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Devon Cleghorn Scores Four Times As Maumee Tops Southview 28-14

Maumee senior cornerback Jon Bays breaks up a pass intended for senior Zech Miller during an October 6 game against Southview. Bays led the Panthers’ defense on the night with six tackles and two pass deflections. MIRROR PHOTO BY JOE NEGRICH

BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Devon Cleghorn rushed 31 times for 171 yards, four touchdowns and a two-point conversion last Friday, when Maumee’s football team defeated Southview, 28-14. “We put Devon a little deeper in the backfield, which allows him to see a little more of what’s happening at the line of scrimmage,” said Maumee football coach Marc Gibson. “It allows him to see where he might be able to bounce it – inside or outside. There’s no denying that Devon is a special talent.” Senior back Robert Caesar set up Cleghorn’s first score with first-down runs of 10 and 17 yards near the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second. Cleghorn eventually ran the ball into the Cougars’ end zone from the 8-yard line, although the Panthers were unable to get the extra-point attempt off due to a bobbled snap. Leading 6-0 with 9:40 remaining in the opening half, Maumee senior linebacker Mason Haas recovered a Southview fumble on the Cougars’ 10-yard line. Cleghorn scored on the very next play and junior kicker Kyle Robinson added the point-after to push the score to 13-0 at the 9:21 mark. The Panthers next forced Southview’s second punt on big plays by Cleghorn, Mason Haas and senior lineman Mike Haney, allowing the Maumee offense to get right back to work. The combination of a pair of long first-down runs by Cleghorn and a pair of costly Cougars penalties quickly put the Panthers on Southview’s 6-yard line, where Cleghorn scored his third touchdown with 5:04 to go. He then ran in the two-point conversion after four consecutive dead ball penalties – two by each team. That conversion, combined with additional defensive plays by Maumee’s Haney and senior cornerback Jon Bays, allowed the Panthers to take to the locker room with a 21-0 advantage. “Sometimes you have to go back and look at film to really appreciate what a kid did during the game, but I noticed during the game that Jon was a very, very tough competitor. He did a nice job.” Bays, Caesar, Mason Haas and senior linebacker Ryan Haas helped force two more Cougars punts to start the second half. Maumee marched the ball 60 yards down the field on gains by Caesar, Cleghorn and sophomore quarterback Zach Marvin but was stopped short on Southview’s 1-yard line when senior back Zech Miller broke up a potential Panthers touchdown pass in the end zone. The second Cougars punt gave Maumee the ball on the Southview 21. This time, the Panthers opted to give the ball exclusively to Cleghorn, who five plays later notched his fourth TD by plunging into the end zone from 2 yards out. Robinson’s extra point put Maumee on top 28-0 and proved to be the last point the Panthers would put on the scoreboard. To its credit, Southview responded with a surprise 30-yard pass from junior quarterback Brayton Schmidt to Miller on a fourth-and-8 situation. Freshman quarterback Nathan Taylor followed that play with a 24-yard completion to junior receiver Trevor Kruszynski before keeping the ball for an 11-yard touchdown run on the next play. Sophomore Robbie Mackinnon tacked on the point-after to cut Maumee’s lead to 21 points just 42 seconds into the fourth frame. After forcing the Panthers’ third punt of the contest with 8:26 left, the Cougars clawed their way even closer. After a successful combination of Schmidt passes and runs by Taylor and junior fullback Alex Yarrito, Southview’s junior quarterback connected with Miller on a 49-yard touchdown completion. “We gave up a couple of big plays late in the game when it was 28-0,” Gibson said. “I think our kids might have relaxed a little bit, but that’s also a testament to Southview’s kids.” While Mackinnon’s extra point brought the Cougars back within two scores, time was not on their side. Maumee was able to run the clock out on the churning legs of Cleghorn, as it improved to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Northern Lakes League play with the win. “To have four wins now, which equals the amount we had last year, with three games to go doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s nice to know that we have an opportunity to obviously better the record,” Gibson said. “We’re playing for a winning record, we’re playing for a possible playoff spot – we’re playing for a lot of things.” The game’s first quarter proved to be a defensive battle between the Panthers’ Cleghorn, Mason Haas and junior cornerback Matt Butler and Southview senior lineman Caiden Rieger, senior back Devan Singleton and junior back Chan Park. Cleghorn has now run for 798 yards and 10 touchdowns on 139 carries (5.7 yards per carry). He combined with Marvin (31 yards), Caesar (28), Mason Haas (20), junior Alec Herbster (19) and senior Caleb Brown (four) to total 271 rushing yards against the Cougars. Brown also caught two Marvin passes for 15 more yards. “Six different players carried the ball and they were all effective at times,” Gibson said. “Opponents can’t just focus on Devon because we have some other athletes that are more than capable.” Defensively, Maumee held Southview to just 53 rushing yards on the night. Bays (two pass deflections), Ryan Haas and senior lineman Brandon Phillips led the Panthers defense with six tackles apiece. Brown (forced fumble, pass deflection) and Cleghorn (sack) added five more tackles each, Mason Haas (fumble recovery, sack), Haney and senior safety Justin Schneider all posted four stops and Caesar and junior lineman Izaiah Robinson both finished with three tackles. Phillips now leads the Panthers with 49 tackles and four hurries on the season. Ryan Haas has totaled 46 tackles, two sacks, three fumble recoveries, a deflection, a forced fumble and a hurry, Schneider has 39 tackles, two interceptions and a deflection and Brown has 34 tackles, two deflections, a forced fumble, an interception and a sack. The Cougars ended up committing 11 penalties, costing them 77 yards. Schmidt completed 9-of-15 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, Miller caught three passes for 93 yards and a score, Taylor totaled 87 yards and a TD, Singleton reeled in seven passes for 55 yards and Kruszynski totaled 40 yards. Kruszynski, Park, Rieger and Yarrito joined junior end Tyler Joseph, sophomore linebacker DeAnte Armouor and classmate and back Dylan Moores with solid defensive games, despite Southview dropping to 1-6 (0-4) with the loss. Maumee will next travel to Bowling Green (3-4, 1-3), which is coming off a 22-15 loss to undefeated Northview and was ranked No. 8 in the Division III, Region 10 computer rankings heading into last week. “Bowling Green has had a lot of success over the last couple of years running the triple option,” Gibson said. “There are high expectations there. They’ve had a taste of the playoffs and want to go back. I think it’s a challenge that our kids are looking forward to. It’s going to determine where we finish in the league and it’s going to determine playoff points for both teams. It should be a pretty good one.”

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