BETHEL — East Clinton’s fumble at the 1 yard line turned in to a 99-yard touchdown return for Bethel-Tate Friday in a 26-16 win for the Tigers.

Down 20-0, East Clinton stormed back behind a strong defensive effort to within 20-16 late in the third period.

Following a second interception of the game for Noah Mess, East Clinton had the ball and chance to take the lead. EC head coach Steven Olds said one East Clinton touchdown on that drive was wiped out by penalty.

Then a few plays later, with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter, the Astros lost the ball at the 1 and Nolan Darnell of Bethel-Tate picked it up and rumbled 99 yards the other way for a touchdown to seal the win. Darnell also was credited with 22 solo tackles in the game, according to the SBAAC website.

“This was a tough one,” Olds said. “They really deserved to win but you don’t always get what you deserve in this game.”

East Clinton has lost seven straight games against Bethel-Tate in a series that dates back to 1970. The Astros have won 10 of 19 meetings all-time.

“The kids played great,” Olds said. “Just came up short again.”

The Astros trailed 20-0 after quarter and seemed destined for a big loss.

But Glenn Peacock scored the first touchdown for East Clinton and Aiden Conger added the two-point run to make it 20-8 at the half.

Mess came up with his first interception in the third and the Astros offense capitalized. On a fourth and 11 play, Conger hooked up with Dameon Williams on a 26-yard scoring play. Conger added the two-point run and East Clinton was within four, 20-16.

“I think games like that might break other groups but our boys are resilient and they’ll bounce back,” Olds said. “They have had a great attitude all year and I don’t expect that to change now.”

SUMMARY

Sept 22, 2023

@Bethel-Tate High School

Tigers 26, Astros 16

EC^0^8^8^0^^16

BT^20^0^0^6^^26

SCORING

First Quarter

BT-Essig 7 yard pass from Snider (Pryor PAT)

BT-Harris 48 yard pass from Snider (PAT failed)

BT-Morris 11 yard pass from Snider (Pryor PAT)

Second Quarter

EC-Glenn Peacock 10 yard run (Aiden Conger run)

Third Quarter

EC-Dameon Williams 26 yard pass from Aiden Conger (Aiden Conger run)

Fourth Quarter

BT-Darnell 99 yard fumble return (Run failed)

STATISTICS

PASSING: EC (4-16-2) Aiden Conger 2-12-2, 41 yards, 1 TD; Lukas Runk 2-4-0, 8 yards; BT (17-36-2) Cam Snider 17-36-2, 208 yards, 3 TD

RUSHING: EC (34-173-1) Glenn Peacock 17-70-1, Aiden Conger 16-90-0, Dameon Williams 1-13-0; BT (23-173-0) Armacost 13-98-0, Snider 4-22-0, Darnell 4-51-0, Harris 2-2-0

RECEIVING: EC (4-49-1) Dameon Williams 2-41-1, Maddix Crowe 1-4-0, Noah Mess 1-4-0; BT (17-208-3) Essig 6-38-1, Morris 5-77-1, Armacost 3-22-0, Harris 2-68-1, Schultian 1-3-0

FUMBLE RECOVERIES: EC-Jade Griffith 1; BT-Darnell 1

INTERCEPTIONS: EC-Noah Mess 2; BT-Harris 1, Morris 1

TACKLES: EC-Glenn Peacock 9 Dameon Williams 7 Noah Mess 5 Jade Griffith 5 Maddix Crowe 6 Denver Day 4 Grady Boggs 3 Alex Edison 5 Clayton Kimmey 4 Aiden Conger 3 Liam McPherson 3 Lukas Runk 2 Owen Roberts 2 Hudson Singer 2 Brody McCulley 1 Kasen Terrell 1