TIFFIN — Friday night saw a little bit of everything here. A 2-hour, 47-minute lightning delay, a host of turnovers and clutch plays.
In the end, the delay was worth it for the Clear Creek Amana football team.
The Clippers weathered the storm, literally and figuratively, defeating Davenport Assumption 17-7 for their first 7-0 start in school history. The game was called off with 8:53 remaining as more lightning entered the area. That milestone is nice, but more importantly, the No. 9-ranked Clippers are a perfect 3-0 in Class 3A district 5 while dealing the Knights (3-4, 2-1) their first district loss.
Rain prior to kickoff made for a slippery ball. The Clippers were the main benefactors. Coming into the game with three shutouts and allowing just 29 points all season, the Clippers forced a fumble on the game’s first play. The turnover led to a field goal and an early 3-0 lead.
The Knights struck back with the aid of a short field. A double reverse pass from Nick Gotilla to Nathan Schlichting was the catalyst for a go-ahead touchdown.
The Clippers fumbled away the ensuing kickoff. Staring down a potential 14-3 defecit, the Clippers defense rose to the challenge. Brandon Schlichting threw a jump ball to big tight end Anthony Valainis. Giving up a half a foot, Quentin Gisleson tipped the ball in the air twice, somehow muscling it away from Valainis for an interception.
Soon after, lightning struck.
The Clippers used more good fortune after the delay to seize the lead for good. A Schlichting pass was kicked in the air and picked off by JJ Denny. The Clippers took advantage of the short field. Faced with fourth-and-10 from the Assumption 24, quarterback Andrew Rohret, running out of time, heaved a pass in the air. TJ Bollers secured the grab at the 3 and Rohret scored two plays later.
Following a quick halftime, Assumption had the ball at the Clippers 34 during a crucial early third-quarter possession. The slippery ball came into play once more as a shotgun snap went low and Schlichting fell on it for a 6-yard loss, thwarting the drive.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
CCA took advantage as Rohret and Zach Kabbage took turns slashing their way downfield. Rohret scored once again from 5 yards out for a 17-7 lead with 4:38 to play in the third.
No. 4 North Scott travels to Clear Creek Amana next week in a battle for district supremacy.