CLEARFIELD Both Bountiful and Clearfield experienced disappointing losses last week. As a result, both teams entered Friday's contest feeling as though they had something to prove.
Unfortunately for Clearfield, Bountiful's urge to prove something was just a little bit stronger as they shut out the Falcons by a score of 17-0.
In the beginning, it appeared that the Braves had forgotten all about last week's offensive struggles by opening the game with a textbook drive led by starting senior quarterback Drew Miner.
With a heavy dose of handoffs to running back Mike Fabrizio, it seemed the Braves were going to score easily. The drive, however, went for 12 plays and 64 yards but resulted in a missed field goal, leaving the Braves still searching for their first points of the season.
Fabrizio finished the night with 15 carries for 54 yards.
The pressure for Bountiful to score continued, however.
"We didn't score last week and we just needed to get some points on board," Bountiful coach Larry Wall said.
But Bountiful wasn't alone in the missed-opportunity category in the first quarter. Clearfield looked as though it was going to strike first when defensive back Alex Nelson recovered a Bountiful fumble inside the 20-yard line. But as luck would have it, two plays later the Braves forced and recovered a fumble.
With the second quarter consisting of punting back and forth to each other entirely, the game remained scoreless going into the half.
The tone didn't change in the third quarter right away as the first three possessions resulted in punts. With 6:13 left in the third quarter, there was still no score but Bountiful found itself with great field position after a short Clearfield punt.
After an 8-yard gain by running back Mitch Johnson, the Braves got on the board with a 36-yard field goal by Joe Lake to go up 3-0.
When asked about the Braves first points of the season, Wall simply replied, "You need to break the ice and get off the snide and get those points."
The score remained 3-0 after three quarters.
Bountiful was determined to not waste any more opportunities as was evident by a 15-play drive to start the fourth quarter. The drive marched 79 yards and ate up 7:23 of the clock. Running back Mitch Johnson punched in a 1-yard run to put the Braves up 10-0. Johnson finished the game with 15 carries for 46 yards.
With 6:43 left in the fourth quarter and the ball on its 20-yard line, Clearfield's Kolton Young was intercepted by linebacker Andrew Welling. He then ran it in untouched for the touchdown.
Bountiful's defense kept Clearfield in check all night. Not only did the Braves accumulate seven sacks, but they also forced Clearfield to punt eight times and fumble twice.