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A hole too deep

Creek Boys stumble in season opener, fall 42-20 to Mt. Pleasant
Ben Swails launches a pass in the season opening, non-district game against Mount Pleasant Friday, Aug. 30, at home. The Clippers fell to 0-1 on the new season with a 42-20 loss to the Panthers. Swails completed eight of 18 passes for 82 yards and one touchdown. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

TIFFIN– Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers’ varsity football season launched Friday, Aug. 30, with a visit from the Mount Pleasant Panthers. Last year, the teams met in Mount Pleasant for the non-district season opener with the Creek Boys prevailing 26-7. This year, however, the fortunes were reversed with the Panthers winning, 42-20.
The Panthers struck first with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter, and struck again with 5:27 left in the first half for 14-0 halftime lead.
The Clippers caught a break in the third quarter when J.J. Denny, a senior, recovered a Panther fumble, giving the Creek Boys first and 10 on Mount Pleasant’s 31-yard line. Soon after, Gage Freeman, a sophomore, scampered two yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Denny’s point-after kick was blocked, but CCA was on the scoreboard although down 14-6 with 8:18 remaining in the quarter. Mount Pleasant made it 21-6 with 5:41 left in the quarter, and put another torpedo in the Clippers with a touchdown with 3:16 remaining in the third to go up 28-6. The Panthers ended the quarter with another touchdown, taking a 35-6 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Gabe Jenn, a senior, scored for the Clippers with 10:25 left in the ballgame, and T.J. Bollers, a junior, scored a two-point conversion making it 35-14. Jenn shared his number 89 with actor Carson McCormac, the star of the movie “East of Middle West,” which was filming on the sidelines.
The Panthers scored their final touchdown of the night with 3:19 remaining to make it 42-14. The Creek Boys kept fighting, however, and Harrison Rosenberg scored on a 35-yard pass reception to make it 42-20.
Ryan Navara, a junior, and Ben Swails, a sophomore, split the quarterback duties with Navara completing seven of 15 for 89 yards and one touchdown, while Swails went eight of 18 for 82 yards and a touchdown. Alex Figueroa, a junior, led the ground attack with 16 carries for 41 yards while Tom Johnson, a junior, caught five passes for 57 yards. Zane Cunningham, a senior, had four solo and four assisted tackles to lead the CCA defense.
Non-district competition continues as the Clippers travel to Fairfield on Friday, Sept. 6, with the junior varsity kicking off at 5 p.m. The Creek Boys stay on the road Friday, Sept. 13, with a non-district battle with Fort Madison, and return home on Friday, Sept. 20, to face WaMaC foe Marion.

PASSING — Ryan Navara 7-15-89-1, Ben Swails 8-18-82-1.
RUSHING — Alex Figueroa 16-41, Cole Pfister 6-19, Gage Freeman 5-9-1, TJ Bollers 1-1, Navara 1- (-)3.
RECEIVING — Tom Johnson 5-57, Harrison Rosenberg 3-42-1, Gabe Jenn 2-31-1, Brock Reade 3-24, Figueroa 1-9, Pfister 1-5, Bollers 1-3.
TACKLES (SOLO, ASSIST, TOTAL, FOR LOSS, SACKS) — Zane Cunningham 4-4-6.0-1-0-0-0, Kaden Gisleson 3-5-5.5-0-0-0-0, Aaron Feinberg 3-2-4.0-0-0-0, Bollers 2-9-6.5-0-0-0-0, Nate Beckman 2-5-4.5-0-0-0-0, Jenn 2-5-4.5-0-0-0-0, JJ Denny 2-4-4.0-0-0-0, Joey Lepire 1-1-1.5-0-0-0-0, Navara 1-4-3.0-0-0-0, Jacob Curtin 0-3-1.5-0-0-0-0, Freeman 0-1-0.5-0-0-0-0, Thomas Macumber 0-1-0.5-0-0-0-0.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES — Denny 1-0.
PAT KICKS — Denny 2-0.
FIELD GOAL KICKS — Denny 1-0.
KICK OFFs — Cunningham 4-110.
PUNTS — Cunningham 6-178.
KICK OFF RETURNS — Freeman 3-57, Pfister 4-68.
PUNT RETURNS — Freeman 1-13.