GALION — Clear Fork scored 24 unanswered points to pick up a 36-21 victory over Galion on Friday night, holding the Tigers scoreless in the second half.
Galion (3-3, 1-2 Mid Ohio Athletic Conference) got out of the gates fast. On the first drive, Cooper Kent rolled to his left and found Hanif Donaldson for a 55-yard catch and run at the 10:16 mark of the first quarter. Landon Campbell converted the extra point for a quick 7-0 lead.
“Anytime you have a player as good as Hanif Donaldson, you have to start building what other things you can do,” Galion head coach Matt Dick explained. “That kid Landon Campbell made a ton of big plays for us.”
Shortly thereafter, the new-found passing attack of the Tigers struck again. Kent again found a streaking Donaldson deep down the field for a 63-yard touchdown that gave Galion a 14-0 lead with 8:15 to play in the opening period.
Donaldson finished with 161 yards on four catches against Clear Fork.
Clear Fork (4-2, 2-0 MOAC) got on the board with about five minutes left in the first quarter. Quarterback Victor Skoog ran it in from nine yards out to cut the deficit to 14-6 with 5:14 to play. Skoog’s scoring run came after he connected with Jay Jackson for 26 yards through the air.
The Colts struck again early in the second quarter when Deven Freeman scored on a run from seven yards out with 10:05 remaining. The two-point conversion was no good for Clear Fork, but the Colts cut the Tigers lead to 14-12.
Freeman finished the game with seven catches for 105 tough yards.
Galion answered the Colts score with one of their own as Kent hit Campbell for a 9-yard touchdown pass at the 4:09 mark of the second period to take a 21-12 lead.
Kent, a sophomore, enjoyed the best game of his young career finishing 16-for-36 with 354 yards and 3 touchdown passes. He connected with eight different receivers: Donaldson (4 catches, 161 yards, 2 TD), Kyle Foust (2 catches, 67 yards), Jorden Borders (3 catches, 52 yards), Carson Teynor (2 catches, 29 yards), Landon Campbell (2 catches, 21 yards, TD), Dameon Kimble (1 catch, 10 yards), Kooper McCabe (2 catches, 8 yards), Gabe Ivy (1 catch, 5 yards).
“Cooper Kent has really grown as a young quarterback,” Dick said. “We did a lot of two-back stuff that allowed him to roll out and get some clean reads. Tonight he really threw the ball well.”
Clear Fork marched down the field to score just before halftime. Skoog rushed up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left to play. Galion held onto a narrow 21-20 lead at halftime.
“I really do love how our offense came out and really had a good performance in the first half against a good defense,” said Dick. “Hats off to their defense for adjusting and shutting our run game down.”
The Colts stormed out of the locker room and scored less than two minutes into the second half. Skoog found Jackson on a short touchdown pass to push Clear Fork ahead 28-21 after the two-point conversion with 9:25 to play in the period.
Donaldson was bothered by an injury and was shut down in the running game. The senior rushed for just 12 yards on 16 carries. Overall, Galion ran for just 36 yards.
“Running the ball, we have to be able to do that. If we can’t it puts a ton of pressure on a sophomore quarterback,” said Dick.
The Colts punted the ball with 3:04 remaining to the Galion 6-yard line. The Tigers were unable to move the ball and just a couple plays later the Colts would punch it in. Skoog was able to punch it in from the 1-yard line with 1:14 left in the game.
Skoog finished with 67 yards on the ground and threw for 197 yards on 12-for-19 passing.
“That quarterback is impressive. I like what they do. I think maybe their offense is a couple weeks ahead of ours right now,” Dick said.
Galion marched down the field to try to get it within a score, but Kent had a pass picked off by Aiden Perry in the end zone to allow Clear Fork to go into victory formation.
The Tigers have now lost two consecutive games heading into a tough Week 7 matchup at Shelby (5-1, 3-0 MOAC). The Whippets, the two-time defending MOAC champions, rolled past Marion Harding (3-3, 1-2 MOAC) 38-12 on Friday night.
Clear Fork will play host to Ontario (2-4, 0-2 MOAC) in Week 7. The Warriors lost to River Valley 49-14 on Friday.
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