LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. — The Clinton Warriors played catch-up for most of the afternoon Saturday but grabbed an 18-14 win when quarterback Brandon Broccoli ran for the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
A turnover led to Broccoli’s touchdown which came with 2:59 left to play. Broccoli helped seal the win when he intercepted a Little Falls pass one minute later.
“They made a few key plays late,” Little Falls coach Bryan Shepardson said, “and that ended up being the difference.”
Trailing 14-12, the Warriors (1-1, 1-1 C East) drove into Little Falls territory at the end of the third quarter and started the fourth with a first down at the Mounties’ 20. Three passes fell incomplete in the end zone and Clinton turned the ball over on downs.
Little Falls moved the ball out near midfield but gave the ball back to the visitors when a lateral pass from quarterback Brian Ewanyk went off the hands of Will Robinson and Warrior Firestar Gomez pounced on the loose ball before in reached the sideline.
Broccoli tucked the ball away on fourth down from the Little Falls 24 and ran for a first down. Two runs netted the Warriors a loss of one yard before Broccoli scrambled out of the shot gun again and ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
Broccoli had thrown touchdown passes of 11 and seven yards to William Jerrett earlier in the game but Clinton went 0-for-3 on two-point conversion tries.
Little Falls (0-2, 0-2 C East), shut out by Sherburne-Earlville in its opener, needed just more than two minutes to put its first points on the board. Tyler Wallace, who had thrown a 50-yard pass to Robinson on a trick play earlier in the drive, was on the receiving end of Ewanyk’s 15-yard touchdown pass.
“We needed to start fast after last week,” Shepardson said. “That fast start carried us for a while.”
The initial scoring drive lasted all of five plays with three runs netting zero yards. On second down at midfield, Travis Dawley took a handoff from Ewanyk then handed the ball to Wallace coming around the left end of the line. Wallace threw the ball down the right sideline for the big gain. After two more runs left the Mounties facing third-and-13, Ewanyk lofted a pass into the left side of the end zone and Wallace outjumped two defenders to make the catch.
The Mounties led 7-6 before Ewanyk ran seven yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. The score followed the first of two Devin Dawley interceptions and capped a drive starting at the Clinton 35. The Warriors committed two pass interference penalties on the drove and their sideline was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the first. The double penalty moved the Mounties from the 35-yard line to the 10 following a pass intended for Wallace.
Page 2 of 2 - On third-and-goal from the 5, the Mounties were penalized for holding but Clinton was called for pass interference again on the next play and Ewanyk scored on Little Falls’ third crack at third-and-goal.
“There were a lot of good things I saw out there today,” Shepardson said, “a lot of stuff to build off of.”
Broccoli completed 11 of his 23 passes for 139 yards and was intercepted three times for the Warriors who were winless in Class C South play the last two years and had an 11-game league losing streak, including a Week 1 Class C East loss to Holland Patent. Mackenzie Moquin ran for a team-high 70 yards on 12 carries.
Next up for the Mounties is a trip to Utica Saturday to take on the Notre Dame Jugglers who earned their first win Saturday with a last-second touchdown against Holland Patent.
CLINTON 18, LITTLE FALLS 14
Clinton 0 6 6 6 — 18
Little Falls 7 7 0 0 — 14
LF — Tyler Wallace 15 pass from Brian Ewanyk (Miller Tooley kick), 9:45.
CLIN —William Jerrett 11 pass from Brandon Broccoli (pass failed), 5:31.
LF — Ewanyk 7 run (Tooley kick), :51.6.
CLIN — Jerrett 7 pass from Broccoli (pass failed), 2:28.
CLIN — Broccoli 13 run (pass failed), 2:59.
Records — Clinton 1-1, 1-1 C East; Little Falls 0-2, 0-2 C East.