Danny Bailey – Staff Writer
The Clarion Golden Eagles finished off its season against the West Chester Golden Rams this past Saturday in its final game with a score of 37-10.
Clarion ended its season with a 4-7 (3-4 PSAC).
Normally, the numbers would suggest a closer game, but West Chester had Clarion figured out and spoiled Clarion’s chance to end the season with a win.
West Chester led early on and made sure it stayed that way.
In the first quarter, Clarion gave up a 31-yard touchdown from West Chester’s Andrew Derr to Jordan Banks to put the Golden Rams up 7-0.
Early on in the second quarter, West Chest drove into Clarion territory to put kicker Brendan Paulison in position to tack on a 21-yard field goal to make it 10-0.
Clarion was unable to convert on any of its drives giving the ball up yet again to West Chester.
A 10-play drive that totaled 67 yards was capped off with a QB rush to give West Chester a comfortable 17-point lead.
It wasn’t until the third quarter that Clarion found a way to stop the bleeding.
They managed to pound its way into field goal range, and Phil Esposito nailed the ball through the uprights to bring the game to 17-3.
West Chester came back immediately and answered Clarion’s field goal with another long 35-yard touchdown pass to Banks.
The final quarter came around with the score of 31-3.
Things were gloomy for the Golden Eagles, but they never gave up.
Connor Simmons connected with a 78-yard bomb to Kevin Genevro for Clarion’s first and final touchdown of the game.
Clarion was getting desperate to generate points, but its forced effort resulted in an 85-yard interception by West Chester’s Kevin Malone, returning it for a touchdown.
The game ended with the final score of 37-10.
Looking at the numbers, one might think that the game should have been a bit closer.
West Chester accumulated 425 yards and Clarion got 348 of its own.
Simmons accounted for 275 yards through the air, while Delrece Williams led the team with 67 yards on the ground.
While Simmons was able to get his stats up, there was one unfortunate stat that also went up that made it hard for his team to overcome: interceptions.
Simmons threw a total of four game changing picks, one of which was returned all the way for a touchdown.
This part of Clarion’s game put them in a deep hole that would have been almost impossible to come out of, barring any miracles.
Kevin Genevro continued to why his chemistry with Simmons was truly special.
He had yet another game where he amassed more than 100 yards in a game, totaling 183 yards.
Greg Leonard and Seneca Williams also added 33 and 25, respectively, to the over count.
This season ended a little worse than last year’s 7-4 record, but according to coach Chris Weibel earlier in the year, “our defense is very young, but very talented. They are getting better every week.”
Although the team had a losing record, it is important to note that they had impressive wins against quality teams like Slippery Rock and Gannon.
They even offered us stunning games, like Mercyhurst, when they came back to score 28 unanswered points to win the game by one point.
If there is one thing we learned from watching the team this year, it is that they don’t give up and they’ll be back next year to give us another exciting season.