COLUMBIANA, OH- Southern Local played keep away all night long and ground out a 26-21 victory over Columbiana here Friday night. The Indians were able to control the line of scrimmage and the clock scoring on three long drives in the first half, the last of which was 95 yards chewing up eight minutes to take an 18-7 lead into the locker room. They limited the potent Clipper offense to just two possessions in the half. Clippers actually took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter when Jakob Cross found Chase Franken on a crossing pattern which Franken took down the sideline for his first of two touchdown receptions.
Franken caught another TD on the Clippers first possession of the third quarter, which made him Columbiana’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 23. It was a record held by former Clipper great Troy Berdine for 35 years. But it wasn’t enough as Rich Wright’s Indians converted on six fourth downs on the evening, two of which resulted in touchdowns. Cam Grodhaus hauled in a pass that was deflected high in the air before he was able to make a twisting catch as he hit paydirt with :06 to play in the first half. Then, on 4th and goal from the 15, Jayce Sloan fired a strike to Bradley Sloan who was able to secure it just across the goal line as he was hit to the ground.
It was that kind of night for the Clippers. Coach Spaite’s crew responded well after the shellacking at the hands of Springfield last week. But a few fortuitous bounces went the way of the Indians on this night leading to defeat. Southern was able to maintain possession despite
fumbling three times before the Groudhaus catch just ahead of intermission. Grodhaus, Dylan Milhoan, and the two Sloans shared the load for the Indians. Franken had 7 catches for 170 yards. Cross threw three TDs, the last of which was a 16-yarder to Joey Bable who refused to go down carrying three Indians into the end zone from the five with 2:47 to play.
The Clippers(1-3) look to bounce back hosting Leetonia(3-1) next week. As usual, you can catch the action on YSNLive.com.