Clarke routs Warren County
FRONT ROYAL – Clarke County High School’s football team scored the first eight times it had the ball and dumped Warren County 56-7 Friday night in Bull Run District play.
The Eagles, who lost to fellow-Group 2A Central High School earlier in the year, were averaging 51.3 yards in the last four games, all victories.
“I’ve gotta give it to our front-line guys because they came out and dominated in the first half, like we asked them to. I thought we did that in every area. It was a complete win in all phases,” said Clarke head coach Chris Parker.
“They were good. They were well coached and they had good players, that’s about it,” said Warren County coach Steve Crist.
Crist’s Wildcats were walloped by Parker’s Clarke team last year 55-0 in Berryville.
The defending Group 2A state runners-up, the Eagles, have lost to the Falcons and Group 4A Millwood of Frederick County. Otherwise, like Central, the Eagles are in the hunt for a first- and possibly second-round bye in the playoffs.
They finish their regular season next week at home while Warren County takes on crosstown rival Skyline.
“We’ll bounce back from this and be ready to go for Skyline,” said Crist.
Clarke County led by the final 49-point spread at halftime.
Hunter Rogers rushed seven times for 169 yards and three touchdowns; Eagle teammates Chris Davis carried eight times for 49 yards; Daniel Braithwaite had three rushes for 89 yards and a score and the Eagles (7-2, 3-1 and ranked 4th in the VHSL weekly football ratings) held the Wildcats to 105 yards total. All this occurred in the initial 24 minutes.
In the Virginia High School league, when one team leads another by 35 or more in the second half, the field clock runs with rare exceptions. That’s what happened here.
Many of the Eagles’ scoring drives covered long yardage in just a few snaps from center and were rendered – in some cases – in a matter of seconds.
Parker’s team lost to Central 22-21 in overtime on Sept. 24
The first score came after the Warren County opening game kickoff.
It took just 13 seconds for the visitors to get on the board as Rogers carried the first time up the middle for a 52-yard scoring sprint when he was untouched. Clarke kicker Nicholas Bahamonde made the first of eight straight, first-half point-after kicks. Clarke led 7-0 early in the first period.
Rogers’ second touchdown carry came in Clarke County’s next possession when he raced 81 yards from a shotgun snap. The point after kick was good and with 6:21 left in the first period the Eagles owned a 14-0 advantage.
The Wildcats (2-7, 1-5) got on the board next. After quarterback Cam Ford found Peter Melveldt for a 20-yard passing gain, he came back to junior Ben Vodt for the 43-yard touchdown strike. The extra point made it a 14-7 game with 4:37 showing in the first period.
On its third possession, Clarke County took control. Senior Braithwaite dashed 61 yards for the Eagles’ third touchdown and the kick made it 21-7 with 2:59 remaining in the first quarter. This drive took four plays, traveled 47 yards in about 90 seconds.
The Eagles continued adding to their lead.
With 1:28 showing in the first period, Clarke recovered a Warren fumble on the Wildcat 30.
Rogers threw deep to tight end Brett McDonald, who carried the ball to the 2. Davis did the rest on Clarke County’s fourth touchdown drive of the first frame. After the 2-yard run, the kick made it 28-7.
The Eagles carried their next possession into the second quarter, but nothing seemed to matter at the Warren County Stadium.
Though it committed a double-penalty along the way, Clarke County still scooted 72 yards on three plays for their fifth score. Rogers took the shotgun snap from center and ran right through the middle of the Warren defense. The play covered 14 yards and the kick made it a 35-7 score with 10:57 left in the second quarter.
On their sixth touchdown trip, a Braithwaite carry of 20 yards, combined with a double-foul on the Wildcats, got Rogers into scoring position. His carry from the 5, plus the kick, made it 42-7.
The final two scores came on the final possessions of the half. Reserve running back Pat Cleary blasted his way 24 yards. The kick made it 49-7 with 4:14 left. This one took all of four plays to go 69 yards.
The eighth and final 6 came on a bomb from Davis to Hunter Rogers. The kick made it 56-7 and brought on the ensuing running clock in half two.
“We had a pass play on there because we were running our two-minute offense,” said Parker. “We’ll need that down the line.”
The one positive for Crist and his program is that a lot of Wildcats saw action.
Quarterback Cam Ford completed 9 of 17 passes for 107 yards and one score, but that was about all the yardage the ‘Cats could muster.
Crist subbed in running backs like Mason Blauvelt, who carried six times for 16 yards, and Darren Frantz, who hauled the ball 12 times for 21 yards.
Still the Wildcats could only muster 147 yards against a defense that has been allowing 182 yards per game.
“It was neat to get in the game. I haven’t played that much at running back, but I got a chance tonight. I’ve been doing it in practice; just had to carry it over in the game,” said Blauvelt.
“It was really my first play there this season, for the most part,” said Frantz. “It felt good.”
“They deserve to play too,” said Crist.
“It was nice because I think just about everybody played and contributed,” added Parker.
Eagles 56, Wildcats 7
Clarke County 28 28 0 0-56
Warren County 7 0 0 0-7
CC: Rogers 52 run (kick good) 10:37
CC: Rogers 81 (kick good) 6:21
WC: Vogt 43 pass from Ford (kick good) 4:37
CC: Braithwaite 61 run (kick good) 2:59
CC: Davis 2 run (kick good) 1:28
CC: Rogers 14 run (kick good) 10:57
CC: Rogers 5 run (kick good) 7:27
CC: Cleary 24 run (kick good) 4:14
CC: Rogers 36 pass from Rogers (kick good) :55
First downs 16-7
Rushing yards 122-213
Passing yards 386-40
Comp-Att-Int 3-3-0 9-18-1
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties 6-50 5-85
RUSHING-Clarke: Stokes 1-20, Price 2-4, Rogers 7-169, Davis 8-49, Cleary 1-24, Baylor 1-10, Braithwaite 3-89, Palmer 3-24, Parrott 3-4. Warren: Blauvelt 6-16, Dickerson 3-7, Ford 2-(‘6), Guerrero 3-1, Frantz 12-21
PASSING-Clarke: Davis 3-3, 67 yards, 1 TD. Warren: Ford 9-17, 107 yards, 1 touchdown, Cripps 0-1-1
RECEIVING-Clarke: Rogers 1-36, McDonald 1-28. Warren: Haley 3-15, Vogt 1-43, Meltvelt 2-27, Carter 2-11