News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC
After three quarters of play, Clearwater-Orchard's football team had an upset bid well within it's reach. However, turnovers in the final quarter of play ended the hopes of finishing as they Cyclones fell to Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing 52-28.
The Cyclones played well in the first half but were only able to put one score, a 34-yard strike from Chris Kester to Travis Kerkman, on the bored to go into halftime down 22-6.
However, from the opening kick of the second half, the Cyclones stormed back to push the undefeated Renegades to the edge of an upset. Creston Bertschinger had a big 78-yard return of the opening kickoff of the second half to set up a one-yard Kester touchdown run. CWCE then added another score to push their lead to 28-14 before a pair of touchdown passes from Kester to Bertschinger, the second on an athletic grab in which Bertschinger was forced to reach over the defender, tied the game up at 28 going into the fourth quarter.
While the Cyclones seemed to have all the momentum, CWCE quickly took that all away when a Kester fumble was recovered in the end zone by Logan Pelster for a score. Kester was then picked off by the Renegades to set up a short Carter Croxen touchdown run before Croxen connected with Connor Croxen on a 58-yard touchdown pass to seal the win.
Kester had a strong game from his quarterback spot, going 12 of 27 for 185 yards and three touchdowns. However, he also threw three interceptions on the night.
His primary target on the night was Bertschinger, who hauled in six grabs for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Kerkman added a touchdown of his own on one of his two catches. Junior Kirby Willats made several clutch catches, bringing in four grabs for 73 yards.
The Clearwater-Orchard defense was stout for much of the night, with five players recording double-digit tackles, led by Kerkman's 18. Bertschinger added 16 tackles, Ryan Wilhelm was credited with 13 and Kester had 11. Willats added 10 tackles of his own for the Cyclones. The defensive line spent plenty of time in the Renegades' backfield, led by Wilhelm's two sacks. Clay Thiele added a sack and a half and Dominic Bolling was credited with a partial sack on the night.
The loss drops the Cyclones to 2-6 on the season. With a playoff spot still within reach, Clearwater-Orchard will have to await the results of the Friday night games before finding out there fate for the postseason.