It was a cold night for football on Friday evening when the Clifton Central Comets and the PBL Panthers faced off in Clifton to do battle on the gridiron for Central's homecoming game. Central was able to maintain their undefeated record, holding on for the victory 29-14.
The Panthers kicked off to start the game which ultimately resulted in a turnover on downs from the Comets, giving PBL the ball back. At the 5:16 mark, PBL's Drake Schrodt was able to head down the field on a break away to score. The team then attempted a two-point conversion which failed and the Panthers were up on the Comets 6-0 in the first. The Comets answered PBL's TD with one of their own with 1:54 left in the quarter when Central's QB, Jay Lemenager, threw a long pass that landed in the hands of Chandler Burrow and allowed him to score. The extra point attempt from the Comets was no good and the game was tied up 6-6 heading in to the second quarter.
With the score evened out, Central was able to get the ball into the end-zone thanks to a drive from Comets' running back Garrett Graham. Central was able to turn the two-point conversion which gave them the advantage over PBL 14-6. An interception from Jacob Shoven at the 5:40 mark gave the Comets the ball back. This time, the team was unable to find the end-zone before turning over the ball. With 3:20 left in the half, the Panthers' Hunter Anderson was able pick up a TD which led to a successful conversion to tie up the game once again with the score 14-14 to end the half.
Each team was able to hold each other off in the third quarter and neither side allowed the other to score. At the 9:56 mark in the fourth, Lemenager saw an opening and broke through PBL's defense to earn a TD. Lemenager then picked up to two-point conversion on a run, giving the Comets the lead once again 22-14. After the kick return, a long toss from PBL quarterback Gunner Belt was short and allowed Central's Burrow to intercept with 8:11 left in the game. A pass from Lemenager to Shoven was good to put the Comets at the 15 yard line. From there, Graham picked up a 14 yard run to the one yard line where he was brought down. PBL was then able to apply pressure to hold off the Comets and keep them from scoring to turnover the side. But, with 1:06 left on the clock, the Comets got the ball back on the two yard-line for one final drive of the game. Lemenager was able to hand the ball off to Shoven to score once again. The point after was good, giving us the final score of 29-14 to end the game.
Going in to tonight's game, Central's head coach, Brian Spooner, said the plan always was to come out and beat the Panthers.
"I really wasn't to concerned with the score. I think the key thing tonight was just to get the win."
Spooner also mentioned that the second half was real game changer for his team.
"In the second half, I thought our kids responded really well. We didn't give up another point and our offense really ran the ball well. It was pretty impressive to see us come back. Our kids really got fired up in that second half to get the win."
Next week, the Comets will head to Gilman to face off against the Iroquois West Raiders.