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For The Lancaster News
CLOVER – The Clover Blue Eagles only wanted one thing for the 2013 homecoming – the first football win in 26 tries. They got it. Clover was dominant in its 42-21 win.
The Blue Eagles (1-7, 1-3) put the pedal to the floor and didn’t let up. Clover, from the wing T formation, rolled up 304 yards on the ground and added another 138 through the air. Clover’s first win in three years came at the expense of Lancaster’s fifth straight loss.
The Blue Eagles set the tone for the night early. Clover’s defense stopped Lancaster’s offense on its initial drive and with the ball on its own 32-yard line, Clover’s quarterback Scott Jackson hit a wide open to Elijah Plummer, who raced 68 yards for the touchdown. One play and Clover led 7-0.
“We executed offensively very well tonight,” Clover coach Chad Smith said. “It is great to get this win on homecoming night,” Smith said.
Clover scored twice more in the half and at the break and went to the locker room with a 21-14 lead.
Lancaster came right back after Clover’s first touchdown with an impressive 44-yard touchdown drive of its own to tie the game. After converting a fourth and 10 on a Keendarius Truesdale pass to Jay Hood, Lancaster was at the Clover 10-yard line. Three plays later, Will Jackson, was scoring from seven yards out. After Trevor Latham’s PAT, the score was tied 7-7 with 5:04 left in the first quarter.
“Lancaster has a good offense, the key was keeping their offense off the field,” Smith said.
Clover’s Tanner Whitley scored on a 5-yard run to put the Blue Eagles back on top 14-7 with 10:50 left in the half. Clover added one more score before Lancaster could answer. Chase Galant capped a 75-yard scoring drive by running in from one yard out to put Clover up by two touchdowns, 21-7.
Once again, Lancaster fought to get points on the board. Truesdale found Hood again, but this time it was in the end zone on a 16-yard scoring strike. Latham added the point after and with 4:18 left in the half Lancaster, cut the lead to seven.
Clover continued to show no signs of a winless team to start the second half. Pulling tricks out of the bag, Clover marched 70 yards with the opening possession of the second half. On a halfback pass from Coby Hamblen to Ladarius Adams, the Blue Eagles put 14 points back between them and the Bruins, 28-14.
“They (Clover) run that tight wing T formation, the quarterback becomes a blocker after the handoff,” Lancaster assistant coach Lamont Elder said. “We were unable to slow them down.”
Clover pushed the lead to three touchdowns in the fourth quarter when Jackson hit Landon Harkey on fourth and 18 from the Lancaster 33-yard line.
Lancaster scored quickly on its next possession. Truesdale hooked up with Hood once more, scoring on a one play 80-yard touchdown pass. Lancaster feeling new life was only down 14 after Latham’s PAT, 35-21.
It was Clover’s night though and the Blue Eagles added an exclamation with 3:32 left in the game.
Ladarius Adams scored on a 5-yard run and Clover had gotten the monkey off its back, 42-21.
Lancaster looks to rebound next week when the Bruins host Fort Mill for the 2013 homecoming game.