COLUMBIANA-SPRINGFIELD Defense kills last chance
Two sacks and an incomplete pass in the red zone sealed the victory.
By JOHN BUTERA
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- On a night when its offense was almost non-existent, Columbiana got an inspired defensive effort headed by Jerry Remish to edge Springfield 10-6.
With Remish recording four of his team's nine sacks, the Clipper (2-0) defense turned away Springfield (0-2) late in the contest as the Tigers had a first down on Columbiana's 13-yard line with 1 minute, 38 seconds remaining in the game.
"I did my best to help the team out," said Remish, "and I am glad things worked out the way they did. This was really a tough game, but our defense stuck in there and got the job done."
Field position: Field position played a key role early as Springfield started drives from its own 40, the Columbiana 43, 44 and 15-yard lines.
The Clippers started at their own 36, 5 and 9-yard lines.
The game's first big play came on the first play of the second period when on a fourth-and-12 from the Clippers' 17, Springfield quarterback Pat Birch connected on a touchdown strike to Jim McLaughlin.
The Clippers' Eric Birnesser kicked a 33-yard field goal to complete the first-half scoring and cut the deficit to 6-3.
Offensive: Neither team could put together much in that first half as Columbiana recorded just one first down and zero yards passing. Springfield moved the chains on five occasions.
Gambling on a fourth-and-2 play from the Springfield 39, Columbiana's Derek Garrod rushed for 37 yards to set up a 2-yard TD run by John Wayne Hatala.
Garrod, who had rushed for 173 yards in just one half last week, was 13-for-38 prior to his 37-yard dash.
Springfield threatened twice after the Hatala score having first downs at the Clipper 26 and later at the Columbiana 13. Both times, however, sacks by Remish thwarted the drives.
Coming up big: Hatala also recorded three sacks drawing praise from coach Bob Spaite, who said, "He maybe the best defensive lineman I have ever coached."
Spaite said, "We did everything we could to give the game to them and they almost took it. I got conservative at times and I didn't feel that I called a good game."
With 2:34 remaining, Springfield used pass receptions from Ryan Jones and Jon Vivo to help the Tigers move from their own 36 to the Clippers' 13.
Birch called his own number advancing the ball to the 8, before two sacks and incomplete pass ended the contest.
Jones also had a 25-yard punt return to help set up Springfield's lone score.