Long Time Coming

Clymer/Sherman/Panama Dominates Maple Grove, 55-20

Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Mitchell Hovey sacks Maple Grove quarterback Carson Crist during Friday night’s Class D football game. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

The players and fans of Clymer/Sherman/Panama football have waited a long while to celebrate on the sidelines at Dutch Hollow Road, but following a 55-20 win by the Wolfpack over host Maple Grove on Friday night the moment finally came.

Picking up a 20-7 lead in the first quarter after a pair of slick throws by quarterback Gerrit Hinsdale provided the opening two touchdowns of the night, Ty Harper’s team rode a potent rushing attack and stout defense the rest of the way to victory.

Hugs all around and an ice-water bath for the coach who made it finally happen were in order.

“Any time you are able to come away with a win against a program like Maple Grove it’s obviously huge,” Harper said. “As individual programs I know that Sherman and Panama have never beaten Maple Grove, and Clymer had not beaten them since Jehuu (Caulcrick) was playing back in 2002. It’s been a while and I think you kind of saw that with the reaction to it after the game. People were really excited.”

It was a 22-yard throw to Michael Beatman on a check-down screen to the left side of the field that gave the Wolfpack a 7-0 lead with an extra point, allowing the Red Dragons their first offensive series of the day.

Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Derek Ecklund fields a kickoff during Friday night’s Class D football game against Maple Grove. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

After beginning with good field position following an out-of-bounds kickoff, Maple Grove’s offense would stall on that drive, with the hosts ultimately turning the ball over on downs following an incomplete pass.

Hinsdale made the most of that opportunity, finding Chance Meeder on a play-action pass from 4 yards out for the second score of the night.

“Obviously that wasn’t a good performance by us,” Maple Grove coach Justin Hanft said. “I think we are a better football team than that. We didn’t execute. The good thing is that being a small division, we get to come back and face this team again in a few weeks. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and look at what we did wrong and make some corrections.”

While it was Hinsdale’s poise in the pocket that gave Clymer/Sherman/Panama a cushion, the real story of the night was the rushing attack that kept the offense rolling.

Finding space behind an offense line that has looked dominant through the first two weeks, the Wolfpack racked up 369 rushing yards while being particularly effective setting blocks on the edge of the field.

“I think the common denominator, it’s gotta be the offensive line. They just did an incredible job of opening holes all night,” Harper said.

Some creative play-calling pulled Maple Grove back within striking distance, as Easton Tanner took a handoff in the backfield at 5:43 of the first quarter and tossed a 63-yard pass to Zach Hendrick down the right side to make it a one-score contest.

But that burst of life from the hosts was short-lived, as the Wolfpack rattled off four unanswered touchdowns through the second and third quarters.

Amongst those scoring plays were a 10-yard run from Ecklund that included a shucked defender near the goal line, a 50-yard jet-sweep from John Swabik on his only carry of the game, a 5-yard bruising run from Ecklund and a 16-yard run from Mitchell Hovey.

“Our playmakers just did a great job tonight,” Harper said. “Derek Ecklund ran the ball outstanding. John Swabik I think carried the ball one time and scored. Michael Beatman was great. It’s really a tribute to those guys. Mitchell Hovey did a great job when he carried the ball.”

Zeph Cochran added the final score of the game for the guests, banging home a 6-yard run late in the game.

Of course the Wolfpack defense did its fair share of work against a Maple Grove offense that put up 51 points in Week 1.

Hovey racked up three sacks and a blocked punt in addition to five tackles as Clymer/Sherman/Panama held Maple Grove to 221 yards of offense.

“A couple of times they caught us in a defenses that probably weren’t appropriate for that type of play, so that’s on me and I told my kids that,” Hanft said. “There were a few times when we weren’t keeping the game small, making our reads and keys like we are supposed to, like we did last week.”

NOTES: Taige Jones grabbed Maple Grove’s final touchdown of the night on a 1-yard carry. … Ecklund finished with 99 yards on nine carries while Beatman grabbed 64 yards on eight attempts. Hinsdale threw for 126 on 10 completions. … Tanner ran for 82 yards on 10 attempts while Carson Crist threw for 73 yards on completions with an interception. … Ayden Reagle grabbed 11 tackles in the loss, as did Daren Vaillancourt and Caleb Roller.


MAPLE GROVE 7 0 6 7 — 20

C/S/P–Beatman 22 pass from Hinsdale (McClelland kick)

C/S/P–Meeder 4 pass from Hinsdale (kick failed)

MG–Hendrick 63 pass from Tanner (Hendrick kick)

C/S/P–Ecklund 10 run (McClelland kick)

C/S/P–Swabik 50 run (McClelland kick)

C/S/P–Ecklund 5 run (McClelland kick)

C/S/P–Hovey 16 run (McClelland kick)

MG–Tanner 6 run (pass failed)

C/S/P–Cochran run 6 (McClelland kick)

MG–Jones 1 run (Hendrick kick)