High School Football

Clover busts game open in first quarter, defeats Catawba Ridge, 63-14

Clover wrapped up the Region 3-5A championship last week, but the team isn’t content resting on what its already accomplished in 2019.

The Blue Eagles and head coach Brian Lane are more concerned with hitting their stride and getting primed for a playoff run. Friday night, on Homecoming, they took another step in that direction by scoring 35 first quarter points en route to a 63-14 victory over the first-year Catawba Ridge Copperheads.

“We just want to continue what we are doing,” Lane said. “I tell our guys to play hard no matter who or what. That’s kind of our motto.”

Several things stood out about the opening 12 minutes. Clover (9-0) blocked both a punt and a field goal, with Hayden Johnson returning the field goal attempt 90 yards for a touchdown. Zacch Davis had a busy quarter with a blocked punt and two touchdown catches.

“Zacch had an unbelievable night,” Lane said. “He’s a tremendous athlete that’s doing a great job for us. And our defense played great again.”

Quarterback Gabe Carroll had four touchdown passes in the first quarter alone. Carroll also eclipsed the 2,000-yard passing mark for the season in the first half. Jaylin Lane had two touchdown catches in the opening quarter and should eclipse 1,000 yards next week against Fort Mill. Christian Erwin was a perfect 9-for-9 on extra points.

At one point in the first quarter, Clover scored 21 points in 2:30 of playing time.

To prove stats can be misleading, Clover had -4 yards rushing and each team had five first downs in the first quarter — but the tally on the scoreboard was 35-0, in Clover’s favor. The halftime score was 49-8.

In the second quarter, Kayden Hager hit Ben Hudgins for a 58-yard touchdown pass for Catawba Ridge. Hager rolled right and hit Jacobie Henderson for the two-point conversion. B.J. Mallard intercepted a pass in the second quarter for the Copperheads. In the fourth quarter, Harrison Wilson hit Quinten Jackson with a beautiful over-the-shoulder 27-yard touchdown pass for Catawba Ridge.

The Copperheads, a new team which has no seniors, will host Ardrey Kell next week in the finale of their inaugural football season. Clover will host Fort Mill and try to finish a perfect regular season.