East Clinton head coach Steve Olds had a decision to make in last week’s game with Williamsburg. In a game where “everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” Olds made the right choice.
Late in a tie game, faced with fourth and eight from the WHS 38, Olds elected to punt and face the likelihood of overtime, rather than go for the win.
Jared Smith, the EC punter, helped Olds and his decision.
Smith’s punt came to rest inside the WHS 5. Two plays later, the East Clinton defense swarmed the ‘Burg ball carrier in the end zone for the game-winning safety.
“We were confident they would try to run the ball between the tackles and try to survive until overtime,” Olds said. “Coach (Bryan) Floyd packed the box and our defense did what it had done for most of the night and smothered them. We wrestled with the decision to punt or go for it right before all this. I think it was fourth and eight from their 38 and I thought about going for it, but I’m obviously glad that we didn’t. Jared pinned them deep and a couple plays later we got the safety. It was a great feeling and I know our guys were really excited.”
The win puts East Clinton at 1-2 in the division going in to Friday’s 7 p.m. kickoff at home against Clermont Northeastern.
“Offensively, we have seen CNE in a lot of different formations,” said Olds. “They have thrown the ball a lot more than in the past few years and have some good looking players. Defensively they have length and are quick up front. I thought they played Blanchester really well and we know that Blan is one of the better teams in our conference year in and year out.”
Landon Amann has been a sharp passer for the Rockets, but has thrown 10 interceptions. EC had three picks in last week’s game, including a TD return by Landon Runyon.
Logan Pottorf has been one of the best two-way players in the league, recording 5.5 sacks on defense and five receiving TDs on offense for CNE.
Olds continues to laud the toughness of his team, despite its 1-4 overall record.
“I really like the fight that this team has,” he said. “They continue to battle week in and week out. I thought our guys overcame quite a bit of adversity early in the game but stuck with it. They found the will and a way to get the job done. We just have to more consistent with our execution.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports