By Ben Murphy
Clare suffered its most lopsided lost in more than a decade Friday night, falling to visiting Beal City (2012 division eight runner-up) 48-0.
“We know that we were going in against a very good football team,” Clare head coach Kelly Luplow said. “They went to the state finals last year and have almost everyone back. We knew we would have to play an awfully good game to beat them or even be close to them. We did a lot of good things offensively, we just didn’t finish. Believe it or not when you get beat 48-0 you have to find some good things and we did. Its disappointing to lose like that but when it’s this early in the year you cant dwell on it you just learn from your mistakes and try to get better.”
The Ramblers wrecked Clare’s first game on the new turf at Brookwood, scoring 14 points in the first quarter, seven in the second, 20 in the third and seven more in the fourth.
“Playing our first game on the turf and playing Beal City, which we knew was going to bring a lot of people it was a great atmosphere for the team,” Luplow said. “It was kind of like a playoff atmosphere Its’ probably the biggest crowed we’ll have there this year. Finally playing a game on that turf instead of practicing it was a pretty neat experience for everyone. Unfortunately we got down by a couple scores and had a touchdown called back and they just kind of put it to us to finish it off.”
Jordan Gross led the Clare offense, carrying the ball 18 times for 102 yards and Logan Emery had 36 yards on seven carries. Colton Punches completed four-of-nine passes for 26 yards. Charlie Bugbee had two catches for 13 yards.
Emery had eight tackles to lead the defense, Joe McGuire had six and Ryan Seiter had five.
Clare (0-2) plays at Beaverton (0-2) tonight to open Jack Pine Conference play. The Pioneers have won six straight league titles.
“We played those two tough games early to try and find out what our weaknesses are and to try and get ready for conference,” Luplow said. “Last year we were 0-2 going into conference and we ended up doing pretty well. We’re still optimistic and we still have confidence that we can do well in the league but that’s yet to be seen. We have to make sure that we take care of some of the problems we’ve had the last couple weeks.”
The Pioneers topped the Beavers 36-14 last year and have won 22 games in a row against Beaverton, dating back to a 15-12 loss in 1990. Beaverton fell to McBain 28-14 last week.
“They did a nice job last year, they’ve improved their whole system a whole lot and they’re going to be competitive in the league every week,” Luplow said. “They have a spread offense and they just keep getting better all year just like everybody should. I know that we still have a big target on our back so everybody is going to try and play our best game against us.
Playing at their place, its always tough to play on the road when someone is really after you so hopefully we can go over there and play a good game.”