Five TD’s in second half spurs Pioneer comeback

September 15, 2019

Josh Gould off to the races after hauling in a pass. Photos by Shannon Zinser

By Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

Clare may have been down at the half of its home Jack Pine Conference game with Gladwin n Friday. The Pioneers certainly weren’t out however, as they rallied to score five second half touchdowns and pull away for a 55-28 victory.

“It was an exciting night to say the least,” head coach Kelly Luplow said. “We made a few big plays but we just made some horrible reads in our secondary in the first half and they got some guys open. I have to give Gladwin credit for playing well in the first half, but on the other hand we didn’t play that great.”

A back-and-forth opening quarter saw Clare strike first, getting a 25-yard touchdown run by Shane Jenkins and a Brecken Corp extra point to make it 7-0.

The Flying G’s managed a touchdown to knot things up at 7-7 and Clare and Gladwin swapped scores again in the second half of the quarter, making it 14-all after one. The Pioneer touchdown was a 31-yard run by Al Warner
Gladwin took a 21-14 lead early in the second quarter, but Warner was able to fire a bomb to Josh Gould to the 25-yard line. Gould worked his way around the defense the rest of the way, in what was a 62-yard score.

The Flying G’s were able to score again before the half was over however, striking on a 54-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-21 at the half.

“We told them at the time that we just had to start playing our game and that we had the whole second half to play,” Luplow said. “We moved the ball we just had to play smarter and make better reads on the defensive side and that’s what we did.”

It was all Clare in the second half, starting with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Shane Jenkins. The Pioneers added three more rushing touchdowns in the third, on runs of four, 22 and 45 yards and tacked on a 21-yard run by Matthew Harton in the fourth.

“Hats off to Gladwin, I think they played hard and they definitely didn’t lay down for us,” Luplow said. “They came over here ready to play. Our guys came out in the second half and got down to business.”

Shane Jenkins drops back to pass.

Colt Smedley had a busy night rushing, attempting 22 carries for 219 yards and two touchdowns and Jenkins ran eight times for 87 yards and two scores. Gould had two receiving touchdowns, totaling 83 yards and Warner had three catches for 49 yards and a score. Jon Bouchey had four catches for 38 yards.

Greg Beckner had six tackles to lead the defense and Bouchey, Dylan Schalm and Drew Schuster had five tackles each. Jenkins added an interception.

Clare (2-0 overall, 1-0 JPC) heads to Harrison (2-0, 1-0) tonight (Friday). The Hornets have had plenty of offense so far this season, winning over St. Charles 55-14 in week one and claimed a 44-15 win over Pinconning in week two.

“They’re playing good, they’ve scored a lot of points and they’re big and strong,” Luplow said. “It’s going to be a game in the trenches, whoever wins there is going to have a great chance. They don’t throw the ball much so we have to stop their running game.”

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