Clarion Gridders Down Lock Haven 40-13 in Season Opener

simmons_3LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Clarion’s Chris Weibel won the opening game of his head coaching career and qb Connor Simmons passed for 407 yards and 4 td’s as the Golden Eagles rolled past Lock Haven 40-13 on Thursday night in the 2015 season opener at LH’s Hubert Jack Stadium.

(Photo: Connor Simmons)

Simmons 407 yards were the 5th most in a single game in Clarion history. He completed

The Golden Eagles start their season with a 1-0 record and Lock Haven begins their season first year head coach Dave Taynor at 0-1.

Clarion jumped out to a 17-0 first half lead and never looked back.

Clarion led 7-0 at 6:42 of the first quarter when Connor Simmons hit Kyle Evans with a 19-yard td pass. The Eagles drove 76 yards in 8 plays, keyed by a 35-yard pass from Simmons to Matt Lehman and a 16 yard run by Delrece Williams to the 19, setting the td pass on the next play.

Clarion went ahead 10-0 at 12:21 of the second quarter when the Eagles drove 69 yards, but stalled at the LH 8 and Phil Esposito booted a 25-yard field goal.

KaDarrius Campbell gave the Eagles a 17-0 lead when he scored on a 3-yard td run with 4:40 to go before halftime. Clarion drove 53 yards in 12 plays, with big plays coming on a 13-yard pass to Gage Clark, and a 10-yard reception by Lehman to help setup Campbell’s td dash.

Lock Haven closed to within 17-7 when Caleb Walton tossed a 12-yard td pass to Shawn Seif with 2:47 left in the second.

Clarion took the kickoff and drove 54 yards to the LH 17 and saw Phil Esposito kick a 34 yard field goal with no time left to give Clarion a 20-7 halftime lead.

Kevin Genevro gave Clarion a 27-7 lead when he caught an 18-yard td pass from Simmons with 6:51 left in the third quarter. He caught 3 passes for 40 yards on the drive.

Lock Haven pulled to within 27-13 when Walton hit Seif on a 20-yard td pass with 1:37 left in the third, but Clarion came right back to score.

The Golden Eagles put the game on ice with a 90-yard td drive in only 4 plays beginning at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth. Starting at its own 10, Simmons hit Genevro for 34 yards, then a 5 yarder to Kyle Evans, followed by a 34 yarder to Evans to the LH 17. Simmons faded back to pass and hit Matt Lehman with a 17-yard td pass with 14:51 left in the fourth and a Golden Eagles 34-13 lead.

Clarion scored its final td on a 30 yard pass from Simmons to Jaron Moorer with 2:22 left to make the final score 40-13.

Clarion totaled 519 yards of offense on the night, 407 passing and 112 on the ground. Simons completed 29 of 43 passes for 407 yards and 4 td’s. His 407 yards are fifth in a single game in Clarion history. Craig Ray had 473 vs West Chester in 1994 and Mike Carter had 472 vs Ferris State in 1988. Chris Weibel had 411 vs Millersville in 1995, Ben Fiscus 410 vs Cal in 2012 and Tim Myers posted 408 vs Slippery Rock in 1992.

Matt Lehman grabbed 8 passes for 115 yards and 1 td, Kevin Genevro 6 grabs for 112 and 1 td and Kyle Evans had 5 catches for 70 yards and 1 td.

KaDarrius Campbell rushed 18 times for 53 yards and 1 td.

Lock Haven had 401 yards of total offense. Caleb Walton completed 20 of 27 passes for 206 yards and 2 td’s, and running back Mykah Harris had 8 rushed for 91 yards.

Clarion’s defense forced 5 turnovers on the night. Rocco Yauger had 12 tackles and Chris Liberto 8 for the Eagles. Liberto also had an interception and Kwame Bell recovered 2 fumbles.

Clarion returns to action on Thursday, September 10th when the Golden Eagles host Millersville at Memorial Stadium at 6pm.

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