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Clawson, Mount Clemens

October 12, 2012

Clawson football team keeps playoff hopes alive, beats Mount Clemens in Week 8 battle

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Clawson football team keeps playoff hopes alive, beats Mount Clemens in Week 8 battle
Clawson's Leslie Perkinson, left, and Steven Klein kept their playoff hopes alive Oct. 12, beating Mount Clemens at home to improve to 5-3 with one game remaining.

CLAWSON — If Jim Sparks really has a team of streaks, he can only hope its on another good one now.

After starting the year with three consecutive wins, then subsequently suffering through three straight losses, the Clawson High football team is seemingly back on track, picking up its second straight victory Oct. 12 by beating Mount Clemens High 34-21 at home, and keeping its playoff hopes alive.

“This was huge,” Sparks said afterwards. Clawson is now 5-3. “To lose three in a row, to three tough teams, it really shook the confidence of these guys. But then we got a big win last week and you could start seeing it come back. Then to come out here tonight and do this was awesome.”

Mount Clemens got the scoring started on its opening drive when Marquelle Sanders scored on an 18-yard run.

Clawson answered with 5:08 remaining in the opening frame on a Ty Sparks 5-yard scoring pass to Marquian Johnson. Sparks and Johnson hooked up again in the second quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass.

But Sanders scored his second of three touchdowns on the night, giving the Battling Bathers a 14-13 lead late in the second quarter.

Clawson’s Steven Klein stole all the momentum, though, returning a punt 62 yards for a touchdown with just 33 seconds remaining in the first half.

Clawson led 20-14 at the break and never trailed again.

Sparks hit Johnson with a 31-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes into the second half, to extend the lead to 27-14.

Sanders scored on a 59-yard run late in the third quarter, but a Clawson interception by Jake Sami near his own goal line, and then near-five minute drive by the Trojans was capped with a 7-yard touchdown run by Klein late in the fourth.

“The interception was gigantic,” Jim Sparks said. “And then on that drive, Klein catches a swing pass and converts a fourth down. That was the ball game right there.”

The Trojans, which have now beaten Mount Clemens five straight seasons, opened the year with wins against Harper Woods High, Center Line High and New Haven High, before falling to Marine City High, Clinton Township Clintondale and then St. Clair Shores South Lake.

Clawson snuck out a 17-14 double-overtime win last week against Warren Lincoln to improve to 4-3, and can now claim a third straight playoff berth by beating Eastpointe East Detroit (1-6 through seven weeks) Oct. 20 on the road.

“This is a playoff team,” Jim Sparks said smiling. “We’ll be ready to go.”

Mount Clemens (2-6) closes its season Oct. 19 against Warren Woods Tower.

“I loved the effort here tonight,” coach Harold Penn said. “We just made too many mistakes, and that hurt us. We were right in it, but shot ourselves in the foot. That was the difference.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.