Clear Creek Amana senior lineman Ethan TaylorBy Susan Harman
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – A festive Homecoming crowd saw the Clear Creek Amana football team use a familiar formula to dominate Center Point-Urbana and cruise to a 26-0 victory Friday.
The win gave the Clippers a 5-0 start for the first time since 1999 and set up a showdown with powerful West Delaware (5-0) for the 3A District 4 lead next Friday at Clipper Field.
Center Point-Urbana fell to 2-3 overall, 1-2 in district play.
“That’s probably one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen of a high school football team in a long time,” Clipper co-coach Matt Hughes said. “They came out from the opening whistle and played physical and took care of their responsibilities.”
The boys in blue smothered the Stormin’ Pointer offense. Consider these statistics:
*CPU did not get a first down until 5:13 was left in the game. The Pointers punted nine times and lost one fumble.
Clear Creek Amana senior Tyreke Williams
*The Pointers were averaging 27.5 points and were shut out.
*The Pointers averaged 177 yards rushing but were held to 48.
*The Pointers averaged 111 yards passing but had only 36 against CCA.
*Prior to the final minute of the game, the longest gain from scrimmage was 10 yards.
*Jo Jo Frost, one of the top playmakers in the state, was held to two yards receiving and minus-5 yards rushing.
*Center Point-Urbana didn’t penetrate Clipper territory until the final drive of the game, which came up empty.
Clear Creek Amana senior lineman Ethan Taylor described the defense as “a pack of wolves.”
“It’s all 11 to the ball,” junior Cole White said.
“Coach (Matt) Hoch, he’s the best coach I’ve ever had as a defensive lineman,” Taylor said. “He kind of pushes us every day.”
Leading narrowly, 12-0, at halftime yet in full control of the line of scrimmage, the Clippers never let up.
“The first half is done,” Taylor said. “We come out 0-0. So coming out the second half we focused on dominating. That was our goal, to kind of break them down so we can kind of do what we want. We were focused like a pack of wolves.”
After gaining only 18 yards in the first half, the Stormin’ Pointers weren’t much more productive in the second half.
The Clippers won the line of scrimmage, put pressure on quarterback Zach Thurm whenever he wanted to pass and were cognizant enough of Frost that he never escaped. When he did get loose deep for a pass, the secondary made plays to prevent a big catch.
“Our plan is always pretty simple,” Hughes said. “We try to put the guys in the right position for stunts and things, but other than that it’s just 11 guys to the ball. The first guy is wrapping up and hopefully there’s 10 other guys coming to the party.”
Kicker Tyreke Williams booted two field goals of 41 and 32 yards. His punting not only kept the Pointers pinned down in their own territory but kept the ball away from the speedy, elusive Frost.
“If there’s a better kicker or punter in the state, I’d be shocked,” Hughes said. “It’s a difference maker for us.”
The offensive line wore down the Pointers as Matt Brimeyer and Jared Eckrich gained a combined 245 yards rushing.
“It was just being physical; that’s Clipper football right now,” Hughes said.
White paid tribute to co-coaches Ronnie and Matt Hughes for turning the team into an old-fashioned, strong, physical team.
“Since the Hughes’ have been here they’ve really built the program up,” White said. “Ever since the team two years ago won the district championship we’ve just been building and building. Last year we didn’t have the season we wanted, but we were building, getting stronger, getting faster. We’re just doing what we need to do as a defense and an offense.”
First downs 3 17
Rushing-yards 21-48 54-299
Comp-att-int 4-19-0 6-11-0
Passing-yards 36 43
Punts-avg. 9-34.8 4-42.75
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 6-35 6-60
Center Point-Urbana 0 0 0 0 – 0
Clear Creek Amana 9 3 0 14 – 26
CCA – Tyreke Williams 41 field goal
CCA – Cole Gallagher 5 run (kick failed)
CCA – Williams 32 field goal
CCA – Jared Eckrich 37 run (Williams kick)
CCA – Matt Brimeyer 63 run (Williams kick)
Rushing – CPU: Dalton Hite 12-26, Zach Thurm 4-18, Michael Pfeiffer 1-9, team 1-0, Jo Jo Frost 3-(-5) ; CCA: Jared Eckrich 16-126, Matt Brimeyer 17-119, Cory Siders 5-30, Cade Gallagher 5-21, Ashton Carpenter 8-9, David Jensen 1-3, Grant Riggan 1-1, team 1-(-10).
Passing – CPU: Zach Thurm 4-19-0-36; CCA: Ashton Carpenter 6-11-0-43.
Receiving – CPU: Jared Metzen 1-28, Jo Jo Frost 2-2, Joseph Tschantz 1-6; CCA: Tate Thomsen 2-20, Jared Eckrich 2-15, Cory Siders 2-8.