The Ashbrook Green Wave took their 3-0 record into Clover hoping to remain unbeaten. The Blue Eagles wanted to wrap up their tour of Gaston County teams with a winning record. At the end of the night, it was the Blue Eagles that were left standing. Clover had the first turnover of the game when Gabe Carroll was intercepted by Keonne Gibbs. But the Green Wave gave it back with a fumble.
The Blue Eagles would make them pay when Carroll connected with Blackmon Huckabee for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Austin Clark’s extra point kick made it 7-0. The Green Wave would answer back early in the second quarter with a two-yard run by Kendall Massey. The extra point kick was blocked however. After forcing Clover to punt, the Green Wave made a deadly mistake on special teams when the ball touched one of the Ashbrook players. Clover recovered and was back in business.
After some false start and off side penalties by both Clover and Ashbrook, Carroll connected with Heze Massey for a four-yard touchdown pass. Clark’s kick made it 14-6. Ashbrook was not done shooting themselves in the foot. The Green Wave tried for a half-back pass, but Clover was ready for it and Tyresse Nicholas was tackled for a 20-yard loss and the Green Wave was backed up inside their five-yard line. In the punt formation, the punt sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety. The score would be 16-6 at half-time.
The Blue Eagles kept on pouring it on in the second half. At the first play from scrimmage, David Hall took the ball for a 62-yard touchdown run. Hall would score again from one-yard out of the Wildcat formation. That drive was set up by a 47-yard BJ Tims run. Both PAT kicks were good and the score was suddenly 30-6. But Ashbrook was not going to lay down. Green Wave quarterback Jakai Grier went to the air and connected with Kendall Massey for a 61-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion was stopped however.
Blue Eagles’ kicker, Austin Clark, gave Clover a 21-point lead with a 31-yard field goal. The Green Wave would cut the Blue Eagles’ lead to 15 with a three-yard touchdown run by Tyresse Nicholas. The two point conversion run would fail however. But Ashbrook’s comeback attempt would be stifled as BJ Tims delivered the knockout punch with a 24-yard touchdown run by BJ Tims. Austin Clark was 5-for-5 on extra point kicks.
“I’m not real pleased with how we played sloppy. I felt like we were better than that and I knew that they were going to be good.” said Ashbrook head coach Brian Andrews “We made some silly mistakes. We were much better than that. We have more intelligence than that on the football field. There was kicking game mistakes and the big plays on offense where we turned the ball over. I take full responsibility. We’re going to go back to work. Put it all on me because I’m going to take care of it and we’re going to be better prepared. Our fans and out parents are going to see a much better football team next Friday.”
“We came out a little sloppy early. We picked up some things. They changed what they do defensively and we went into the half and adjusted. We came back in the second half and tried to put some points on the board and felt like we did a decent job there.” said Clover head coach Brian Lane “Defensively, those guys played lights out again. They played really hard. I think somebody said they held them to 16 yards in the first half offensively. That’s pretty good for an offense that had almost 300 yards last week.”
Clover’s starting quarterback, Gabe Carroll, was sidelined with a minor injury in the second half.
“On one of the plays, he got hit on his knee. He was good to go but he was still kind of limping around. I said ‘let’s just hold him. This is a non-conference game.’ He was ready to go if we needed him to come back in. Markus (Nastase), our back-up quarterback, got some really good reps tonight. That’s what football is about.”
Ashbrook will resume conference play next week as they host Burns. “It’s a conference match-up. Got to have it.” Said Brian Andrews about Ashbrook’s upcoming game with Burns “Those are the ones that really, really matter. Obviously, I want to win every game we play but the most important thing is getting wins in the conference. So we got to brush ourselves off and be ready to go against a really good Burns team.”
Clover will be at home again as they host Irmo. “Coach Kennedy is going to have those guys ready to play.” Brian Lane said about Clover’s opponent next week “Reggie’s a great coach and they have a really good running-back so we’re going to have to tackle and contain that guy and make sure we do things offensively to get points on the board.”
Clover improves to 4-1 while Ashbrook falls to 3-1.