The St. Marys Area Flying Dutch football team improved to 4-0 on the season with a 20-16 victory over the Clarion Bobcats last night at Dutch Country Stadium.
The first half of last night’s Homecoming game was played in a steady rain.
The Dutch were able to score all of their points in the first half, then hold the Bobcats to only a safety in the second half.
“This was a very big win for us under adverse conditions. Our quarterback went down and our running back went down,” said Dutch coach Joe Schlimm. “I am proud of our kids for finding a way to win.
“The defense did an exceptional job. They bailed me out a couple of times tonight. They were really stingy when they needed to be. We were able to turn two turnovers into points. We took advantage of their mistakes and we really played a solid football game.”
The Dutch offense was led by Cody Baker with 191 net yards on 37 carries and two touchdowns.
Clarion was led by quarterback Brandon Heeter, who threw for 121 yards on a 4-for-19 night. T.J. Armstrong gained a net 54 yards on 10 carries.
The Dutch defense came up with three fumble recoveries, one each by Jimmy Werner, Luke Schreiber and Colby Mahovlich.
St. Marys won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
As a result, Clarion took the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards on three plays to score. Heeter hit Bryce Straffin on a 51-yard scoring play as the Bobcats led 6-0 with 10:41 left as the PAT failed.
The teams took turns turning the ball over via the punt, twice. St. Marys took possession on their own 49 following a Clarion punt. Baker was held for no gain on first down. He gained seven yards on the next play. An offsides penalty on Clarion moved the ball to the Clarion 39. Quiggle picked up 33 yards to the six. Baker gained four to the two. On second and goal, Baker went the final two yards and St. Marys tied the game as the PAT failed due to a bad snap in the wet conditions.
Clarion fumbled the ball on first down, with Luke Schreiber of the Dutch recovering the ball at the Clarion 34-yard line. Quiggle was held for no gain. Aul connected with Werner for a first down on a 28-yard pass play down to the Clarion six. Quiggle scored on a 6-yard run as the Dutch went up 12-6 as the snap on the PAT was fumbled with 35 seconds remaining in the first period.
On the second play of the second quarter, Clarion fumbled, with Colby Mahovlich of the Dutch recovering on the Clarion 16-yard line. On first down, Baker went the final 16 yards as the Dutch went up 18-6. Brian Merritt ran in the 2-point conversion as the Dutch led 20-6 with 11:06 left in the first half.
Clarion punted on their next possession, with the Dutch taking over on their own 10. St. Marys moved the ball down to the Clarion 33. On third down, the Dutch fumbled, with Clarion recovering on the 43 and returning it to the Dutch 30.
Three players later, Damien Slike scored on a 4-yard run, making the score 20-12. T.J. Armstrong added the 2-point PAT, making the score 20-14 with 4:22 left in the first half.
Neither team could mount an offensive drive the remainder of the half as the Dutch led 20-14.
The third period found both teams exchanging punts for all 12 minutes. The Dutch opened the fourth quarter with a first down at the 50. St. Marys would turn the ball over on a fumble, but Clarion would give it back via the punt.
The Dutch took over on their own 14 with 8:59 left in the game. Baker gained six to the 20. He was held for no gain on second down. On third down he rambled 25 yards out to the Dutch 45. On first down he gained one to the 46. He gained one more on second down, with Quiggle losing a yard on third down. The Dutch were forced to punt as Clarion took over with 4:45 left in the game. The Bobcats moved to the Dutchmen’s 17-yard line, where they fumbled, with Dutchman Jimmy Werner recovering.
St. Marys was called for an illegal shift on first down, moving the ball back to the 12. Baker was thrown for a 2-yard loss on first down and held for no gain on second down. Quiggle was thrown for a 5-yard loss on third down. On fourth and long, Quiggle, in punt formation, ran to the back of the endzone and stepped out of bounds as he was about to be hit, giving Clarion a safety and making the score 20-16 with two minutes left.
Clarion took over at the 50 with 1:53 left after the Scott Barber kickoff. Heeter was held for no gain on first down as he recovered his own fumble. Second down was an incomplete pass. On third down, Heeter connected with Slike for a 20-yard pass play to the 30 with 1:11 left. On first down, Heeter spiked the ball to stop the clock. Heeter was thrown for a 4-yard loss on second down. He spiked the ball again on third down with 35 seconds remaining. On fourth down, Heeter gained nine yards to the Dutchmen’s 25-yard line, but it wasn’t enough for the first down as the Dutch took over with 27 seconds left.
Quiggle took a knee on first down and the Dutch let the clock run out to record the 20-16 win.