By Rob Tucker
CLYMER - The Sherman Wildcats are the kind of squad that keeps opposing coaches in the film room a little longer than usual; the kind that keeps them tossing and turning a little later into the night.
Photo by Rob Tucker
Sherman’s Trevor Gleason, right, breaks up a pass intended for Clymer’s Jake Wiggers during a Class DD football game Saturday afternoon. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
With a mobile, strong-armed quarterback; a shifty, fleet-footed runner; a sure-handed receiver; and a strong and athletic defensive unit - especially up front - the Wildcats can be exceedingly hard to plan for.
And when a group like that squares off against a team, like Clymer, still struggling to find its game, they can be too much to handle.
Andrew Graham threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for one more, Devin Moorhead gained 148 yards on 15 carries, Dylan Scouten hauled in three passes for 64 yards with a touchdown and the Wildcats defense once again pitched a shutout as Sherman toppled Clymer, 28-0, in Class DD action on Saturday afternoon.
"We had a nice effort," Sherman coach Bob Krenzer said. " We did more things (right) than we did in the first game, and that's the name of the game."
Sherman, whose record improved to 2-0 with the win, quickly built a 14-0 lead in the opening period, expanded the advantage to 20 by the break and then, during a somewhat sloppy second half - the Wildcats committed five penalties over that span, including one that negated a touchdown late in the fourth, and 10 overall - relied on a stingy, ball-hawking defense to close things out.
That defense, which has yet to allow a point so far this season, limited the Pirates to fewer than 100 yards rushing and surrendered, not including those awarded by penalties, a grand total of four first downs.
And while Clymer did manage to travel into the Wildcats' red zone on three occasions - once late in the second quarter just before the half and twice more in the fourth - those drives were brought to an abrupt halt by virtue of a turnover-on-downs and a pair of interceptions.
"Our defense did an excellent job," Krenzer said. "They played really well - I don't know what the stats were exactly - but we didn't give them much. We did a good job today."
Moorhead, in addition to his solid day on the offensive side, led the defensive unit with two interceptions and 10 tackles. Scouten, meanwhile, made 10 stops and picked off a pass as well.
Given the way its defense managed to keep the Pirates' offense in check, Sherman scored all the points it would need seven minutes into the opening quarter.
Taking possession at their own 25, the Wildcats moved methodically down the field. A 15-yard run by Moorhead here, a 6-yard strike from Graham to Moorhead there and finally, on the eighth play of the three-minute drive, Graham rolled to his right and found Scouten in the end zone for the 7-yard touchdown.
A successful conversion run by Graham and the Wildcats led, 8-0, with a little less than five minutes to go in the quarter.
"That's where the most improvement has been (compared to last week) - on the offense," Krenzer said. "We can run the ball and we can throw the ball. We get some nice balance with our kids."
Clymer was forced to punt after three plays on its next possession, but a solid punt by Jake Wiggers that pinned the Wildcats down at their own 13 made it seem as though Clymer might, perhaps, have a chance at stealing back the momentum.
Instead, on the third play of the drive, Graham called his own number, rolled to his left and, with the help of an upending block by Chris Greiner, scampered down the sideline untouched for the 82-yard score.
"(Our struggles come) from (not) getting 11 guys to play every play," Clymer coach Dave Bodamer said. "It's got to be 11 guys all the time, and I don't think we're there. You might think that you're not involved in the play, but then somebody cuts back or this or that happens and if you don't keep playing
"We've got to play to the whistle, and we just don't have that yet."
Moorhead would score the final two touchdowns of the game, bringing down a 50-yard bomb from Graham on the first play of the second quarter - making the score 20-0 - and then, in the fourth with just over seven minutes to go, ripping off a 36-yard run to paydirt.
NOTES: Along with Moorhead and Scouten, Jake Toy had nine tackles. Jared Dunnewold led Clymer with 11 tackles while teammate Garrett McAfoose had 11 and recovered a fumble. Jake Wiggers was the leading rusher in defeat, gaining 68 yards on 21 carries.