SHEFFIELD TWP. — It wasn’t a perfect season opener, but if Amherst continues to play like it did Friday night in a 33-0 dismantling of Clearview, the Comets will be a team be reckoned with this year.
Amherst was led by senior quarterback Jimmy Schill, who threw three touchdown passes, and running back Khennedy Scagliozzo, who rushed for 164 yards and a pair of scores.
On defense, the Comets were in midseason form, posting their third shutout in the last four games dating back to last year.
“We just wanted to come out tonight and show them our passing attack and our running attack as well,” Schill said. “This was a good win. It shows other teams we’re here to compete and maybe have a chance to win conference.”
Twice in the first quarter the Comets fumbled the ball away deep in their own territory but each time the defense rose to the occasion and kept Clearview from scoring.
Scagliozzo, who also plays defensive back, intercepted a Chase Christensen pass to end the Clippers’ first possession. Clearview held Scagliozzo to 23 yards in the first half but he broke free in the third quarter with touchdown runs of 65 and 31 yards.
“The coaches got into our butts in the locker room at halftime and the guys up front really stepped up in the third quarter and opened up some big holes. It all starts with those guys,” Scagliozzo said. “I told coach to feed me the ball in the second half and the line did the rest.”
In the first half all of the offense came from the right arm of Schill. He got the Comets on the board with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Soto. In the second quarter he found Dan Makruski in a seam and hit him in stride for an 80-yard scoring play that made it 14-0.
Schill finished the night 7-of-9 for 184 yards.
“A win is a win,” Amherst coach Mike Passerrello said. “I thought we played a sloppy first half but I was happy that we were able to come back and put things together and get better in the third and fourth quarters.
“Clearview has some nice playmakers and we talked all week about not giving up the big play and our defense followed through with that.”
Amherst only committed one penalty in the game but it came at an inopportune time. Makruski intercepted a halfback pass from Clearview’s Drew Engle and took it 86 yards for a TD, but an illegal block during the return brought the ball back to the Comets’ 35.
A year ago, Clearview suffered a similar fate, losing 41-6 to Amherst on opening night. The Clippers went on to win their next nine games and a Patriot Athletic Conference title.
“We did some good things at certain times but football is a four-quarter game and if you can’t make it happen consistently, then it really doesn’t matter,” Clearview coach Mike Collier said. “We moved the ball well at times. We got into their territory but we didn’t capitalize. We’ve got do to a better job of taking advantage of opportunities. Amherst is a good football team but my guys fought hard and battled until the end. I know the character of the guys in our locker room and we’ll bounce back quickly.”