Two-point conversion is snuffed out as Summit comes up a point short
LAKEWOOD – The Summit High School football fans who made the trip to Trailblazer Stadium Saturday morning were ecstatic when the Tigers broke their five-week scoring drought late in the fourth quarter.
But six points didn’t excite the Tigers much because their opponent, Jefferson, had seven. And Summit now has its fifth loss of the season.
“For the kids, a loss is a loss,” Summit coach Rob Royer said after Saturday’s 7-6 loss. “It was a big relief, but still, scoring a touchdown is nothing like winning a game.”
Ryan Clift started at quarterback for the first time since middle school and drove the Tigers to the long-awaited touchdown with just 50 seconds left in the game.
The score came on a throw from Clift to opening-day starting QB Preston Johnson. Clift found Johnson in the far left corner of the end zone from 18 yards out.
Royer had little choice but to go for the win on a two-point conversion attempt, because kicker John Wheeler was injured.
So with its scoring drought out of the way, Summit went to work on ending its four-game losing streak. But Jefferson was also desperate for a win – coming into its homecoming game at 1-4 – and the Saints sent everything they had at Summit on the play.
Clift was supposed to fake a handoff then bootleg to the left corner, but he was swarmed under before he could even get the fake off.
“They blitzed everybody,” he said. “They got me before I could even take a step.”
The switch to Clift at quarterback was one of a handful of changes Summit made offensively. John Rutter, who continues to shine at linebacker, volunteered for offensive-line duty when some starters could not practice this week. Fellow senior Aaron Bork did the same.
The changes proved effective in the first half as Jack St. John rolled up 75 yards on his way to 94 in the game.
St. John’s tough inside runs, including one that went for 33 yards, spearheaded a first-half drive that took the Tigers to Jefferson’s 3-yard line. But the problems that have plagued the Tigers through this five-game winless streak cropped up again. A motion penalty on Clift led to an interception in the end zone by Saints safety (and quarterback) Gerald Sloan. Summit had nine penalties and three turnovers in the game.
Summit’s defense once again kept the Tigers in the game, giving them a chance to win at the end. Mike Allard was in on three sacks, and Summit allowed only two pass completions in the game.
The only damage the Saints could do came from Sloan on the ground. His 15-yard quarterback draw on third down in the third quarter put the Saints at the 2-yard line. After Summit held its ground for three plays, Sloan finally punched it in on fourth down, breaking the scoreless tie with four minutes to go in the third.
Down 7-0, Summit’s offense kicked into gear in the fourth quarter. The Tigers followed Jefferson’s scoring drive with a 60-yard drive of their own, punctuated by Clift’s end-around runs. That drive ended on a sack on fourth down. A second fourth-quarter drive went down to the Saints’ 7-yard line but ended on a Clift fumble. Clift gained a total of 41 yards rushing, with most coming in the fourth quarter.
“Nobody quit,” Clift said. “It wasn’t really a matter of if we scored or not. We just gave it all we had, and I’m really proud of the guys for that.”
Summit (1-5) hosts Sheridan next Friday on parent appreciation night. Sheridan is also 1-5, and the Tigers beat Sheridan 40-0 last year.
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