By Brandon judeh
Forty-three points in the first quarter set the tone for Crestview’s 37-33 thrilling victory over Columbiana on Thursday at Firestone Park.
Clippers senior Britton Steiginga made two spectacular runs. His first was a 59-yard dash through the right side of the line for an early lead.
Then after the Rebels’ Nick Blower scored on a 3-yard run, Steiginga produced a 54-yard score off of an end-around play to put Columbiana up, 15-7.
Crestview answered back quickly when Blower found the end zone on a 5-yard scamper. A successful two-point conversion tied the game at 15.
One minute later, the Clippers answered back on a Nate Huk quarterback keeper that gave his team a short-lived lead.
With 22 seconds left in the first quarter, Matt Hardenbrook put the Rebels on top with a blistering 30-yard touchdown run. While the first quarter was a demonstration in good offense, the second quarter was the opposite.
The only score came at the 8:06 mark when, once again, the 145-pound Steiginga broke through the line and ran past four defenders on his way to a 64-yard run.
Steiginga averaged 20.75 yards per-carry on his way to 249 yards rushing and three touchdowns. But the second half was all Crestview as the Rebels outscored Columbiana 15-7. The turning point came at the 6:40 mark in the third quarter when Huk fumbled the snap and a Rebel defender fell on the ball at the Clippers 12 yard line.
On the next play, quarterback Collin Gilbert rushed up the middle for Crestview’s 30-27 lead.
Exactly one minute later, Columbiana answered back as running back Brandon Hacker bulldozed his way into the end zone to put the Clippers up by three. It was their last lead.
Blower punched one in from 5 yards out to put the Rebels up for good. The Clippers had a chance to regain the lead early in the fourth quarter after a Steiginga 62-yard run moved them to the 1 yard line.
The Crestview defensive line stepped up. It was four plays and out for the Clippers.
Hacker had 16 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown; he also had the team’s only reception. Despite only completing one pass, Huk chipped in with 58 yards rushing for the Clippers. Crestview’s Blower led the way with 105 yards on the ground.