The schedule-makers weren’t doing the Oberlin football team any favors when they placed perennial powers Black River and Clearview back-to-back on the Phoenix schedule.
Coach Mike Akers and his charges traveled to Friday’s contest in Lorain still a bit banged up from the prior week’s Pirate game. As a result, the short-handed Phoenix fell 52-14 to the Clippers (5-1, 3-0 PAC) in front of a celebratory homecoming crowd at Hoch Field.
With their first two quarterbacks sidelined, Oberlin relied on the steady hands of sophomore Riley Horning to guide the offense. And for much of the first quarter, the Phoenix held their own with the Clippers, each team collecting a few first downs but neither finding the end zone in the first 10 minutes of action.
As the first quarter wound down, Clearview finally broke through. Clippers senior all-county tailback Drew Engle bulled into the end zone for a two-yard TD and the first points of the game.
Down six, Oberlin’s next drive stalled, and as the first quarter ended Clearview fleet receiver and kick-returner Kash Warren dazzled the crowd with a 65-yard punt return down the right sideline to paydirt. The Clippers tacked on three more scores before the break, pushing the score to 30-0 at the half.
Oberlin fought back gamely in the second stanza, producing the first points of the third quarter on a Horning-to-Devin Randleman 14-yard shovel pass and run.
Following three more Clipper scores, the Phoenix closed out the evening with a nice 40-yard hook-up from Horning to junior Ravon Eisom.
The Phoenix (1-5, 1-2 PAC) return home this Friday to take on Stripes division foe Fairview Park in front of their own homecoming crowd at 7 p.m. at Oberlin Stadium.
With the homecoming celebration comes the annual “Lights” performance by the the OHS marching band under the direction of Len Gnizak.