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High School Football: Keystone at Clearview

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SHEFFIELD TWP. -- Keystone was determined to bounce back after getting shut out by Galion.

Mission accomplished.

The Wildcats scored eight touchdowns and ran over Clearview 54-12 in Patriot Athletic Conference crossover action at Tom Hoch Field on Friday night.

Senior running back Tyler Polen led the way, rushing for 201 yards on 22 carries, which included a 1-yard touchdown.

Polen had extra motivation for his breakthrough game.

“My dad, who’s been to every one of my games, told me he couldn’t make it, but he told me he wanted me to be great tonight and do something good for him,” Polen said. “My dad’s my idol. For him to miss a game is unheard of. He’s never missed a game. For him to miss it tonight, I knew I had to do something big for him. My goal was to rush for over 200 yards.”

The Wildcats rushed for 347 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Denny Szalai added a pair of touchdown passes.

Kentucky commit C.J. Conrad, who was held without a catch last week, also rebounded nicely. After putting Keystone up 20-6 on a 43-yard punt return in the second quarter, he followed with a 1-yard touchdown run on the next possession. He set up the score with a 48-yard reception to the 1.

“Our offensive line, from the beginning of the game, punched them in the mouth and did a nice job getting holes for everyone,” Conrad said. “Last week we struggled and they beat us up up front, so we made it a priority this week to get after it up front and get the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”

Keystone scored on its first possession after Polen recovered a Lance Billings’ fumble on Clearview’s second play of the game.

The Wildcats capitalized on a fourth-and-7 play when Szalai hit Ryan Tobicash with an 11-yard pass to go up 7-0.

Clearview’s defense came up big, stopping Keystone on its next possession, and the Clippers went to work. Billings capped a seven-play, 44-yard drive with an 8-yard run. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Clippers trailed 7-6.

It was all Keystone after that.

Tobicash scored his second touchdown on a 25-yard run to put the Wildcats up 14-6, before Conrad scored twice to go into halftime with a 27-6 lead.

“We really went back to the fundamentals this week, especially with all those blitzing linebackers, which we struggled with against Galion,” Keystone coach Rob Clarico said. “Clearview came out with a very similar game plan against us as Galion did and I think the adjustments we made paid off. As the game wore on, the offensive line started taking over the game.”

Austin Conrad capped Keystone’s first possession in the second half with a 16-yard touchdown from Szalai, and Polen’s 1-yard score put him at 201 yards.

“Tyler is a heckuva running back,” Clarico said. “When we grade what a good running back is, it’s what you do after first contact. After first contact, he’s always getting more yards. That’s what makes him an excellent runner, and he also has some breakaway speed, too, and you need to to gain as many yards as he did tonight.”

Clearview didn’t score again until the fourth quarter when quarterback Roger Engle found Taylor Cabbil for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

“We started off fairly well,” Clearview coach Mike Collier said. “Our young guys battled and did a nice job, but unfortunately mistakes start to cost you. Their physicality started to wear on some of our undersized guys. We knew what it was going to be. We needed to spread them thin and use all 53⅓ yards and widen them out.”

Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

 



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