CLEWISTON — The Clewiston Tigers bounced back from last week’s heartbreaking loss to Calvary Christian Academy by shutting out the Archbishop McCarthy High School Mavericks 36-0 on Oct. 9 in Clewiston.
Archbishop’s coach, Byron Walker, is a cousin of Clewiston coach Pete Walker, so there was a little familiarity between the two teams ahead of last week’s match-up.
Unlike their plan early on in the loss to Calvary Christian, the Tigers got off to a fast start against the Mavericks.
“We wanted to come out strong from the very beginning,” said Pete Walker. “We started off slow last week and put ourselves in a hole. We played a great second half of football and then came up short. If that didn’t happen, it might have been a different story. Great learning experience for us. We just went back to basics and put a good, hard week of work in.”
After a big punt return by senior Oran Singleton to around midfield, the Tigers offense got to work. After a holding penalty pushed them back, Clewiston senior Dawnya Washington cut across the Maverick defense and broke free for the first Tiger touchdown of the game. Singleton took the ball in on the two-point conversion attempt to make it 8-0 early in the first quarter.
On the following possession, the Tiger defense stood strong and forced a Maverick punt. Once again, Singleton performed a full-on return on the punt — this time, taking the ball to the house. But a holding call on the return negated his touchdown and put Clewiston back on their 33-yard line. There have been multiple times this season when Singleton has threated to score on a punt return, only to have the return called back on a penalty. If the Tigers can clean that up, they’ll be that much more of a dangerous of a team, especially with the playoffs looming.
Sophomore Jaiden Washington played a big role in the following Tigers offensive drive. Jaiden broke multiple tackles on back-to-back plays to set the Tigers up on the 20-yard line of Archbishop. One play later, junior James Edwards got into the end zone on a counter running play. Following the extra point by senior Josue Gonzalez, the Tigers lead 15-0 with three minutes left in the first.
After that fast start, the rest of the game was all Clewiston.
“I think both teams did what we thought we were going to do,” said Pete Walker after the game. “They tried to run the football. And after we were able to stop the run, they tried to go to the pass a little bit and we felt like that was a strength for us.”
Next, the 3-1 Tigers host the 3-1 Cardinal Newman Crusaders at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16.