WENDELL — In what turned out to be a far cry from the first two installments of a blooming rivalry, Clayton managed to do just enough to earn a hard fought 16-14 victory over Corinth Holders.
Jace Brown’s two short rushing touchdowns helped the Comets answer each of the Pirates’ two scoring drives but it was a Nick Christiansen 38-yard field goal with 4:36 left in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in the back-and-forth contest.
Brown, who ended the game with 100 yards on 23 carries, plowed in from four yards out early in the fourth quarter but a fumble on the Comets’ two-point conversion attempt prevented the Comets from taking the lead and left the score 14-13.
However, the Clayton defense stepped up to force a three-and-out on the Pirates’ next possession to get the ball back.
Six plays later, after Clayton was stopped on third down, Nick Chrsistansen connected from 38 yards out to give the Comets the lead.
“That’s purely a Clayton tradition win,” said Clayton coach Randy Pinkowski. “These are the types of games that get you ready for conference play and for the playoffs.
Corinth Holders grabbed the lead midway through the second quarter on a 13-play, 82-yard drive that Cole Sakowski capped off when he found Tori Carmichael for a six-yard touchdown pass on 4th and goal.
Clayton responded in similar fashion on its next drive with a 14-play, 83-yard drive that culminated with a Jace Brown short touchdown plunge from two yards out and 18 seconds left in the first half.
Butler Collins gave the Pirates the lead once again at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a six-yard rushing touchdown before Brown answered.