SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview went big to wrap up a share of its division Friday night.
Lutheran West’s defense did its best to clog the middle, and when it did the Clippers found success on the outside in a 36-14 victory, one that gave Clearview a piece of the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division title.
At 4-0 in the Stripes and 8-1 overall, Clearview can claim the division outright for the second straight season with a Week 10 win over Brooklyn. The win also gave the Clippers a boost in the Division IV, Region 14 playoff chase. They moved up to the No. 4 seed and control their destiny for one of the eight spots.
Lutheran West fell to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the Stripes.
“It feels great to go back-to-back man,” said David Renftle, who made plays everywhere for the Clippers, racking up 113 yards and a touchdown, an interception and an onside kick recovery. “That’s what we wanted to do at the beginning of the season, that’s what we were working for. Now we’re trying to move on, do bigger things and go to the playoffs.”
Clearview took an 8-0 lead right off the bat with a touchdown on its first drive. The second drive started at its 1-yard line thanks to a nice punt by LutheranWest. The Longhorns almost had a safety on first down, but Drew Engle was able to dive forward and get back to the line of scrimmage.
The Clippers decided to go big, firing a pass down the right sideline for Dustyn Smith, who had his man beat one-on-one and hauled in a beautiful pass from quarterback Chase Christensen.
The 49-yard gain flipped field position, but Clearview wanted more and Engle gave it to them. The school’s all-time leading rusher converted a third-and-22 with a 51-yard touchdown run.
“They were obviously crowding the box so we saw some one-on-one matchups out there,” Clearview coach Mike Collier said. “Our guys did a great job.”
Turnovers struck for both teams in the second half—combining for six. The teams put the ball on the ground a combined nine times, both losing two fumbles, and Lutheran West quarterbacks threw two interceptions.
Starter Austin Kim was forced out of the game with an undisclosed injury, leaving DeAnte Furry at the helm for the second half save for one play, when wideout Shawn Naim had to spell him after he was dinged.
The Longhorns had a shot at making things interesting,moving the ball well on their opening drive of the second half until a fumble recovered by Dylan Rebman set up the Clippers 36 yards away from the end zone. Engle made it 22-0 on the next play.
Four of Lutheran West’s seven drives in the second half ended in a turnover. Two went for touchdowns, and its last-ditch effort resulted in a four-and-out.
Meanwhile, Clearview running backs Engle and Rentfle pounded the ball to the tune of 238 yards for the game, with Rentfle scoring a 25-yard touchdown to ice the win in the fourth quarter.
“Our offense is a ground-it-out team,” Engle said. “The defense is always great, that’s where we knew we’d be strong at going into the year. It’s been able to help us on both sides.”