Times Staff Reporter
Despite strong efforts from the North Clay seventh- and eighth-grade football teams, the Owen Valley Patriots swept the squads Wednesday night at home.
The Patriots responded with huge plays from quarterback Kyle Shaffer and receiver Dakota Manion. A long run by Shaffer and touchdown pass from Shaffer to Manion brought Owen Valley within two after a failed two-point conversion.
Both offenses sputtered on their next few series, but Owen Valley came to life on its last offensive series before the half.
A long pass from Shaffer to Dusty Hendrickson with 1:26 left in the half put the Patriots within striking distance.
Owen Valley's score came on an elusive run by Shaffer where he was flushed from the pocket, reversed field and scored, making it 12-8 Owen Valley, after another failed two-point conversion.
In the second half, the Knights' defense stepped it up, forcing a fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Hunter Sullivan.
The turnover seemed to spark the Knights, as they were led to paydirt by the hard running of Huey. Huey scored again on a 10-yard run, after breaking tackles and practically carrying Owen Valley players as he crossed the goal line, making the score 16-12 after a successful conversion.
The defenses traded blows, making it hard for each team's offense, but eventually the running of Shaffer wore down the Knights.
Owen Valley was deep in Knights territory with a little more than two minutes left in the game, when Shaffer, faced with a third and nine, once again eluded Knight's defenders and escaped the pocket with a huge run to the goal line.
With 59.4 seconds Shaffer added the go ahead touchdown. Owen Valley missed the conversion making it 18-16.
The game ended on the ensuing kick off as North Clay was surprised by an onside kick that the Patriots recovered.
Things didn't start as quickly for the eighth-grade Knights as they found themselves in an early hole after an interception of a throw by quarterback Tucker Stewart led to a quick score by the Patriots, making it 8-0.
The teams traded drives, but by the end of the first quarter the Knights offensive started to find its groove. Led by the legs of running back Ben Girton and Stewart, the Knights were able to find the end zone. The Knights' touchdown came on a 20-yard run by Stewart with 4:22 left in the second. The conversion failed, leaving Owen Valley in the lead, 8-6.
A surprise onside kick on the ensuing kick-off gave the Knights the ball back in position to take the lead before half.
Stewart's running ability once again proved too much for the Patriots to handle, as he scored on a dazzling run after reversing field and diving across the goal line. After a successful conversion the score was 14-8 Knights.
Both offenses traded interceptions to end the half.
Early in the second half, both defenses played hard and forced. A fumble recovery by Brandon Rader fired up the Knights but another costly interception by Stewart ended the drive.
A standout on defense for the Knights was linebacker Jacob Dean who played a strong game racking up a plethora of tackles and several pass deflections.
However, with seven minutes to go in the game, the Patriots scored on a tipped touchdown pass that was caught in the end zone by Lance Rector. After the successful conversion the score was 16-14.
The Knights' offense stalled on their final drives and eventually the Patriots' offense ran out the clock and ended the game.
Both North Clay teams are now 1-1 overall and travel to Cascade on Sept. 7 for a 5:30 p.m. start.