CLYDE — Knocking your rival out of postseason contention is a very gratifying feeling. For Clyde-Savannah they experienced that gratifying feeling on a muddy Nicholas Dercola Field on Friday night as they blanked longtime rival Lyons 36-0, earning a berth in the Section V Class D tournament.
“Relief,” Golden Eagles coach Stephen Record said with joyous laughter. “We’re much better than a 2-5 team. We just couldn’t pull four quarters together. Now that we don’t like losing and we know how to win again, that’s really helped us focus on what we wanted to do — and we really wanted to make sectionals.”
Clyde-Savannah got off to a strong start as senior Noah Rattray hauled in a 29-yard touchdown reception from Steven Dunn. Rattray also added touchdowns from 7 and 22 yards out later in the game. Junior running back Camden Chance finished the quarter off with an 84-yard touchdown, part of his 243-yard performance.
“Noah has been our MVP all year long on offense,” Record added. “He hasn’t missed a game. He puts his head down, runs, and gets the hard yards. Noah is just a grind it out, hard to tackle, give you those yards between the tackles. He has great leadership.”
The Golden Eagles went into the locker room at halftime with a 28-0 advantage as junior Brandon Baker ran it in from 16-yards out. Clyde-Savannah took advantage of the muddy field conditions as they were in the backield all night long as the team registered five tackles for losses and three sacks.
Lyons was led by senior running back Amir James who rushed for 48 yards on 18 attempts. On the defensive side of the ball Vonderick Burk led the charge with nine tackles.
It also marked the end of an era as longtime coach Randy Wadhams officially announced his retirement. He posted a 52-51 record over a 17-year span. Wadhams plans on spending time with his 5-month-old grandson, Quamell.
“The kids played hard,” Wadhams said. “Going into the season I thought we had a good shot. If somebody told me that we were going to be 1-6, I would’ve laughed at them. We got dinged up early and never really got healthy. Then we had some discipline problems and we just kept mushrooming after that.”
For Record, he was happy to get a win over Lyons — especially after the team lost 52-22 last season.
“I love the rivalry games,” Record said. “It was redemption from last year. I was on the staff last year and they beat us pretty handily. Even though we were both 1-5 headed into this one, they (Lyons) always give us the best no matter what. They come out and play us hard.
“I was glad to see they still had a lot of fight in them. Even though both of us weren’t doing that well overall, it was good to see the fight in them. It brought back a little bit of the glory days when we were pounding on each other and we were both top teams, and it was fun again.”