Sersaw rushes for four TD’s to lead Clare over Beal City

August 30, 2018

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

There was plenty of pre-season hype surrounding the Beal City football team leading up to the year’s first contests. Clare paid the Aggies a visit for a season opening non-league game Friday night and reminded everyone that the Pioneers are a force to be reckoned with once again. The Pioneers, who gave up a pair of first quarter scores, used a strong second half to pull away for a 41-14 victory.

“Our kids played hard and they played well,” head coach Kelly Luplow said. “It was an interesting first half, Beal City had a good first quarter. We had to figure out a way to slow them down.”

Clare’s Brenden Sersaw is off to the races for one of his many big runs during Friday’s big season opening win over Beal City.

Clare’s Brenden Sersaw is off to the races for one of his many big runs during Friday’s big season opening win over Beal City.

The Aggies showed plenty of fight early, taking leads of 7-0 and 14-7. Clare knotted the game up at 14-all by the half, but it was all Pioneers the rest of the way.
Beal City scored first on a two-yard plunge by Brenden Shaner, with Brenden Sersaw answering on a 43-yard rush. Kaden Kelly fired a 25-yard touchdown pass to Sersaw for Clare’s second score of the night.

Sersaw scored on three rushing touchdowns in the second half, finishing off drives with scores of 10, four and 30 yards. It was the first extensive time Sersaw was given extensive action at running back.

The Clare football team runs on to the field in Beal City prior to their first game of the season. 

The Clare football team runs on to the field in Beal City prior to their first game of the season.

“When you have a four year starter like him on the team, you kind of expect big things from him,” Luplow said. “His performance wasn’t a surprise, even though we had him in the backfield for the first time.”

Myles Williamson finished off the scoring with a touchdown run of 47 yards.

“The second half we got a few stops on defense and that allowed our offense to take over a little bit and score some points,” Luplow said. “I just think it was the fact that we have a lot of new guys on defense and they hadn’t seen Beal’s ‘T’ offense as a team defense before. Our linebackers changed, our secondary has changed. Once guys started making their reads and trusting their reads it was fine.

“I thought it was a typical first game and I thought our kids did well and played well in the second half,” he added. “They kept their motivation and determination up. I was very pleased the whole night but the second half was a really nice half.”

Sersaw finished with 144 yards rushing and four touchdowns and 25 yards receiving and one touchdown. Kelly was seven-of-12 passing for 154 yards and one score and he added 59 yards on the ground on 10 attempts. Nick Roe had four receptions for 92 yards.

“Williamson had a career type game at middle linebacker,” Luplow said. “It was nice to see out of him since he has been our outside linebacker before.

Defensively we had a lot of new guys playing but I thought Colt Smedley did a real good job at safety along with Shane Jenkins. Up front I thought Justin Roberts has come a long way and he’s only going to get better every week at defensive end. Our tackles inside just keep doing their job.”

Clare (1-0) overall opened up Jack Pine Conference play at Gladwin (1-0) on Thursday. The Flying G’s, who won just two games last year, are coming off a 29-18 win over Ogemaw Heights last week.

“They had a good junior varsity team last year and with whatever they have coming back, you can’t take them lightly,” Luplow said. “You still have to play a good game. I don’t care who you are, if you don’t play a good game you could get knocked off. We’re trying to prevent that from happening.”

Since the 1980s, JPC teams have opened the season with two non-league games before ending the year with seven straight league games. That changed this fall, with teams schedule one non-league game at the start and another at the end of the season in week nine.

“It’s a little different scenario that’s for sure but we are excited to get going,” Luplow said. “Gladwin got a win last week so they’re going to be inspired to play against us. We know that everyone is going to bring their best game against us and we just have to be prepared and be ready for it, especially when you’re on the road.”

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