Clover edges Fort Mill in shootout

Herald correspondentSeptember 10, 2011 

There was no rest for the weary this week.

Both Clover and Fort Mill high schools played a second football game within a week, as the Blue Eagles played their second game in four days and Fort Mill played its second in six days, when the two clashed Friday night at Bob Jones Stadium.

Despite a short week of preparation, Clover was able to pull out the 49-45 win over Fort Mill.

"This feels better than Monday," said Clover head coach John Devine, referring to a 10-7 loss to Ashbrook in Gastonia, N.C., last week.

"It wasn't pretty, but we will take it. We hope to get more consistent."

The Jackets were trying to accomplish something they hadn't done in nearly a decade in beating Clover. Fort Mill hasn't beaten Clover since a 29-22 win in 2001 and will have to wait until 2012 to try to snap that streak.

Not for lack of effort, Fort Mill rallied some in the second half as they scored on its first drive going 53 yards on nine plays in the third quarter. They would add a second touchdown in the quarter as well.

Fort Mill didn't stop the rally there. The Jackets would add two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but failed to recover two onside kicks and also failed to convert two two-point conversions after each score.

The turning point in the game came in the second quarter as Clover's defense started getting to Fort Mill and their offense started catching up with their defense.

Clover scored three touchdowns in three and a half minutes to start the second quarter and shift the momentum toward the Blue Eagles side of things.

Sophomore Ryan Moore scored on a big 39-yard run and after a defensive stop where the Blue Eagles didn't allow Fort Mill to gain any yards, senior Trey Childress returned a punt for a score.

After an interception by Clover senior Justin Cates, the Blue Eagles would score three plays later on an 11-yard run by junior full back Aaron Felder.

Fort Mill was able to stop the bleeding some as senior quarterback Preston Fry hit junior Josh Lafoe for an 18-yard touchdown with about 32 seconds left in the half.

Clover racked up 192 yards on the ground in the first half.

Clover's Moore didn't stop after the half to rest. The first time he touched the ball in the second half, he scored to push the Blue Eagles lead even further out of reach.

Moore would rush for 224 yards on 24 carries and score three times.

"The line excelled," Moore said. "They made holes for me that anybody could walk through and still get five yards. We forgot about Ashbrook.

"We played with intensity and stepped up."

A scary moment for Blue Eagle fans came in the third quarter as junior quarterback Ta Long was shaken up on a tackle and came out of the game with about four minutes left in the quarter. Long would only be out for a couple plays.

The brief rest was what he needed as he would hit sophomore Ladarius Adams on a 47-yard touchdown.

The Jackets got a big break in the first quarter as a poor snap on a Clover punt gave Fort Mill the ball at the 11-yard line. Two plays later senior Nick Raszeja score on a five-yard run.

Fort Mill struggled to get anything started and was forced to punt on its first possession. Their second possession had a better turnout as Fry hit senior Josh Aarage on a big 46-yard pass setting up a Raszeja touchdown.

Clover took the opening kickoff and didn't waste any time in scoring as Long hit Adams on a 43-yard pass just seven plays into the game.

Clover 49, Fort Mill 45

Fort Mill

14

7

12

12

-

45

Clover

7

28

14

0

-

49

Scoring Summary

C - Ta Long to Ladarius Adams 43-yard pass (Austin Schlrif kick)

FM - Nick Raszeja five-yard run (Rylan Wells kick)

FM - Raszeja five-yard run (Wells kick)

C - Ryan Moore 39-yard run (Schlrif kick)

C - Trey Childress 57-yard punt return (Schlrif kick)

C - Aaron Felder 11-yard run (Schlrif kick)

C - Moore one-yard run (Schlrif kick)

FM - Preston Fry to Josh Lafoe 18-yard pass (Wells kick)

FM - Fry nine-yard run (kick failed)

C- Moore 61-yard run (Schlrif kick)

FM - Fry to Rylan Wells 65-yard pass (conversion failed)

C - Long to Adams 47-yard pass (Schlrif kick)

FM - Fry 25-yard run (conversion failed)

FM - Wells 12-yard run (conversion failed)

Team Statistics

FMHS

CHS

First downs

17

16

Rushes-yards

30-128

53-333

Comp.-Att.-Int.

11-25-2

2-4-0

Passing yards

229

90

Fumbles-loses

0-0

4-2

Penalties-yards

6-47

6-30

Individual Statistics

Rushing - Clover: Ta Long 17-91, Ryan Moore 24-224, Ladarius Adams 3-5, Aaron Felder 5-34, Trey Childress 2-14.

Fort Mill: Nick Raszeja 11-33, Rylan Wells 5-17, Preston Fry 12-83, Chris Salerno 1-6.

Passing - Clover: Ta Long 2-4-0 90.

Fort Mill: Preston Fry 11-25-2 229.

Receiving - Clover: Ladarius Adams 2-90.

Fort Mill: Josh Aarage 3-76, Josh Lafoe 4-56, Rylan Wells 4-87.

Records: Clover 2-2, Fort Mill 1-2.

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