Following a tough loss to Perkins last week, Clyde knew it would have to put that setback behind itself and refocus if it were to rebound this week against Oak Harbor.
The Fliers answered the call, scoring three touchdowns in the game’s first three minutes on its way to a 42-0 defeat of Oak Harbor in Sandusky Bay Conference action Friday.
On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Clyde quarterback Tim Hoppe hit Derek Gray out in the flat before Gray broke several tackles and raced down the sidelines for a 62-yard touchdown. Austin Baker, who converted on all six of his extra-point attempts, converted on the PAT to make it 7-0 and the Fliers (6-1, 3-1 SBC) never looked back.
After pinning the Rockets (3-4, 2-2 SBC) back deep and forcing them to go three-and-out, the Fliers, following a short punt, took over at Oak Harbor’s 24-yard-line. On the next play, Hoppe hit Blake Miller in the end zone to make it 14-0 with 9:14 remaining in the opening quarter.
Clyde scored on the ensuing kickoff when the Rockets, trying to execute a trick play, fumbled the ball and Kyle Mange picked it up at the 12-yard-line before running it in for another score.
The Fliers closed out the first-quarter scoring when Hoppe hit Colin Reiman on a 23-yard pass over the middle on third-and-8. On the play, which finished off a 7-play, 60-yard drive, Reiman caught a short pass over the middle before eluding a couple of defenders and racing into the end zone.
“We executed pretty well early on,” said Clyde head coach Ryan Carter. “Our skill position players made some big plays. We wanted to get off to a good start and we got some opportunities. We had talked about bouncing back and setting a tone (for this game).”
Carter was especially pleased with his defense, which pitched its second shutout of the season.
“The defense played really, really well,” Carter said. “They shut down the run and forced (Oak Harbor) to pass and the DBs played well.”
Hoppe was magnificent, connecting on 8-of-12 passes for 188 yards and four touchdowns. Miller finished with three catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns, Gray had two receptions for 73 yards and a score and Reiman caught three passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Damian Coburn helped pace the rushing attack with seven carries for 47 yards and a touchdown.
The Fliers finished with 372 total yards of offense and 14 first downs.
It was an especially important win for Clyde, which fell to Perkins last week after holding the lead at halftime. Hoppe spoke about the team’s mindset during the week.
“We had to get our focus back this week,” he said. “We hadn’t had a loss yet, but we came out and practiced hard. We found some leaders this week and we made some plays tonight.”