By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
VAN HORNE– The long drought of wins continued for the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers last Friday evening as they went on the road to Benton Community and fell 23-20 in the closest game of the season.
The Bobcats scored in the fourth quarter to take the lead and a potential winning CCA score was wiped out by penalty in the closing minutes.
Nash Stopko scored on a 47-yard run in the first to tie the game after an early Benton Community touchdown. On Benton’s 47-yard line, quarterback Dillon Villhauer attempted a rush, but ended up throwing a lateral to Stopko for the touchdown.
Stopko then recovered a Benton fumble and hauled it 75 yards to give CCA a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A 3-yard run gave the Bobcats another touchdown with 6:36 to go in the half, and the good PAT kick made it a 14-13 ballgame favoring the home team. The Clippers retook the lead on a Villhauer bomb to Tanner Bandy for 53 yards and a touchdown. Sedlacek’s kick was good and CCA had a 20-14 lead which held through the third quarter.
In the final period, the Bobcats picked up a safety, narrowing the gap to four points with 7:16 left to play. The kick-off went out of bounds and the ball was subsequently placed on the CCA 45 yard line. While it looked like Clipper defense was going to force Benton to go three and out, the Bobcats struck on fourth down and 7 yards to go with a 42-yard pass for the winning touchdown. The PAT was good and CCA was left with 5:36 to either tie or win.
With 1:56 remaining in the ballgame, Villhauer began the Clippers’ last drive with a 4-yard pass to Moore from their own 25 yard line. An incomplete pass to Moore on second down led to Villhauer scrambling 71 yards to score what could have been the winning touchdown.
If not for a penalty.
A holding call negated the touchdown and moved the Clippers back 6 yards to the CCA 35 yard line. Villhauer had five incomplete passes, scrambled three times and was sacked once in a desperate bid to get back to the end zone.
With 24 seconds remaining, the Bobcats took the ball over on downs, and took a knee to end the night.
Villhauer was the leading rusher with 11 carries for 55 yards while Stopko carried twice for 43 yards. Villhauer completed 9-25 passes for 115 yards with two interceptions. Bandy caught four passes for 64 yards, Stopko got two for 36 and Moore had two for eight yards while Andrew Beckler caught one for seven.
Defensively, Jared Ganschow led with 21 total tackles, Jonathan Nzombo had 19, Moore was credited with 18 and Jake Swenka had 15.
The loss dropped CCA to 0-7 in Class 3A District 6 with Williamsburg and Mt. Vernon yet to be faced.
The Clippers will meet the Raiders Friday night at home.