NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In a showcase of arguably the top two quarterbacks in the ITCL, it was Columbiana’s Mitch Davidson who came out victorious Friday night as he led his Clippers to a dominating 49-24 win over the Springfield Tigers. The win pushes the Clippers record to 6-1 on the season while the Tigers drop to 3-4.
The two quarterbacks would account for 624 yards of the game’s 789 total with Davidson passing for 268 and rushing for 90 while Mincher threw for 273. Davidson however, would pass for two touchdowns and also run for another as the Clippers would score on their first six possessions of the game
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“Our offensive line had a great run blocking game,” Davidson explained. “We were able to run the ball all over them. We could pass. Our receivers made the plays, everyone was making plays tonight.”
“Our attitude has changed,” Davidson said of the Clipper team. “We have been taking every game very serious. Every game could be the last game of the year and we keep playing like that.”
PHOTOS | Columbiana 49, Springfield 24
Following a 33-yard field goal by the Tigers Pat Flara on their opening possession, the Clipper’s answered right back with a Tanner Pearl 1-yard run to give the Clippers a 7-3 lead with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter. Pearl would rush for 52-yards and score two touchdowns on the night for the Clippers.
“I really thought missing Dylan Davin was going to hurt us, but there is a classic example of Tanner Pearl stepping right in and just said ok it’s next man up,” Clippers Coach Bob Spaite remarked. “We have been very blessed in that way. We got a great group of kids in that way.”
Following Pearl’s first touchdown run, the Tigers would make a crucial mistake when they fumbled the ball at mid-field giving the Clippers the chance to take the momentum. Davidson took advantage of the miscue and fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ward to give the Clippers a 14-3 lead late in the quarter.
After the Tigers made it 14-10 on a 10-yard run by Frankie Centofanti with 9:42 left in the second quarter, Columbiana would score twice more before halftime and grab a 28-10 lead at intermission. The touchdown came on Pearl’s second 1-yard run and a 6-yard scamper by Davidson.
The Clippers essentially sealed the game on their first possession of the second half as they wasted little time in scoring again. This time it was 25-yard pass from Davidson to Dalton Miller and a 35-10 lead with 10:27 remaining in the third quarter.
“For us to be successful we have to be this good on offense. That’s the way we play,” Spaite explained. “We’re very blessed, I believe in my heart of hearts a good a quarterback as there is around (this area).”
Springfield would score twice more as Mincher connected with senior receiver Cody Allen on a 11-yard strike and a 25-yard throw in the third quarter. Columbiana countered with 1-yard plunge by Caleb Rupert in the third quarter and a 25-yard run by Davidson in the fourth.
Next week the Clippers will host Lisbon in a key ITCL White Tier encounter. Clippers Coach Bob Spaite is well aware that it will be a much different game than the one they just won, “next week will be a real challenge for us because they will try to bloody our nose and play football in a phone booth. They’re play keep away, that’s what they are going to do. No secrets, Tsilimos is a great coach.”