Clare Football Still Perfect, Shut Out Pinny 42-0

October 14, 2019

Clare’s Colt Smedley runs by a block on his way for a big gain during Friday’s 42-0 homecoming win over Pinconing. Photo by Shannon Zinser

By Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

With a big match-up looming in week seven, there was no let-down in week six. The Clare football team, hosting Pinconning in a Jack Pine Conference meeting, made relatively easy work of the Pioneers, picking up a 42-0 victory. The win sets up a meeting with fellow unbeaten Beaverton this week

“We did alright, we won 42-0 so I can’t be too unhappy about that but we just need to get our offense more consistent,” head coach Kelly Luplow said. “We just had too many breaks in our drives due to a missed block here and there or a miss read or something like that. We have to correct that, we’ve been working on that but we will see what happens.”

Clare put up a pair of scores in the first quarter, opening with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Shane Jenkins to Al Warner. Alec Hoffman botted his first of six extra points moments after. Jon Bouchey followed with an 18-yard reception, making it 14-0 after one.

Jenkins took the ball in from a yard out in the second quarter, give Clare a comfortable 21-0 lead at the half.

“I have to give Pinconning a lot of credit, they made us work for those 21 points,” Luplow said. “They played well and they gave our offense some fits with their defensive scheme but certainly jumping up like that is big and to score 21 points in the second half, that was nice to see too but more importantly it was nice to see our defense play so well.”

In the third, Colt Smedley broke free for a big 53-yard touchdown run making it 28-0 and before the frame ended, Jenkins fired a 47-yard touchdown pass to Drew Schuster.

The lone touchdown of the fourth was in the form of a Jacob Kingsley three-yard scoring run.

“We still didn’t play that well offensively, we are struggling right now to move the ball,” Luplow said. “We are so hot and cold right now and we haven’t played a whole game yet. We play good for a half and not do well the other half. Our defense is still playing really well though and that’s two shutouts in a row and that’s big for us.”

Jenkins finished nine-of-15 passing for 162 yards and three scores and he also had 13 yards rushing and one score on the ground. Smedley led the ground game with 97 yards and a score on 13 carries and Al Warner had rush for 34 yards. Bouchey had three receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown, Schuster hauled in there passes for 64 yards and a score and Warner had a 45-yard touchdown reception.

Josh Gould led the defense with six tackles and Dawson John added four tackles.

“Shane did a nice job for us, kept us in good situations most of the night and threw the ball well and did some nice running for us,” Luplow said. “Our defense played so well as a team, they certainly swarmed to the ball wherever it was, they got there quickly and made plays. I was very pleased with that.”

Clare (6-0 overall, 5-0 JPC) heads to Beaverton (6-0, 5-0) tonight (Friday). The Beavers are coming off a 20-0 win over Meridian last week. The winner of this contest clinches at least a share of the league title, with the chance to win it outright the following week. Clare won last year’s meeting 21-2 and also won a key meeting with the Beavers in 2017.

“It’s almost identical to two years ago when we were both undefeated and we had to go over there and play in front of a big crowd,” Luplow said. “We came out on top in that one and it was great experience for those kids. There will be a lot of people there, so it’s going to be a playoff-like environment. To have two 6-0 teams playing against each other at this point in the season, this is the environment that everyone wants to play in, it doesn’t get any better. This is fun though, I wouldn’t want it any other way for our guys and hopefully they appreciate what it’s all about. We still have to play well though, because a couple of little mistakes could be huge in a game like this.”

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