By Tom Schultz
For the Herald
AMBOY, Ill. —
In the battle of the boats, the Fulton Steamers came up short against the Amboy Clippers on Friday night, 42-30.
A high-scoring game for both teams, 64 of the 72 points were scored in the first half.
After just the first six minutes, the game was tied at 14. The second half of the game was a complete turnaround for both teams, defensively as the Steamers were held scoreless and Amboy scored 14 points.
“I think it was very good adjustments by Amboy and good adjustments by coach (Derek) Germann and our defensive staff,” Fulton coach Patrick Lower said. “They did a nice job shutting them down.”
Amboy scored on its first play from scrimmage, handing the ball off to Gannon Ross who ran 62 yards for the touchdown. Gannon kicked the extra point but was injured on the play and did not return.
Fulton answered right back on the ensuing kickoff. Austin Manon was back deep for the Steamers and ran the ball in 82-yards for the touchdown putting the Steamers behind 7-6 after the missed two-point conversion.
“That firstsix minutes of that game was pretty interesting,” Lower said. “We return the kickoff back on a nice job by Austin Manon. We know we have a pretty good kick return there and once they kick it to him they’re taking their chance and we made them hurt on that.”
The Steamers grabbed the lead at the end of the first quarter on Manon’s second touchdown of the game, 22-14.
Amboy then took control of the rest of the second quarter as the offensive battle continued, scoring twice in three minutes on an 11-yard quarterback keeper by Tyson Powers and a 31-yard rushing touchdown from Cooper Nelson giving Amboy the 28-22 lead with 6:29 left in the half.
Led by coach Lower and his staff, the Steamers executed the next possession perfectly by marching nearly 70 yards down the field. They got three first downs and ultimately scoring on a 3-yard rush from Ethan Jones, who kept the ball on the option. The Steamers did all this while eating up 5:45 off the clock, which was what they wanted to do, hoping to go into halftime with a 30-28 lead.
Those extra 45 seconds before halftime proved deadly to the Steamers.
The Clippers only needed 40 of those seconds to march downfield 55 yards and score on a 45-yard pass from Powers to Jordan Ernst on only two plays. Amboy took the lead and the momentum into the second half, which was a defensive struggle.
AMBOY 42, FULTON 30
Fulton 22 8 0 0 — 30
Amboy 14 20 0 8 — 42
A — Gannon Ross 62 run (kick good), 11:48
F — Austin Manon 82 kickoff return (conversion failed), 11:28
A — Spencer Johnson 53 run (kick good), 10:39
F — Ethan Jones 45 run (Manon run), 8:08
F — Manon 1 run (Jones run), 1:02
A — Tyson Powers 11 run (Johnson run), 9:46
A — Cooper Nelson 31 run (conversion failed), 6:29
F — Jones 3 run (Manon run), 0:45
A — Jordan Ernst 45 pass from Powers (conversion failed), 0:05
A — Safety, 8:56
A — Johnson 9 run, 2:38