CLIPPERS DEFEATED BY BLUE DEVILS ON OPENING NIGHT
COLUMBIANA, OH- The much anticipated 2018 Columbiana Clippers football season opened with a thud here at Firestone Park. The Clippers suffered all evening from penalties and other self-inflicted setbacks that they could not overcome against a quality opponent like the Western Reserve Blue Devils falling 27-12.
On this Military Appreciation Night, the Blue Devils powerful ground attack dominated the action as seniors Adam Gatrell and Ryan Slaven spent most of the night in enemy territory with a consistent, ball-controlling pounding of the Clipper defense. Gatrell gained 150 yards, scoring on runs of 6 yards and 3 yards in the first half. Then, put the game away with a 40-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Slaven ran effectively between the tackles from the pistol after connecting with Jimmy Mayberry for the game’s first big play, a 42-yard TD pass that gave the Blue Devils a lead they would never relinquish.
Columbiana could not get any traction on offense. Three turnovers and a plethora of penalties thwarted the offense time after time. Jakob Cross did find Chase Franken over the middle for the Clips’ lone highlight of the first half. Franken reeled in the pass and scampered down the sideline for a 57-yard score. Trailing 20-6 early in the fourth, Columbiana used a heavy dose of their bruising running back, Steven Anderson, to cut the deficit to 20-12. Anderson barreled his way into the end zone from a yard out after several strong runs to sustain the scoring drive.
Western Reserve continued to move the sticks and use up most of the fourth quarter to salt away the win.
The Clippers look to bounce back at McDonald, while the Blue Devils will host East Palestine next week.