OBSERVER Staff Report
SOUTH DAYTON - Two costly second-quarter turnovers doomed Pine Valley (1-5) in Friday's 32-6 loss to Clymer (5-1) in a Class DD high school football clash.
Clymer's Jake Wiggers provided all the offense in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown plunge and then a 75-yard punt return for a score.
"A lot of the problem in the first half was missed assignments," Pine Valley coach Chris Buczek said. "They weren't playing the scheme that we set up in practice all week."
The Panthers were able to steal some momentum and cut into the lead when Josh Kilburn found the end zone from 8 yards out early in the second quarter.
Kilburn finished with 26 carries for 127 yards. He was also the defensive leader with 10 tackles.
Down 12-6, Pine Valley was able to get the ball back deep in its own end and started to drive its way back down the field. After a long gain, the Panthers fumbled and Clymer jumped on top of the ball.
"That was huge," Buczek added. "It turned the second quarter around. If we just fall there and don't fumble that, we have all the momentum."
The Pirates capitalized on the takeaway with a Connor Payne 4-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was good, putting Clymer up 20-6.
Payne carried the ball 17 times for 89 yards. Wiggers was Clymer's offensive leader with 17 carries for 135 yards.
On Pine Valley's next possession, the Pirates defense again forced a big turnover - this time an interception.
Once again, Clymer's offense was able to make the most of the short field and Wiggers took the ball in from 1 yard out to boost the lead to 26-6.
That remained the score at halftime as last week's win over Forestville became a distant memory for Pine Valley.
"We moved the ball pretty well on them," Buczek pointed out. "We were putting stuff together, we just couldn't finish it off. (Clymer) won the field position game big time."
Neither team put points on the scoreboard in the third quarter, but in the fourth quarter Clymer added to its lead on a 5-yard touchdown from Tom Heiser.
Despite the lopsided loss, Buczek is pleased with the effort his team put forth in this game and all season long.
"The kids came out real excited this week," he said. "They worked hard. The offensive line is doing way better than they were in the beginning of the season. We're a dynamic team if we don't make mistakes."
Pine Valley closes the season next week at home against Panama. Clymer will host Cassadaga Valley in a non-league game.