Shepherd Too Much for Clarion as Rams Hand Golden Eagles First Loss

| September 22, 2019

CLARION, Pa. – The Golden Eagle football team took an early lead but was unable to hold on, and Clarion fell by a score of 40-24 to Shepherd at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

(Photo courtesy of Clarion U. Athletics. Photo by Cam Kirkland)

The Rams took the advantage in the second quarter and made it count, with the Golden Eagles’ final two scores of the game coming late in the fourth quarter.

Shepherd came into the game with the reputation of being able to attack with the pass and did not disappoint, with sophomore quarterback Tyson Bagent finishing with 394 passing yards and five scores. Clarion did a solid job holding the Rams in check early on, keeping them at bay until quick scores midway through the second quarter.

Jeff Clemens finished with three total touchdowns on the day, recovering a fumble in the end zone in the first quarter to take the lead and tossing passes to Kahliq Muhammad and Dana Jackson in the fourth quarter. The redshirt senior finished the game with 11 completions on 18 attempts but also threw an interception. Quinn Zinobile was the top pass-catcher on the day with four receptions for 88 yards, while Mylique McGriff had 54 yards on 16 carries.

Safety Sam Fareri was the top tackler for the Golden Eagles with nine total stops, and the senior also recorded a pass breakup in the end zone and a blocked extra point in the first quarter. Saif Khan finished with seven tackles and a sack.

The first quarter initially appeared to be another hot start for Clarion, as Clemens orchestrated a 17-play, 93-yard drive to put the Golden Eagles on the board first. He found Muhammad on a quick route to the Shepherd 12 to enter the red zone, and Scott Florence burst through the line on 2nd-and-9 to put his team on the goal line. Ross Greece rushed towards the end zone but lost a handle on the ball, with Clemens picking it up and falling over the line to for the score to make it 7-0.

The Rams responded with a one-play drive on the ensuing possession, with Bagent throwing a long score to Dylan Brewer to reach the end zone. Fareri kept Clarion in front with a one-handed block of the point-after try, making it 7-6. The Golden Eagles went back down the field and scored again, with James Metzgar drilling a 42-yard field goal attempt to put his team ahead 10-6. Shepherd controlled action for most of the next two quarters, though, with Bagent finding Alex Wetzel and Deonte Glover for touchdown passes before the end of the half to make it 20-10. Hayden August-Scriven set the halftime deficit with a field goal, making it 23-10 at the break.

Shepherd tacked on three more touchdowns in the second half, leading Clarion by as much as 40-10 with 9:20 remaining in regulation. The Golden Eagles added a few scores of their own late in the quarter, starting with Clemen’s scoring pass to Muhammad. Clemens worked the ball to the senior receiver several times on the drive before hitting him at the left pylon for the score. Clarion forced a stop on the next possession and then went back to work, posting an 86-yard drive that was punctuated on a beautiful deep ball from Clemens to Jackson from 43 yards out.

The Golden Eagles (2-1) will be on the road next weekend when they face off with Gannon.

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