Good fortune didn’t go Blythewood’s way Friday night.
Clover converted a big break into its first victory of the season Friday night, holding off Blythwood 35-28 at Blythewood Stadium.
“It wasn’t a pretty win,” coach Chad Smith said, “but sometimes those are more impressive because our kids had to find a way to win.”
The biggest play happened late in the third quarter, with the Blue Eagles (1-4) up 22-14.
Down 22-0 at one point, Blythewood (1-3) scored twice before halftime and was looking to tie the game up with a long drive. On third-and-goal at the Clover 9, Blythewood quarterback David Isreal was surrounded by Blue Eagles tacklers and hurled up the ball in desperation. It landed in the hands of Clover’s Elijah Plummer, who darted down the sideline before being brought down at the 8-yard line.
Two plays later, Willy Clark scored from 6 yards out to make it 28-14 with 39 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Blythewood later scored on Osei Thomas’ 19-yard TD run to cut the lead to 28-22, and again on a 4-yard Daquan Patten reception late in the game. The Blue Eagles held off the Bengals’ rally with another score from Coby Hamblen and drained the clock to close the win.
“We fought back and had adverse situations all night long,” said Blythewood coach Dan Morgan, who added that 19 players are out because of injury. “When you have as many young guys out there as we have, and they handled it so well, I’m very proud of them.”
Clover went up 22-0 within a five-minute stretch that straddled the first and second quarters. The Blue Eagles first drove 52 yards on nine plays to take an 8-0 lead at the 1:36 mark of the first. Colton Barnes’ 11-yard TD run and a Nate Morrison’s 2-point conversion run opened the scoring.
A minute later, Blythewood punter Jordyn Adams took a high snap deep in his own territory and was tackled at the 1-yard line. Willy Clark ran into the end zone on Clover’s first play to give the Blue Eagles a 15-0 lead with 16 seconds left.
The Bengals fumbled the ball away on their first play from scrimmage on its next possession. Isreal completed a pass to Kris Pahm, but Pahm coughed up the ball at the Blythwood 40. Clover’s Brandon Todd returned it to the 21-yard line. Five plays later, Noah Lindsey pushed across the goal line at the 9:20 mark of the second.
Blythewood woke up on offense late in the second. Thomas capped a 6-play, 48-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run at the 2:43 mark.
After the Bengals held the Blue Eagles on their next possession, Isreal led the Bengals down the field and fired a 35-yard touchdown strike to Trae Churn with 12 seconds left to cut Clover’s lead to 22-14.
Morgan said the game was a loss, but he and his team are looking toward Irmo next week.
“I like where things are headed because I think we’re building the depth of our program,” Morgan said. “We’ll start getting some guys back this week.”