Columbiana wins opening night thriller over Reserve

Dalton Miller celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Western Reserve as the Clippers won a shootout over the Blue Devils

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Columbiana’s junior quarterback Mitch Davidson threw for five touchdowns in an opening night 44-37 victory over Western Reserve.

Looking for a different game? View all week one recaps

The Clippers hit the scoreboard first in the early season battle between ITCL teams. The score came when Davidson connected with Dalton Miller for a 52 yard touchdown pass with 3:49 left in the first quarter.

The Clippers then extended their lead to 14-0 with 8:55 left in the second quarter when Jacob Ward received a 44 yard touchdown pass from Davidson.  Cooper Smith converted the 2 point conversion.

Jack Cappabianca scored from one yard out with 4:18 left in the second quarter to put up Western Reserve’s first points of the 2015 season.  The extra point pulled the Blue Devils within a TD, 14-7.

Davidson’s third TD pass of the night, this time a 13 yard pass to Cooper Smith, extended the Clipper lead to 20-7 in the third quarter.

Blue Devil QB Wyatt Larimer would close the gap to one score with a 41 yard 3rd quarter TD run to cut the Clipper lead to 20-13.

Columbiana’s Cooper Smith would return the following kickoff 68 yards into the end zone to bring the lead back to two scores, 28-13.

Reserve’s Jack Cappabianca would score his second touchdown of the game, this time from 33 yards out, cutting the Clipper lead again to one score, this time 28-21. His third touchdown would come a short time later, and a two point conversion would give Western Reserve their first lead of the game at 29-28.

That lead would be short lived, however.  Davidson would respond with his fourth TD pass of the night, his second to Ward from 27 yards out with 4:46 left in the game.  The extra point gave the Clippers a 35-29 lead.

Reserve responded with Larimer’s second touchdown run of the game with just 1:24 left to give the Blue Devils a 37-35 edge.

Davidson’s fifth and final TD came to his fourth different receiver of the night, Tanner Smith to win the game in the final moments.

The Blue Devils had dropped 7 consecutive match ups to the Clippers between 1991 and 2007 before beating the Clippers by a combined score of 62-12 in their previous two meetings. Despite both teams being a part of the ITCL, this match up is an out of league game with Columbiana joining the new ITCL “White Division” and Western Reserve the ITCL “Blue Division”.

Western Reserve (0-1) will travel to Malvern in week two. Columbiana (1-0) will host Crestview.

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