C-L Claims First Playoff Win in 11 Years With 26-16 Victory Over Otto-Eldred

STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (D9Sports) – Breaking an 11-year playoff drought, Clarion-Limestone built a 26-0 lead after third quarter and then held off a serious Otto-Eldred comeback attempt to earn its first playoff win since 2005 with a 26-16 win in the opening round of the District 9 Class 1A tournament Friday night at C-L.

(C-L lines up in the first quarter against Otto-Eldred Friday night. Photo by Chris Rossetti)

“Feels great, it just feels great,” said Clarion-Limestone head coach Dave Eggleton, whose team won a post-season game for the first time since 2005 when it beat Johnsonburg, 42-14. “I’m just so happy for my guys to be able to experience this. My seniors, they’ve been through the worst of times here, now they’re starting to experience what C-L football was like when I was here playing C-L football. I’m just proud of what they’ve done. I can’t say enough about my group of seniors this year what they have done their whole football careers, sticking it out through tough years to get to this point.”

Mike Macefe made sure the Lions would get the semifinal berth as he ran 199 yards and two touchdowns to lead C-L.

Macefe’s touchdowns came in the third quarter and helped the Lions (8-2) build on a 12-0 halftime lead that came courtesy of a pair of touchdown passes from Brenden Makray in the first quarter – one to Sam Leadbetter and one to Benton Smith.

His 7-yard toss to Leadbetter capped a 6-play 70-yard opening drive as they needed less than three minutes to get on the board.

Makray then engineered a 7-play 65-yard drive with his 22-yard touchdown to Smith as the Lions went ahead 12-0 after a quarter. Makray finished 8-of-16 for 119 yards and the two touchdowns.

Clarion-Limestone dominated the first half stat sheet out-gaining Otto-Eldred 236-85 and took the 12-0 lead into the locker room.

Opening the second half by forcing a three-and-out by the Terrors (5-6), who were making their first-ever District 9 playoff appearance, the last active team in D9 to make a playoff appearance, Macefe scored on a 10-yard following a 7-play 59-yard drive as they opened up 20-0 lead at the 6:48 mark of the 3rd quarter.

Otto-Eldred was unable to field punt resulting in a fumble recovered by Clarion-Limestone giving it possession at the Terrors 28-yard line.

Five plays later Macefe scored his second touchdown of the night from a yard out as the Lions were seemingly in control up 26-0 after three.

A game that appeared over, was not.

Otto-Eldred quarterback Sawyer Drummond capped a 4-play 60-yard drive a 24-yard touchdown pass to Grant West cutting the deficit to 26-8 with 11:19 remaining in the game.

The Terrors defense came up with a big three-and-out, and Drummond and West again hooked up this time on the ensuing snap as West corralled the ball, cut up field and outraced the Lions defense for 54 yards bring Otto-Eldred to within ten at 26-16.

Faced with a 4th-and-9 at its own 24-yard line, C-L tried a fake punt run gaining just four yards and giving the Terrors the ball at the Lions 28 6:50 to play.

Sawyer Drummond ran a second-and-10 keeper 13 yards to the Lions 15-yard line. However, from there Drummond threw four consecutive incompletions.

Clarion-Limestone was able to pick up one first down their following possession before punting.

Leadbetter’s interception of a Drummond pass on the Terrors first snap sealed the win for the Lions.

Sawyer Drummond had a big night for Otto-Eldred as he finished 15-for-33 for 166 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also ran for 55 yards on seven carries. His receivers didn’t help him out much as the Terrors dropped six passes. West caught four passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

“Defensively I thought we were shutting them down all night, just a couple of miscues on the drives,” said Eggleton. “The effort was there tonight. I’m proud of my guys. Our offensive line is just top-notch. We have the best o-line in Class A in my opinion with Macefe and Hummell running behind that.”

Clarion-Limestone advances to play the winner of Saturday’s game between Redbank Valley and Elk County Catholic in the D9 semifinals next week at a neutral site.

Otto-Eldred closes out one of their best seasons in school history at 5-6.

Story by Shane Lux


Score by Quarters

Otto-Eldred 0 0 0 16 – 16
Clarion-Limestone 12 0 14 0 – 26

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

CL – Sam Leadbetter 7 yd pass from Brenden Makray (rush failed), 9:25
CL – Benton Smith 22 yd pass from Makray (pass failed), 2:59

Third Quarter

CL – Mike Macefe 10 yd run (Leadbetter from McKray), 6:48
CL – Macefe 1 yd run (rush failed), 1:15

Fourth Quarter

OE – Grant West 24 yd pass from Sawyer Drummond (Dylan Close from Drummond), 11:19
OE – West 54 yd pass from Drummond (West from Drummond), 8:52

Team Stats
First Downs 9 19
Rushes-Yards 15-67 50-261
Passing Yards 166 119
Comp-Att-Int 15-35 8-16-0
Total Yards 233 380
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 1-5 6-50
Punts-Avg. 3-32.3 4-34

Individual Stats

Rushing : Otto-Eldred, Seth Drummond 5-13, Sawyer Drummond 7-55, Grant West 3-(-1). Mike Macefe 29-199, Chris Peace 8-61, Riley Hummell 9-28, Brendan Makray 3-(-27), Team 1-0.

Passing : Otto-Eldred, Drummond 15-for-33 166 yards 2 TD, 3 INT, Close 0-for-1, West 0-for-1. Clarion-Limestone, Makray 8-for-16 119 yards, 2TD.

Receiving : Otto-Eldred, Close 8-58, Cameron Magee 2-17, West 4-88, Garrett Babcock 1-3. Clarion-Limestone, Leadbetter 4-76, Hummell 2-16, Smith 1-22, Macefe 1-5.

Interceptions : Clarion-Limestone, Leadbetter 2, David King.

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