By Ben Murphy
Photo By Kim Langlois
Clare woke up from its early season slumber Friday night, running away from host Houghton Lake for a 43-0 Jack Pine Conference football win.
“We played with a lot more intensity against Houghton Lake,” Clare head coach Kelly Luplow said. “(We) cut down on the turnovers and when those two things occur, good things happen.”
Clare led 6-0 after the first quarter and scored three touchdowns in the second to take a 24-0 lead at the half.
The Pioneers, who had 427 total yards of offense in the game, tacked on 13 points in the third quarter, before adding another touchdown in the fourth, all on a rain drenched field.
Zack Tyler completed four-of-seven passes for 73 yards and one touchdown, and also ran for 29 yards on the ground in eight tries.
Jordan Gross led the ground game with 200 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries while also adding two catches for 17 yards. James Simon ran four times for 49 yards and one score, Bean Ramos had two rushes for 35 yards and one touchdown, Sam Selles ran four times for 34 yards.
Hunter Ruby had one catch for 33 yards and Spencer Harrell had one grab for 23 yards.
Zach Pulcifer and Joe McGuire led the defense with seven tackles each, Colton Punches had six takedowns, Chris Dysinger, Logan Emery, Mitch Greenacre and Taylor Meixner all had five, James Simon, Lee Cole, Anthony Whitehead and Brandon Ayris all had four.
Clare (1-2 overall, 1-0 JPC) plays at Gladwin (2-1, 1-0) tonight in another league contest. The Flying G’s shut out Beaverton 49-0 in their league opener last week.
“We are facing one of the best teams in the league Friday night with a lot of good speed and an outstanding quarterback,” Luplow said. “It will be a huge challenge for us to put together four good quarters against a quality team like Gladwin.”
The Pioneers won last year’s meeting between the two teams 31-6 and have won the last 10 meetings between the two squads, with their last loss coming in 1981, before Gladwin was a member of the JPC.