped by Buttermore’s 3-yard-run that put it ahead 14-7 as the third quarter ended. He added a 4-yard-run with 6:20 left in the game.
Carroll said his squad needs to move forward quickly to be ready for its next opponent.
“We’ve got Lexington. We gotta re-group. We scrimmaged them the last two years when they weren’t on the schedule so we’re familiar with them.
“They run that 3-3 stack with that free safety in the middle to perfection. Their strong point had been their defense. They also run the ball pretty well.
“It’s a good game for us to rebound after a loss here,” Carroll said.
HALL OF FAME: Four members were inducted into the Clear Fork Valley Athletic Hall Of Fame this weekend. They are coach Dan Sparks, Matt Blubaugh, Bryan Thorne and Brendan Liberti. They were recognized prior to the game.