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Bald Eagles fall in last minute to fiesty Clearfield team

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – Friday night the Bald Eagle Area football team came primed and ready to keep its unbeaten streak alive as they hosted the 5-1 Clearfield team in a Friday night prime time Laurel Highlands gem.

Mother Nature decided that she wanted to be a part of the competition as well, sending heavy down pours from the first until the end of the contest.

With all those obstacles, the Eagles were not going to down without a fight but night belonged to the Bison in a 13-7 in a quagmire.

“I thought it was a great football game. They (Clearfield) did a lot of good things against us defensively. We wish the rain didn’t happen. I think the rain was a factor. But there’s no excuses ,” said Bald Eagle Area coach Jesse Nagle. “They played a nice football game tonight. Hats off to them. I think our kids learned tonight. I told them in there that you either win or you learn. Tonight we learned.”

The game would come down to one late drive.

Trailing 13-7 with just a little over a minute left, Bald Eagle was looking to pick up its first home win against Clearfield in quite some time.

With 1:04 left, the Eagles started their drive with the ball at the 26.

Quarterback, Carson Nagle went right to work, first finding Gavin Burns on a 6-yard pick up as he quickly got out of bounds.

Facing 2nd and 4 from the 33, Nagle hit found Cam Watkins on a short catch, good enough for a first down on their own 40.

To save time from running off the clock, Nagle intentionally grounded the ball, with 42 ticks left on the clock.

Facing 2nd and 10, Nagle found Nick Wible on a sidelines route, good for a nine-yard catch.

Nagle again found Gavin Burns. Burns dove out of bounds for the catch, dragging his toes in bounds before getting out of bounds and picking up a crucial first down.

Bald Eagle had 31 ticks still left on the clock as they crossed into the Bison side of the field. Nagle again hit Gavin Burns again in stride on an another sideline catch, resting out of bounds on their opponents 34.

On 2nd and 10, Nagle looked to have his throw picked off as his receiver was held up. But the referees nullified the turnover due to a pass interference call, setting the Eagles up on a first down on the 14.

Bald Eagle would get to the nine with still 16 seconds left.

Then Clearfield forced a turnover ending the Eagles threat, sending them home with the victory.

In the third quarter, Clearfield started to make some noise. On its second possession of the quarter, the Bison started with the ball at midfield.

Brady Collins finished off the drive scoring on an end around late in the third, tying the contest at seven.

Tied at seven, Clearfield got the ball with 4:55 on the clock.

The Bison marched their way down the field going on a 12-play scoring drive. Twice, the Bison had faced fourth down but was able to convert both times.

With 1:09 left in the game, quarterback Will Domico found Carter Freeland for the go ahead touchdown.

On the PAT, Wible blocked the kick, making it a 13-7 contest. That would set up the Eagles for their last offensive drive attempt.

Earlier in the game, Wible block a field goal, keeping the Bison off the scoreboard.

In the first half, the Eagles were able to get the ball and roll down field.

However, the Clearfield defense came up big when it had to.

Then the rains came down and the field started getting sloppy. Each team has a chance to score early on

The Eagles defense forced a punt late in the second quarter and would give their offense some great field position due to a bad snap and a punt that went for only four yards.

With 2:09 left in the first half, the Eagles were able to put a score on the board as Cameron Dubbs rumbled in from two yards out to post the touchdown. With the Kaden Burns kick, the Eagles enjoyed a 7-0 advantage.

When the Eagles went into the intermission, they held off a small drive late by the Bison.

Bald Eagle is back in action Saturday as they face Greater Johnstown.

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