The Clover Blue Eagles bounced back from a tough region-opening loss at Gaffney last week to defeat the visiting Spartanburg Vikings 23-7 Friday night on Homecoming at Memorial Stadium.
It was the first meeting between the two schools, and the Blue Eagles used 23 unanswered points, 17 of which came after trailing 7-6 at the half, to send the Vikings home with a loss.
Clover improved to 1-1 in Region 3-AAAA and 7-1 overall. Spartanburg fell to 0-2 in the region.
The Vikings started each of their first four drives in Clover territory, and the Blue Eagles defense allowed them to come away with only seven points. On Spartanburg's second possession the Vikings had the ball at Clover's 34 and threw four straight incompletions. On their next possession, the Vikings missed a 32-yard field goal after Casey Snipes had knocked away a pass in the end zone on third down.
"What a great job by our defense," Clover coach Jet Turner said. "They really responded well after a tough ball game against Gaffney. I was so proud of them."
The Blue Eagles got their first score of the game after Devernest Conyers recovered a Vikings' fumbled punt at Spartanburg's 22-yard line. Clover quarterback Aaron Miller eventually scored on a 1-yard keeper with 40.6 ticks left in the first half to put the Blue Eagles on the board. Clover trailed 7-6 at intermission after the failed two-point try.
The defense got another big stop right out of the gate in the second half. The Vikings failed to convert on a fourth-and-3 from their own 32.
After the Blue Eagles gained possession Miller scored again, this time on a 2-yard keeper. The touchdown came after a big 7-yard run by Miller on fourth-and-1 where he just kept dragging people all the way to the 2-yard line.
On the ensuing kickoff, Spartanburg return man Ronnie Martin was hit so hard the ball sailed 10 yards backward in the air where it was recovered at the Vikings' 15. This time, Clover could not move the ball, but Trey Childress came in and booted a 30-yard field goal to give the Blue Eagles some breathing room.
Childress had a good all-around game with two receptions for 81 yards.
"Trey came up big tonight, no doubt about it," Turner said. "He'd been banged up earlier, and we were glad to have him back doing what he's capable of doing."