By DOUG DONNELLY
CLINTON – A second half comeback by Whiteford fell short Friday night as No. 4 ranked Clinton held off a challenge from the Bobcats, 44-20.
“I thought we gave a great effort,” Whiteford head coach Jason Mensing said. “We were down 21-0 and we made it a game in second half. I was proud of the effort on the field.”
The Bobcats couldn’t score in the first half but scored two third quarter touchdowns to pull within 21-14. Cole Giesige’s 6-yard touchdown run with 6:33 left in the fourth quarter pulled the Bobcats to within eight points at 28-20. The Bobcats attempted an onside kick, but Clinton’s Jack Voll scooped it up and returned it to the Whiteford 9-yard line, setting up a short touchdown run and cementing the Clinton win.
“We knew we needed to score right then,” Mensing said. “Our drives were long, steady and slow, so we needed the ball. We didn’t execute, and they made a great play. Congrats to them. They are a great football team.”
The 7-0 Redskins clinched at least a share of the Tri-County Conference with the win.
The Bobcats are 4-3 on the season and 3-1 in the TCC. It was Whiteford’s first league loss since 2015, ending a 24-game league win streak. Clinton, in its final year of the TCC, needs a win over Adrian Madison next week to clinch the outright TCC title.
Devon Shaw scored Whiteford’s first touchdown and Braedon Mills grabbed a 23-yard pass from Shea Ruddy for Whiteford’s second score. Ruddy finished the game by going 12-for-18 with 155 yards. Nick Marchant gained 108 yards on the ground for the Bobcats and had 53 receiving yards.
Whiteford didn’t punt, ran 70 offensive plays and picked up 24 first downs. The Bobcats finished with 308 yards of total offense, while giving up 383 yards to Clinton. The Redskins averaged 10 yards a carry with quarterback Settles accounting for 160 of those rushing yards on just 10 carries.
Settles had an outstanding game on both sides of the ball. He threw a 63-yard touchdown pass on the game’s second play to Voll and found him again from 29 yards out in the second quarter.
On Clinton’s only third quarter touchdown, Voll carried it from the 2-yard line on a fourth-down play.
The Bobcats take on Britton Deerfield next week. They’ll need wins in each of their last two games to automatically qualify for the playoffs for an eighth straight season.
“We have to find out the things we did well and didn’t do well and prepare for Britton Deerfield,” Mensing said. “Ultimately we need to improve.”
Clinton 44, Whiteford 20
C – Jack Voll 63 pass from Dylan Settles (Jonathan Baughey kick), 11:17
C – Dylan Settles 54 run (Dylan Settles run), :47
C – Jack Voll 29 pass from Dylan Settles (Jonathan Baughey kick), 1:05
W – Devon Shaw 1 run (Skyler Collins pass from Shea Ruddy), 8:04
W – Braedon Mills 23 pass from Shea Ruddy (pass failed), 3:20
C – Jack Voll 2 run (Jonathan Baughey kick), :30
W – Cole Giesige 6 run (pass failed), 6:33
C – Brayden Randolph 9 run (Dylan Settles run), 6:23
C – Brayden Randolph 3 run (Dylan Settles run), 4:23
RUSHING – Whiteford: Nick Marchant 24-108, Cole Giesige 9-35, Devon Shaw 14-20, Zach Renaud 2-10, Shea Ruddy 3-(minus)-20. Clinton: Dylan Settles 10-160, Jack Voll 9-69, Noah DeShano 6-35, Brayden Randolph 4-27.
PASSING – Whiteford: Shea Ruddy 12-18-1 155 yards. Clinton: Dylan Settles 2-3-0 92 yards.
RECEIVING – Whiteford: Nick Marchant 5-53, Skyler Collins 4-49, Devon Shaw 1-25, Braedon Mills 1-23, Cole Giesige 1-5. Clinton: Jack Voll 2-92.