By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE — A third consecutive Tri-County Conference championship is in the books for the Whiteford Bobcats.
Whiteford beat Clinton 48-6 Friday on a rainy Senior Night. The win clinched at least a share of the league title for the Bobcats and a 22nd straight victory overall.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment,” Mensing said of the TCC title. “It was one of our goals that we set before the season and to make it happen is really nice.”
Whiteford used a stifling defense and several big plays from key performers to pull away from the 6-2 Redskins early. Logan Murphy had a long run to set up the first Zack Bertz touchdown and Bradyn Clark-Gilmore had a 62-yard reception that set up a second Bertz first quarter score. Murphy added a nine-yard run, set up by a Bertz interception, and the Bobcats led 18-0 after the first quarter.
The Bobcat defense didn’t allow Clinton to gain a first down until the second quarter. It also forced four first half punts by the Redskins. Meanwhile, Whiteford’s offense scored twice – both on TD passes from Ty Eitniear to Clark-Gilmore – in the final 2:30 of the first half to give the Bobcats a 34-0 halftime lead.
Murphy added two second half touchdowns for the Bobcats, who rolled up 519 yards while holding Clinton to 169 yards. Murphy and Jacob Brenke recovered fumbles for Whiteford. Nathan Bauman and Treylan Hess had seven tackles each.
Mensing said that the Bobcats big early lead was a key to his team’s success.
“With the conditions I expected this to be kind of a mudder-type game, with both teams between the 40s,” Mensing said. “It just wasn’t that way. We hit some big plays. I think the kids were revved up for senior night. They have a lot of memories out there and that showed tonight.”
Murphy rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns while Clark-Gilmore caught three passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. It was a big night for both seniors – Murphy passing the 3,500-yard career rushing mark to set a Whiteford record and Clark-Gilmore passing the 1,100-yard career receiving mark to set another mark.
“Those two kids are one of the reasons why we are in the situation we are in,” Mensing said. “We have a lot of really talented kids. We’re fortunate to be in the position we are in.”
Whiteford is 8-0 and has won 22 consecutive games and has clinched a playoff berth. The Bobcats will play at Britton Deerfield next week to try for a third straight undefeated regular season and outright TCC title.
Whiteford 48, Clinton 6
First downs-Plays 9-46 18-39
Rushes-yards 37-121 32-368
Comp-Att-Int 4-9-1 4-7-0
Passing yards 48 151
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1
Punts-Avg. 4-32.5 1-39.0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 3-30
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Clinton 0 0 6 0 — 6
Whiteford 18 16 14 0 — 48
W – Zack Bertz 2 run (run failed), 6:14, 1st
W – Zack Bertz 2 run (run failed), 3:22, 1st
W – Logan Murphy 9 run (run failed), :29, 1st
W – Bradyn Clark-Gilmore 34 pass from Ty Eitniear (Ty Eitniear run), 2:23, 2nd
W – Bradyn Clark-Gilmore 26 pass from Ty Eitniear (Nathan Bauman pass from Ty Eitniear), :25, 2nd
W – Logan Murphy 65 run (run failed), 10:03, 3rd
C – Dylan Settles 35 run (pass failed), 6:42, 3rd
W – Logan Murphy 31 run (D’Ondre Shaw run), 2:45, 3rd
RUSHING — Clinton: Dylan Settles 18-90, Noah Comar 2-11, Christian Minard 4-8, Jack Voll 7-8, David Campbell 2-3, Noah DeShano 4-1. Whiteford: Logan Murphy 9-234, Zack Bertz 6-57, Zach Renaud 2-44, Ty Eitniear 6-13, Hunter Lake 3-12, Nick Marchant 1-7, Caleb Williams 1-2.
PASSING — Clinton: Dylan Settles 4-9-1 48 yards. Whiteford: Ty Eitniear 4-7-0 151 yards.
RECEIVING— Clinton: Collin Stapnowski 3-41, Noah DeShano 1-7. Whiteford: Bradyn Clark-Gilmore 3-132, Nathan Bauman 1-19.