AMBOY – Despite numerous mistakes by Eastland-Pearl City, the Amboy-LaMoille Clippers dropped a 26-16 decision to E-PC in the Clippers’ football home opener on Aug. 31 at the AHS field.
After the Wildcatz scored a touchdown at the 7:45 mark of the first quarter, the Clippers got on the board when an E-PC punt attempt resulted in a long snap over the punter’s head and through the back of the end zone for a safety to make it 6-2.
Amboy-LaMoille grabbed the lead early in the second period when Hunter Zimmerly gathered in a 12-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Mitchell McLaughlin. The extra-point kick by Mario Carvahol made it 9-6. The big play of the drive was a 37-yard connection between McLaughlin and Marcus Winn.
But Eastland-Pearl City responded to take the lead on a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:54 on the first-half clock, and the two teams headed to halftime intermission with the Wildcatz in front, 12-9.
The back-and-forth game went back in the Clippers’ favor when it parlayed an E-PC fumble into a 34-yard touchdown pass from McLaughlin to Winn, followed by a Carvahol kick to make it 16-12.
But the Wildcatz responded with a 26-yard touchdown run on their ensuing possession to take the lead for good, 20-16.
E-PC intercepted a Clipper pass on a tipped ball early in the fourth frame and turned that into a 1-yard touchdown run to put the game away.
McLaughlin completed five passes for 92 yards and a pair of TDs for the Clippers, who fell to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the Northwest Upstate Illini.
Amboy-LaMoille will return to action on Friday, Sept. 7 when it travels to Savanna to take on West Carroll. The freshman-sophomore kickoff is a 5:30 p.m.