COLUMBIANA - The Columbiana Clippers bounced back from a tough week 1 defeat to their archrival Crestview by routing East Palestine 39-6 at Firestone Park in Columbiana. Quarterback Nate Huk scampered for 113 yards and a touchdown on only 5 carries while fullback Brandon Hacker chipped in 68 rushing yards and 2 TD's as the Clippers pulled away from the outmanned Bulldogs with a 27 point 2nd quarter barrage.
"We knew all throughout the summer to expect some week 2 adversity if we weren't able to pull out the win against Crestview," said Clippers Head Coach Bob Spaite. "Our guys did a good job of flushing that loss from their system. I thought our first team played very well, and I think our backups did a nice job in the 2nd half as well."
East Palestine was able to hang tough with the heavily favored Clippers in the early going. With under ten minutes to go in the 2nd quarter the Bulldogs only trailed 6-0.
"I thought we played very good football for the first quarter and a half," said East Palestine Head Coach Gare Mattes. Our defense did a nice job at preventing big plays early in the game."
Eventually, though, the floodgates opened. Columbiana went up 12-0 with 9:54 to go in the 2nd quarter on a 24-yard run around the right side by Huk. After an East Palestine three-and-out, Huk faked a draw on first down and ran 70 yards up the middle before being dragged down at the 1 yard line.
Fullback Jon Cramer punched it in on the next play, and the rout was on. R.J Rankin scored on a 74 yard touchdown run four seconds before halftime, and Jared Hill returned the opening kickoff of the second half 83 yards for another score to stretch the margin to 39-0 and wrap up the scoring for the Clippers.
East Palestine was stifled on offense the entire game before getting on the board with 1:09 left in the fourth on a one-yard touchdown run by freshman Josh Pickett.
"We still have a lot things to work on as a team going forward," said Spaite.
"It was great to come out here tonight and get a win, but we have to forget this one as quickly as we forgot the Crestview loss so we can get ready for a tough test next week."
The Clippers (1-1) will hit the road next week for the first time of the season when they travel south to take on Steubenville Central Catholic.
East Palestine (0-2) will return home to take on Western Reserve.