LEES CREEK — Some missed early opportunities by East Clinton combined with explosive plays by Bethel-Tate proved to be the difference Friday night as the Tigers pulled away from the Astros, 41-8.
East Clinton (0-2) had opportunities to stay in the game, but just missed on some explosive plays. Several long passes ended up as missed connections.
Meanwhile, the Tigers (1-1) came up with huge offensive plays when they needed them.
Bethel-Tate opened the scoring with a 94-yard touchdown pass. Quarterback Chris Long feathered a pass down the seam to Gauge Dunn, who ran away from the defense for the score.
The Tiger defense made the next big play. East Clinton punter Jared Smith was tackled for a 16-yard loss on a punt attempt. This gave the ball to the Tigers at the EC 9.
Dunn would finish the drive himself three plays later. Bethel-Tate led 14-0.
East Clinton’s defense answered with a big play of its own. Branson Smith picked off a Long pass and ran to the Bethel-Tate 15.
Four plays later, Kaleb Kingery scored to put the Astros on the board. A Jared Smith run pulled the Astros within six, 14-8.
Possibly the decisive drive occurred right before the half. Bethel-Tate took over at its own 21 with 1:23 left in the second quarter.
Three completions by Long moved the Tigers into the red zone. On third and five from the EC 6, Long found Jaycob Storer for a touchdown. Bethel-Tate led 20-8 at the half.
The Astros struggled to move the ball in the second half, amassing just 26 yards of offense after the break. East Clinton finished with just 119 yards. The Astros ran the ball 35 times for just 41 yards.
Meanwhile, Bethel-Tate had 356 yards of offense including 202 yards passing. The Tigers scored on three of their last five drives of the game.
Friday, Sept. 4, 2020
@East Clinton High School
Bethel-Tate 41, East Clinton 8
BT – Gauge Dunn 94-yard pass from Chris Long (Aaron Sandker kick) 5:44
BT – Dunn 1-yard run (Sandker kick) 3:40
EC – Kaleb Kingery 2-yard run (Jared Smith run) 9:02
BT – Jaycob Storer 6-yard pass from Long (kick failed) 0:04.0
BT – Mikey Molloy 3-yard run (Sandker kick) 3:14
BT – Molloy 11-yard run (Sandker kick) 9:23
BT – Molloy 10-yard pass from Cameron Snider (Sandker kick) 5:36
PLAYS: BT 55; EC 52. FIRST DOWNS: BT 14; EC 7. RUSHES-YARDS: BT 31-154; EC 35-41. PASSING YARDS: BT 202; EC 78. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: BT 13-25-2; EC 5-18-1. TOTAL YARDS: BT 356; EC 119. PENALTIES-YARDS: BT 11-62; EC 3-13. FUMBLES-LOST: BT 1-0; EC 0-0.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.