By Ben Murphy
Photo By Kim Langlois
After sleepwalking through the first half of Friday’s home Jack Pine Conference football game with Beaverton, the Clare Pioneers woke up in a hurry. Clare, scored 22 second half points to top the Beavers 36-14, giving Clare the outright JPC title in both team’s regular season finale.
“We struggled a little bit in the first half,” Clare head coach Kelly Luplow said. “It wasn’t one of our better halves of football offensively that we’ve had. Defensively I thought we played really well. The guys put it together after halftime and played pretty well. Whenever you end the season with a win that causes you to have the conference championship by yourself I guess it’s OK.”
Beaverton opened the night’s scoring on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Scott Longstreth to Austin Schneider, with the duo connecting again on the two-point conversion to go up 8-0.
Tyler ran in for a score from eight yards out in the second quarter, and Jordan gross ran in the two-pointer to put Clare up 14-6 at the half.
“We just didn’t execute very well,” Luplow said of the first half. “I don’t know if our kids weren’t totally in the game, it was like they thought they just had to show up to win the game.”
The Pioneers scored twice in the third quarter and once in the fourth, getting a one yard Tyler run and a Gross two-pointer, a Mitch Greenacre 20 yard score and a Logan Emery extra point and finally a Tyler touchdown pass to Ruby from seven yards out with Emery kicking in the extra point.
Roger Miller caught a 20 yard pass fro Longstreth to give Beaverton its second touchdown of the night to account for the 36-14 final.
Tyler finished seven-of-15 passing for 114 yards and two touchdowns and also ran 11 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Gross led the ground game with 85 yards on 19 carries and Spencer Harrell ran three times for 46 yards. Ruby had three catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Greenacre led the defense with 10 tackles, Logan Emery had eight, Brandon Ayris and Joe McGuire both had seven and Harrell added five.
Clare (7-2 overall, 7-0 JPC) hosts Roscommon (6-3, 5-2) tonight in a division five pre-district game.