Clairton Caps Decade of Dominance With Rout of Jeannette
Saturday, November 28, 2015 | 4:51 PM
Defending champion Clairton wasted no time getting things started in this year’s WPIAL Class A Championship. Senior running back Harrison Dreher took the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Lamont Wade added a two point conversion to put the Bears up 8-0 just 16 seconds into the game.
Jeannette took over at the 36-yard line. Struggling to find an offensive rhythm, Jeannette went three and out on its first possession.
Junior running back Lamont Wade led the charge for Clairton on its next possession, dragging multiple Jeannette defenders with him down the field. The Bears used unique offensive sets, including a version of the polecat, to confuse the Jayhawk defense. Senior quarterback Aaron Matthews scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 7:53 remaining in the first quarter. The conversion attempt failed, and the Bears held a 14-0 lead.
Senior Jayhawk running back Kareem Hall, who missed the majority of the postseason after an ankle injury during the final week of the regular season, entered the game as Jeannette took over. A 15-yard Clairton penalty for a late hit led to Jeannette’s first first down of the game. The Jayhawks picked up momentum, moving the ball on a 12-yard run by Robert Kennedy and a nine-yard completion to Swade Redman. Facing fourth down, the Jayhawks attempted a field goal, but Redman’s kick was blocked by Clairton’s Walter Britton.
Clairton took over on their own 20 yard line. After a quick three and out, and a bobbled punt, Jeannette was given a golden opportunity at the Clairton 27 yard line. The Jayhawks converted a first down, but quarterback Giovonne Sanders was stopped for a four yard loss back to the 15. Jeannette elected to go for it on fourth down and nine, but Sanders fell one yard short.
The Bears took advantage of Jeannette’s inability to capitalize on their drive. Matthews completed a pass to Wade, resulting in a 91-yard touchdown for the Bears. The two point conversion pass attempt to Devlin Clifford failed, and Clairton led 20-0 with 9:44 remaining in the second quarter.
After another Jeannette three and out, Clairton took over at the 40. The Bears dominated the Jayhawks with the run, behind Matthews, Wade, and Harrison Dreher. On second down and goal from the three, Matthews connected with Wade for another Clairton touchdown. The conversion attempt was no good, and the Bears took a 26-0 lead with 6:23 to go in the second quarter.
The Jayhawks and Bears exchanged possessions again before heading to halftime.
Jeannette received the opening kickoff and began its drive at the 24 yard line. Senior running back Jefferson Jones came out strong for the Jayhawks, with a big first down run. Jeannette converted two fourth downs during the drive, both on pass plays from Sanders. Facing fourth down and four from the Clairton eight yard line, Jeannette’s luck ran out. Sanders’ pass to the end zone fell incomplete. Jeannette’s 18-play drive took more than 11 minutes off of the clock, but resulted in no points for the Jayhawks.
The Bears continued to wear down the Jayhawks defense with the run. As the third quarter came to a close, Clairton still held a 26-0 lead.
One quarter away from WPIAL gold, Matthews, Wade, and Dreher continued to take the wind out of Jeannette’s sails. Matthews took it into the end zone from four yards out for another Clairton score with 9:58 to go in the fourth quarter. Lamont Wade converted for two, putting the Bears up 34-0.
Jeannette’s offensive struggles continued. Clairton regained possession with 7:26 to go in the game, picking up a first down behind a 23-yard run by Matthews. Dreher put the exclamation point on the day with another touchdown run for the Bears with 5:01 remaining. The two point conversion failed, and Clairton led 40-0.
Clairton outgained Jeannette 403-141, despite the Jayhawks dominating time of possession, 30:29-17:31. Swade Redman led Jeannette with 36 rushing yards. The Bears finished with two 100-yard rushers—Matthews with 108 yards and Wade with 101 yards. Dreher, Matthews, and Wade each chipped in two touchdowns for Clairton.
Jeannette finished the season as the WPIAL Class A runner-up with a (11-2) record. Clairton remains perfect at (13-0). The Bears advance to the PIAA tournament, where they will face Berlin Brothersvalley on Friday night.
1ST QUARTER: 11:44 – CLAIRTON – HARRISON DREHER 98-YARD KICKOFF RETURN. LAMONT WADE TWO POINT CONVERSION. CLAIRTON 8 – JEANNETTE 0.
1ST QUARTER: 7:53 – CLAIRTON – AARON MATTHEWS 4-YARD RUN. PASS FAILED. CLAIRTON 14 – JEANNETTE 0.
2ND QUARTER: 9:44 – CLAIRTON – LAMONT WADE – 91-YARD PASS FROM MATTHEWS. PASS FAILED. CLAIRTON 20 – JEANNETTE 0.
2ND QUARTER: 6:23 – CLAIRTON – LAMONT WADE – 3-YARD PASS FROM MATTHEWS. RUN FAILED. CLAIRTON 26 – JEANNETTE 0.
4TH QUARTER: 9:58—CLAIRTON – AARON MATTHEWS – 4-YARD RUN. LAMONT WADE TWO POINT CONVERSTION. CLAIRTON 34 – JEANNETTE 0.
4TH QUARTER: 5:01: CLAIRTON – HARRISON DREHER 17-YARD RUN. PASS FAILED. CLAIRTON 40 – JEANNETTE 0.
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