CLOVER — Moral victories do not count in the win column.
However, Clover coach John Devine used that approach to motivate his young team following a 55-35 home loss to potent Sun Valley Friday night.
Clover (2-4) was down 34-7 late in the second quarter before gaining momentum with a 47-yard halfback pass from Ta Long to Zavian Sherer with 12 seconds remaining before the half.
Trailing 34-14 at that point, the Blue Eagles used a Spartans' miscue on a high punt snap to set up a Ryan Moore 1-yard run. On the next Sun Valley possession, Clover defensive back Trey Childress picked off a Ryan Smith pass and used his speed on a 70-yard return to the 10-yard line.
Two plays later, Moore powered across the goal line on another 1-yard run to pull Clover within one possession, 34-28.
"We fought and fought and never gave up," Devine said. "But we were up against a potent offensive machine. Sun Valley has weapons at every position. Our kids were in a battle all night, but Sun Valley realized that they were also in a battle all night."
The Spartan offense showcased an explosive passing attack, which featured an assortment of big-play receivers, led by University of South Carolina recruit Jody Fuller.