Clairton gets stingy, knocks off No. 1 Jeannette

Friday, October 25, 2019 | 11:39 PM

High school football is a game of swings, just ask No. 1 Jeannette.

During the opening minutes of Friday’s WPIAL Class A Eastern Conference showdown against No. 2 Clairton, the Jayhawks seemed in control.

But a fumble, a defensive stand by Clairton and an 84-yard touchdown run by Bears quarterback Brendon Parsons flipped the momentum like a light switch.

Clairton used the Parsons run and a stingy defense to defeat Jeannette, 26-7, at Neil C. Brown Stadium.

Parsons rushed for 136 yards and completed 7 of 15 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in a physical contest that left both teams banged up.

Parsons and Jeannette quarterback James Sanders were injured in the third quarter. Parsons later returned. Jeannette senior Jackson Pruitt suffered an injury that sent him to the hospital.

“I’m not using injuries as an excuse. We were beaten by the better football team,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said. “We had numerous opportunities to score, and we didn’t finish.

“The first quarter fumble and Parsons’ run were definitely key plays. We just didn’t play well.”

Conference champion and likely No. 1 seed Clairton (8-2, 6-0), winners of eight straight, played well after the big play from Parsons.

Jeannette (9-1, 5-1) took the opening drive, and Roberto Smith scored from the 5 for a 7-0 lead. After Parsons’ touchdown, Isaiah Berry’s 7-yard run gave Clairton a 14-7 lead.

Clairton drove to the Jeannette 1 late in the first half but was turned away.

“Brendon’s run energized the team,” Clairton coach Wayne wade said. “Even though we were up two scores, it was still a tough game.

“Our defense played Bear football the entire second half. They were inside our red zone two or three times in the second half and didn’t get in. We turned it up on defense, and the kids came out and played well.”

Kenlein Ogletree gave Clairton breathing room to open the second half when he returned the second half kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown.

Jeannette did get into Clairton territory numerous times in the second half and recovered two fumbles, but its offense went backward.

Parsons tossed a 33-yard swing pass to Dontae Sanders to end the scoring late in the fourth quarter.

Clairton outgained Jeannette, 341-150. Jeannette turned the ball over three times and Clairton two.

It was Clairton’s 24th conference title, and the Bears lead the all-time series against Jeannette, 7-2.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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