Simmons Tosses 4 TDs vs. Edinboro as Clarion Gridders Move to 6-0

clarion-uEDINBORO, Pa. – Clarion qb Connor Simmons passed for 345 yards and 4 td’s, receivers Matt Lehman and Kevin Genevro caught 2 td passes and Delrece Williams rushed for 146 yards and 1 td as the Golden Eagles raced to a 36-23 win over Edinboro on Saturday afternoon at Sox Harrison Stadium and on a Sportsfever Television Network production.

Clarion, under first year head coach Chris Weibel, raised its overall record to 6-0 and 3-0 in the PSAC-Western Division, while Edinboro dipped to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the West. The 6-0 start is the best start for a Clarion football team since the Golden Eagles started 7-0 in 1983.

“We were definitely tested today, but our players showed real character and determination and would not be denied this victory,” said coach Weibel. “I’m really proud of how we continued to play hard in this game every play. We keep talking about playing free and aggressive and that’s when we are at our best. Restoring the Pride of Clarion Football remains our mission every week.”

Clarion opened the contest, which also served as Edinboro’s Homecoming Game, by driving 87 yards to paydirt in only 5 plays. Simmons hit Gage Clark for 33 yards, Delrece Williams for 33 yards, Kevin Genevro for 14, and on first and goal at the 7, Simmons hit Genevro in the endzone for a Clarion td at 13:23. Phil Esposito’s PAT made it 7-0.

Edinboro cut the lead to 7-3 on an Austin Reese 31 yard field goal, but Clarion responded with a 75-yard, 3-play drive to make it 13-3 at 4:05 of the first. After a 4-yard run by Williams, Simmons unloaded a 50-yard bomb to Matt Lehman, then finished the drive with a 21-yard pinpoint pass to Genevro in the endzone for the touchdown. The PAT  was blocked.

The Scots pulled to within 13-10 when QB Jake Sisson scored on a 6-yard td scamper with 12:47 left in the second.

Before halftime Clarion upped its lead to 9-points when Simmons connected with Matt Lehman on a 10-yard td pass with only 36-seconds left before intermission. The PAT was blocked for a second time.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle for most of the period, until Clarion broke through with a 24-yard field goal by Phil Esposito with 2:38 left in the third giving Clarion a 22-10 lead.

Late in the third Clarion’s defense forced a big turnover. Linebacker Rocco Yauger caused an Edinboro fumble and noseguard Andrew Fragale was on the spot for the recovery at the Edinboro 40.

Simmons rushed for 20 yards on second down to the Boro 19. Two plays later, at the Boro 15, Simmons fired a 15-yard td strike to Matt Lehman for another Clarion td. Clarion led 29-20 at 14:53 of the fourth.

After Edinboro closed to within 29-17, Clarion ‘s Delrece Williams scored the clincher on a 57-yard td run, breaking free down the left sideline and outracing the Edinboro secondary to the endzone. Esposito’s PAT made it 36-17 at 9:54.

Edinboro scored on a Jake Sisson 1-yard run with 2:!5 remaining to close the game – a Clarion 36-23 win.

Clarion had 506 yards of offense in the game including 345 passing and 161 rushing. Connor Simmons hit on 18 of 28 passes for 3454 yards and 4 td’s. He had 303 passing yards at halftime.

 Delrece Williams rushed for 146 yards and 1 td, and was the game’s top receiver with 4 catches for 104 yards. Matt Lehman caught 4 passes for 81 yards and 2 td’s, giving him 12 td catches on the season. Kevin Genevro also had 4 catches for 49 yards and 2 td’s.

Clarion’s defense saw Chris Liberto with 12 hits and 1 break-up, with Jacob Craig posting 7 tackles and 1 interception, and Colton McKay 7 hits. Defensive end Kwame Bell made 5 stops including 2 sacks.

Edinboro had 299 yards of offense including 84 rushing yards and 215 passing yards. Jake Sisson led the way with 36 rushing yards and 2 td’s, while completing 20 of 33 passes for 215 yards and 1 td.

Clarion returns home next Saturday to host Seton Hill in a 3pm start. That game will also be televised by Sportsfever TV.


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