This past weekend at Memorial Stadium, the Clarion Golden Eagles took on the No. 27 ranked California (Pa.) Vulcans.
CalU jumped on the board first after Clarion running back senior Bobby Thomas fumbled a 28 yard reception on the first play.
The Golden Eagles were able to bounce back to take a 8-7 lead later in the first when Clarion drove 81-yards in seven plays.
The key play on the scoring drive was a 62-yard pass from sophomore Connor Simmons to junior wide receiver Jaron Moorer.
Simmons ran for the Golden Eagles touchdown two plays later, then found senior tight end Mike Deitrick for the two-point conversion with 5:20 left in the first.
Cal responded quickly regaining the lead 14-8.
Clarion turned the ball over again on an interception late in the first quarter by Simmons.
The Vulcans added another touchdown on their next drive making the game 28-8.
The Golden Eagles then drove 80 yards in 15 plays cutting into the Vulcans lead after Simmons rushed for his second touchdown on the day as they took a 28-14 deficit at halftime.
Clarion All-American defensive end, senior Julian Howsare made a fantastic interception on Cal’s next possession, and returned it to the Vulcan six yard line.
Clarion capitalized the following play when Simmons ran into the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the day cutting the lead to eight points by a score of 28-20 at 13:01 in the third quarter.
Cal would extend their lead by kicking a field goal making it 31-20.
Clarion’s offense responded quickly with an 84-yard scoring drive on just four plays.
On third down from Clarion’s own 27 yard line, Simmons connected with sophomore wide receiver Matt Lehman for a 73 yard touchdown pass cutting the deficit to just five points making it 31-26 Cal with 8:26 in the third.
Cal added a touchdown and a field goal on their next two possessions making it 41-26 with 13 minutes left in the game.
The Golden Eagles drove 86-yards in 16 plays to pull within 41-32.
Simmons converted a huge fourth and 11 at the Clarion 39 to keep the drive alive.
Thomas later scored on a four-yard run making it 41-32 with 7:00 left.
Clarion could not capitalize on the two point conversion for the fourth time in the game keeping it a two score deficit.
Cal put the game away on a safety with 44-seconds left in the game.
Simmons passed for 376 yards, completing 25 of 51 passes and one touchdown.
Simmons also rushed for 21 yards and three touchdowns.
Lehman caught three passes for 101 yards and one touchdown, while Deitrick led the Eagles with a personal high of three catches for 66 yards.
Thomas had five receptions for 57 yards and rushed for 32 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively for Clarion, Howsare finished the game with five tackles, three quarterback sacks, one interception and a forced fumble.
Clarion travel to Indiana, Pa. this Saturday to take on the Crimson Hawks.