WILLIAMSBURG — A swarming defense recorded a safety with 64 seconds left in the game Friday night as East Clinton defeated Williamsburg 22-20 in SBAAC National Division action at Abrams Stadium on the WHS campus.
“I feel good for our kids,” EC head coach Steve Olds said.
The Astros are 1-3 overall, 1-2 in the National. the Wildcats are 0-4, 0-3 in the division.
The Astros gave up some big plays, all via the pass, but held Williamsburg to 154 yards of total offense. The Wildcats completed passes of 54, 30 and 60 yards. They totaled just 10 yards on the other 34 plays from scrimmage.
“Our defense is different than it was a year ago,” Olds said after the game. “Coach (Bryan) Floyd has done a fantastic job with them. They fly around and get after it.”
Branson Smith had two interceptions and Landon Runyon had one, all in the first half. Runyon’s was a pick-6 that put EC on top 20-14 in the second quarter.
Brandon Zimmerman, Phillip Davis, Chris Norman, Cameron Beaver, Jeff Zimmerman and Mitchell Bean applied pressure on the WHS backfield all night.
Jared Smith, the EC quarterback, saw his first extensive action in the defensive secondary, Olds said. He broke up a late WHS pass.
“He threw the ball really well in the first half,” Olds said of his QB who was 6-9 passing for 78 yards in the first two quarters. He was 0-7 in the second half.
“If he’s not impacting the game on offense, he’ll do it on defense,” said Olds.
And he had a couple outstanding punts late in the game, including the one that put Williamsburg on its own 2 yard line on the final drive.
On the first play of the drive, Jared Smith nearly tackled the WHS ball carrier in the end zone. The Astros made good on the safety on third down when ‘Burg tried to go outside to the left side of the EC defensive stone wall.
“Just our kids toughness,” said Olds when asked about the end of the game. “When they really had to make a stop, they did.”
East Clinton came in to the game averaging 126 yards of offense in the first three outings. In the first quarter against Williamsburg, the Astros had 123 yards (71 rushing, 52 passing).
Though the Astros had just 54 yards of offense in the second half, they were just effective enough to get the win. Glenn Peacock had 77 yards on the ground on 23 tries while Jared Smith rushed 18 times for 46 yards.
The junior varsity scheduled for Saturday between the two schools has been cancelled.
Sept 18, 2020
Williamsburg East Clinton
W: Braden Kelley 54 yard pass from Alex Irvin (Mason Thomas PAT) 7:57
EC: Branson Smith 21 yard pass from Jared Smith (Phillip Davis PAT) 4:00
W: Braden Kelley 80 yard kickoff return (Mason Thomas PAT) 3:47
EC: Jared Smith 3 yard run (PAT failed) 11:18
EC: Landon Runyon interception return (Phillip Davis PAT) 6:10
W: Braden Kelley 60 yard pass from Chase Canter (PAT failed) 10:58
EC: Safety, tackled ball carrier in end zone, 1:04
RUSHING: EC (41-123) J. Smith 18-46, Glenn Peacock 23-77; WHS (19-8) Gries 7-7, Irvin 7-4, Bocks 3-2, Drake 1-7, Canter 1-(-12)
PASSING: EC (6-17, 78 yards) J. Smith 6-17-0, 78 yards; WHS: (4-15-3, 146 yards) Irvin 3-9-2, 86 yards; Canter 1-6-1, 60 yards
RECEIVING: EC 6-78) Landon Runyon 1-8, Jaden Singleton 2-18, Branson Smith 3-52; WHS (4-142) Bocks 1-2, Kelley 3-144
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports