Fiscus Leads Clarion Past East Stroudsburg on Family Day

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Published September 30, 2012 4:30 am
Fiscus Leads Clarion Past East Stroudsburg on Family Day

 title=CLARION, Pa. – Clarion QB Ben Fiscus (Jr. Indiana) rushed for 167 yards and passed for 245 yards and 1 td in rallying the Golden Eagles to a 31-27 win on Saturday night against visiting East Stroudsburg.

Clarion raised its season record to 3-2 overall, while East Stroudsburg dropped to 2-2 overall.

Held at Clarion’s Memorial Stadium, the Family Day Crowd of 3,652 watched Clarion rally from a 27-17 fourth quarter deficit with two td’s in the final 7:04 to win the game.

Trailing 27-17 in the fourth quarter, Fiscus drove Clarion 80-yards in 8 plays — including hitting four of four passes for 68 yards in the drive. The final play was a 5-yard td toss to tight end Rob Irwin (Jr. Bellefonte) at 7:40 to bring the score to ESU 27 Clarion 24.

After Malik King’s (Fr. Coraopolis/Cornell) interception of an ESU pass on the next Warrior possession at the Clarion 18-yard line, the Eagles gained the pigskin with 5-minutes left in the game.

Fiscus drove Clarion 82-yards in 14-plays to win the game. The first key play in the drive came on a third and 11 at the Clarion 32. Fiscus took the snap and ran outside left end for 20 yards and a Clarion first down to the ESU 48. Later, with clarion facing a fourth and 6 at the ESU 44, Fiscus fired a strike to Aaron Barlow on a curl route at the ESU 32 and the Eagles had new life with another first down.

Fiscus then passed twice to Travis Day (Fr. Jeannette/Hempfield) for 13 yards to the ESU 19, then the Warriors were called for defensive holding, which placed the pigskin at the 9 first and goal.

Fiscus tried to hit tight end Mike Deitrick on a crossing route – in the endzone on first down – but the pass was a little high and fell incomplete. Fiscus rushed six yards to the 3 on second down — and East Stroudsburg called timeout. On third and goal at the three, the Eagles called their patented read draw. With starting running back Bobby Thomas out, Fiscus placed the ball in the stomach of Travis Day (Fr. Jeannette/Hempfield), read the end crashing toward Fiscus, and let Day have the ball. Day sprinted untouched off left guard into the endzone for the game winning score with only 27-seconds left on the clock. The Eagle defense did the rest.

“What a great win for our team,” said seventh year head coach Jay Foster. “Our defense made the big plays when they had to, and our offense is really starting to jell. Ben (Fiscus) keeps maturing and gaining more poise with each game. He’s passing the ball so much better – and that is making the running game even harder to stop. This was a big team win.”

The Golden eagles got on the board first when Clarion took the opening drive and went 76-yadrs in only 5 plays to score. Bobby Thomas (So. Reading/Exeter Twp.) scampered 25-yards to paydirt and Nathan Conway’s PAT at 12:47 had Clarion in front 7-0.

ESU jumped in front 10-7 on a Kendrick Williams 3-yard run at 2:58 of the first, then Taylor Groff kicked a 24-yard field goal with 2:17 left before intermission to lead 10-7.

Clarion tied the game 10-10 at halftime on Conway’s 19-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

ESU went ahead 17-10 when Dusty Reed caught a 23-yard td pass from Matt Soltes at 13:12 of the third quarter.

Clarion came back later in the third to tie the game 17-17. It appeared that Fiscus had scored on a 78-yard run – but an illegal block against Clarion at the ESU 12 – put the ball back to the 22. Thomas took over form there – rushing three times for 19 yards, including the final two-yard td run at 5:40 of the third quarter.

ESU went ahead 27-17 on a Taylor Groff 51-yard field goal at 1:21 of the third, and then a Thomas Tippett 1-yard td run at 10:48 of the fourth – but Clarion mounted their 14-point fourth quarter rally to win.

Clarion posted 514 yards of total offense in the game including 269 rushing and 245 passing. Fiscus rushed 22 times for 167 yards, plus hit on 19 of 30 passes for 245 yards and 1 td. Thomas finished the game with 89 yards and 2 td’s on 18 carries, while Day had 5 rushed for 13 yards and the game winning td.

Aaron Barlow (Sr. Ambridge) caught 6 passes for 69 yards, while Jon Reid (Jr. Stafford, Va.) had 5 catches for 73 yards.

The Clarion defense was led by Julian Howsare (So. Altoona), who had 8 tackles, 4 sacks and 1 fumble caused in the game. Nate Sipes (Sr. Curwensville) led with 9 tackles.

East Stroudsburg had 404 yards of offense including 148 rushing and 256 passing.

ESU QB Matt Soltes completed 17 of 32 aerials for 256 yards and 1 td, while also running for 62 yards.

Clarion returns home next Saturday to host #6 ranked California in the annual Homecoming Day game. It is ALF week in Clarion.