Shorthanded Clarion Blows 13-Point Fourth Quarter Lead in Loss at Seton Hill

GREENSBURG, Pa. – Playing without two of its top playmakers, the Clarion University football team lost a 13-point lead entering the fourth quarter and dropped a 27-23 decision at Seton Hill Saturday.

Photo of Kevin Genevro. Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics

The Golden Eagles were without record-setting quarterback Connor Simmons and top running back Delrece Williams.

According to Clarion University Sports Information Director Sean Fagan, who wasn’t at the game, he believed Simmons wasn’t playing because of an injury suffered late in last week’s homecoming loss to Edinboro but he wasn’t certain. There was no word on why Williams didn’t play. Fagan said he hadn’t received an updated depth chart from Clarion University head coach Chris Weibel prior to the game. A text message to Weibel from EYT Media was not returned Saturday.

Despite not having two of its stars, Clarion (2-4 overall, 1-2 PSAC West) led 23-10 going to the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of touchdown passes and a short touchdown run from Simmons’ replacement, Jeff Clemens, who finished 16 of 32 for 176 yards passing while also running six times for 36 yards.

Clemens 5-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Genevro, who had five catches for 69 yards and two scores, with 33 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Golden Eagles the 23-10 lead.

But a pair of Khalil Howard 2-yard touchdown runs in a span of 2:41 seconds in the fourth quarter turned the game upside down for Clarion and gave Seton Hill (4-2, 1-2) a 24-23 lead.

Howard’s second scoring run of the quarter, with 7:04 left in the game, came four plays after Scott Ayers shanked a punt for zero yards after a bad snap gave Seton Hill the ball at the Clarion 23-yard line.

A second bad snap after Clarion’s next possession, a three-and-out, led to three more Seton Hill points.

This time, the snap was over the head of Ayers and was recovered by Seton Hill at the Clarion 17-yard line.

The Golden Eagles defense dug in and forced the Griffins to settle for a Santiago Henao 20-yard field goal with 2:57 to play.

Clemens was able to lead Clarion to the Seton Hill 47-yard line late in the game, but on a fourth-and-4 the Griffins brought pressure and Clemens was forced to run but was dropped after just getting a yard.

While the bad punt snaps hurt Clarion, it was a 13-play, 91-yard drive by Seton Hill following Genevro’s second touchdown that ended in Howard’s 2-yard touchdown run might have been the backbreaker for the Golden Eagles.

Seton Hill overcame two potentially drive-killing penalties – a 15-yard offensive facemask and a 10-yard illegal block penalty – on the drive.

Christian Strong started the game at quarterback for Seton Hill and went 21 of 35 for 198 yards and a touchdown before being benched for Cory Cavanaugh, who went 9 of 12 for 116 yards and an interception.

Howard finished with 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns with Logan Carns catching six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

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