Clearview 2018 Homecoming king Drew Engle and queen Marquezia Williams. DAVID RICHARD / CHRONICLE
SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview didn’t want to leave any doubt this season.
The Clippers needed a pair of fourth-quarter scores last year to defeat Patriot Athletic Conference rival Columbia, which was without top player Brandon Coleman due to a season-ending injury, en route to a Stripes Division championship.
On Friday night, Clearview scored twice in the second half and held on for a 28-22 victory despite Coleman’s three-touchdown performance.
“I think the kids had a little chip on their shoulder,” Clippers coach Mike Collier said. “They heard those things last year — ‘Oh, you guys won because Coleman wasn’t playing,’ — and he is such a great football player. We knew it was hard to stop him, but you have to try and contain their offense and our kids just really came to battle tonight.”
Coleman gave Columbia (4-3, 1-1 PAC Stars) a quick 8-0 lead with a 23-yard touchdown run — followed by a 2-point conversion run — on the opening drive. He added a 9-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Clearview (6-1, 2-0) answered each time — David Renftle scored from 6 yards in the first quarter and junior quarterback Chase Christensen scored from 10 yards with 11 seconds left in the half — to trail 15-12 at halftime.
Christensen’s score came on a pass play.
“The pocket was closing in, I had to scramble and the receiver wasn’t open so I tucked it and ran,” he said. “I got it (into the end zone), so it was nice.”
Clearview took its first lead when Jaylen Paschel scored from 10 yards on the opening drive of the second half, then went up 28-15 early in the fourth quarter when Drew Engle — the workhorse of the Clippers offense with 30 carries — plunged into the end zone from 2 yards.
“We relied on our veteran O-line, our blockers, that was all them. I read the hole and we got the touchdown,” Engle said. “They are one heck of an O-line. I rely on them so much, and I’m able to do what I can off of them.”
Coleman scored his third touchdown with 3:35 left in the game, allowing Columbia to get within one score, but the Clippers managed to pick up a pair of crucial first downs — one coming on fourth-and-5 when they were able to get Columbia to jump offside — and kill the clock.
“Just sputtered really when it counted, except for the last touchdown there,” Raiders coach Jason Ward said of the offensive issues in the second half. “All the credit goes to Coach Collier and a really tough Clearview team.”
One of the big reasons Clearview came away with the win was its efficient passing attack. Christensen only threw 14 passes, but completed 12 of them for 226 yards. Eight went for first downs, and Christensen added a pair of 2-point conversion passes after the second-half scores.
“Those big gains really pay off driving down the field,” he said. “Just make my reads, get the ball to the receivers and let them do them from there.”
The Clippers have dominated opponents this season with a rushing attack that features the one-two punch of Engle and Renftle. Christensen connected with six receivers, who all finished with double digits in receiving yards.
“I think most people knew about our run game but our passing game stepped to the forefront today,” Collier said. “It says a lot about our kids. We tell them when your number is called, you have to be ready to play. They stepped up huge tonight.
“A lot of credit has to go to that front line. Our offensive line did a great job of staying on blocks, Chase did a great job of extending some plays, our receivers did a good job of working to get open, made some really good catches for us in big situations.”
The win was big for Clearview in regard to repeating as division champion, and it will score the Clippers a good cache of computer points toward the ultimate goal of earning a postseason berth.
“We’re not afraid to talk about our goals,” Collier said. “The kids run straight to JoeEitel(.com) on Saturday morning … but we’ve got to stay focused.”
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like him on Facebook and follow him @ShaunBennettct on Twitter.
Clearview 28, Columbia 22
Columbia 8 7 0 7 -- 22
Clearview 6 6 8 8 -- 28
CO -- Brandon Coleman, 23 run (Coleman run)
CL -- David Renftle, 6 run (pass failed)
CO -- Coleman, 9 run (Ben Skowronsky kick)
CL -- Chase Christensen, 10 run (pass failed)
CL -- Jaylen Paschel, 10 run (Renftle pass from Christensen)
CL -- Drew Engle, 2 run (Jordan Reed pass from Christensen)
CO -- Coleman, 6 run (Skowronsky kick)
First downs 14 22
-- by rushing 12 13
-- by passing 2 8
-- by penalty 0 1
Yards rushing 174 149
Yards passing 56 226
Total offense 230 375
Passes att./comp. 7/4 14/12
Intercepted by 0 2
Fumbles/lost 0/0 2/0
Penalties/yards 4/30 8/75
RUSHING — (CO) Brandon Coleman 17-128, Jared Bycznski 12-26, Cole Schwartz 5-20. (CL) Drew Engle 30-82, David Renftle 7-40, Chase Christensen 8-17, Jaylen Paschel 2-10.
PASSING — (CO) Bycznski 4-7-56-0-2. (CL) Christensen 12-14-226-0-0.
RECEIVING — (CO) Schwartz 2-16, Ben Alten 1-32, Adam Ross 1-8. (CL) Dustyn Smith 3-78, Joseph Norris 3-27, Renftle 2-65, Julian Colbert 2-33, Engle 1-13, Paschel 1-10.