Clippers ready to see if they have what it takes
COLUMBIANA — The Columbiana Clippers fired out to a 27-7 first quarter lead over Wellsville and never looked back from there.
On a night were Columbiana picked up 380 total yards thanks to stellar offensive line play from the Clippers.
“It feels great to open up holes for my running backs and my receivers,” Columbiana offensive lineman Kyle Ferraro said, “Whenever we open holes, they score and we win games, it’s great.”
Columbiana defeated Wellsville 47-13 behind 199 rushing yards and 171 yards through the air.
Columbiana is now 3-0 in the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference and 5-2 overall.
“We hoped that we could be at this record at this point and we feel pretty good right now,” Columbiana coach Bob Spaite said. “Our schedule is front loaded and back loaded. We didn’t perform well early in the season against quality teams, so we’ll see in the upcoming weeks when we play against some more quality teams where we are at.”
The Clippers, who are tied for the EOAC lead with Lisbon and East Palestine, will play at Lisbon next Friday.
“It’ll be an interesting matchup, a great week for the fans,” Spaite said, “Coach Tsilimos and I are both old enough, we will figure it out. We’ve been at this for a while, we go back to Mount Union together. He’s got the upper hand on me, but we’ll see.”
The Clippers through the air were efficient thanks to a 8-11 for 171 yard performance by sophomore Jakob Cross.
“Cross has gotten better every week, he’s grown into his role and understands what he has to do.” Spaite said “Earlier in the year he was trying to win the game himself, we have a lot of playmakers around him, the pressure should not be on him, he just has to manage the game.”
The Tigers got on the board first when Quinton Burgess scooped up a Columbiana fumble and ran 82 yards for a touchdown.
The Clippers scored 47 unanswered points after that score.
The scoring started for Columbiana with 4:22 left in the first quarter when Chase Franken caught a 24 yard pass from Jakob Cross for a touchdown to tie the game at 7.
The running game for Columbiana was led by Joe Bable with 52 yards and Steven Anderson with 51 yards.
Franken had a big night for Columbiana having 64 receiving yards including two touchdown receptions and also a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown as time expired in the first quarter.
“We’ve really gotten it together the past couple of weeks because we had a poor start fighting through everything, not doing what we wanted to do, but now we are getting each other hyped after every play,” Franken said.
The Clippers second score came when Frank Rupert rumbled 1 yard for a touchdown with 2:44 left in the first quarter.
“I get to open up holes for are quarterback and Anderson, they thank us after every game.” Columbiana offensive lineman Shane Moore said.
The next scoring opportunity happened when quarterback Jakob Cross ran the ball four yards into the end zone.
The Clippers lead the Tigers 40-7 going into halftime.
“We can’t turn the ball over to a good football team, Hats off to Columbiana and Coach Spaite.” Wellsville coach Moose Ramsey said. “Our team was moving the ball at times, but then we shot are self in the foot and gave the ball back to Columbiana.”
Columbiana’s Jakob Cross, Aaron Thistlewaite and Frank Rupert all had interceptions.
“The defense has been stepping up in recent weeks and we needed it.” Ferraro said.
The Clippers defense held the Tigers to 155 total yards.
For Wellsville, Brandon Patterson had 54 yards on six carries while Derrick Suggs had 37 yards on 17 carries.
Wellsville is now 0-3 in league play and 1-6 overall. The Tigers will host Southern Local next Friday.
But most of the attention in the EOAC will be on the Columbiana at Lisbon game.
“It’s going to be a tough battle between two teams,” Ferraro said. “Lisbon likes to run the ball and we like to pass the ball, it will be a great game.”
W–Quinton Burgess 81 fumble recover (Connor Ramsey kick)
C–Chase Franken 24 pass from Jakob Kross (Jared Bryarly kick)
C–Frank Rupert 1 run (Jared Bryarly kick)
C–Jakob Cross 4 run (kick failed)
C–Chase Franken 57 yard punt return (Jared Bryarly kick)
C–Joe Bable 6 run (Jared Bryarly kick)
C–Chase Franken 40 pass from Jakob Cross (Jared Bryarly kick)
C–Steven Anderson 6 run (Jared Bryarly kick)
W–Derrick Suggs 85 kickoff return (kick failed)
First downs 5 8
Total Yards 155 380
Rushes-yards 45-155 31-199
Passing 0 171
Comp-Att-Int 3-11-3 8-11-0
Punts 2-34.0 3-35.0
Fumbles lost 4-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-30 6-50
RUSHING–Wellsville, Brandon Patterson 6-54, Derrick Suggs 17-37; Columbiana, Joe Bable 6-52, Steven Anderson 7-51, Jakob Cross 3-44, Zach Philips 1-40.
PASSING–Wellsville, Troy Carter 3-11-3-0; Columbiana, Jakob Cross 8-11-0-171.
RECEIVING–Columbiana, Zach Philips 4-67, Chase Franken 3-64, Joe Bable 1-41.
INTERCEPTIONS–Columbiana, Jakob Cross, Aaron Thistlewaite, Frank Rupert.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES –Columbiana, Frank Rupert.