Clyde flies past Shelby in first round of playoffs
Nov 7, 2010 at 12:22 AM
If defense wins championships, the Clyde Fliers may be on their way to something good in the Division III playoffs.
Getting to play on their home turf in the opening round, the Region 10's number two seed put the clamps on a potent Shelby squad to come away with a 21-6 victory at Robert J. Bishop Jr. Stadium. The Fliers (10-1) move on to the regional semifinal against another Northern Ohio League power, Tiffin Columbian (10-1), which beat Columbus Eastmoor Academy, 17-14.
That matchup will be on a neutral site to be determined today.
Senior running back Gabe Gilbert scored all three Clyde touchdowns and recovered a Whippet fumble with four minutes to play to erase any doubt of a Shelby comeback. While Gilbert's solid offensive game gave the Fliers the needed points to win, perhaps more impressive was the defensive showing.
Shelby (8-3) was averaging over 300 yards rushing a game and finished the night with 121, just 35 at the half. During the season the Whippets, out of their triple option formation, averaged 8.4 yards per carry. The Fliers held them to 3.4 yards a try. Add in three recovered fumbles for Clyde and it was a dominating performance.
"We obviously didn't expect to hold them like we did," said Clyde coach Marc Gibson. "The defense has played well all year. That's why we're still playing.
"We've had teams that average 40 points a game, but are best teams are defensive. We've been averaging 10 points against us this year, and tonight six."
Gilbert was what the offense needed, complimenting quarterback Ryan Meyer's output. Gilbert scored on two six-yard runs and turned a modest pass completion into a 68-yard touchdown reception for the Fliers points.
After a scoreless first quarter, Gilbert got his first score by taking a pitch from Meyer, and followed his group of blockers into the endzone standing up.
On the first dive of the second half he hauled in a Meyer pass at the Whippet 46, was met by defensive back Zach Strine but quickly dispatched him, and then outran several other Shelby defenders to paydirt.
Gilbert's final score came with Clyde up 14-6 in the fourth quarter. With just over five minutes left, he took a handoff to his right, stiff-armed a would-be tackler at the four, and snuck in over the goal line just inside the near pylon.
His final score put the game out of reach, and sealed it with his fumble recovery.
"Our seniors, they all stepped up," Gibson said. "We came in with a great game plan, but obviously, with a great game plan you need great players."
Shelby coach Chris Solis talked about the mistakes his team made.
"You've got to take care of the little things," said Solis in explaining the loss. "You've got to eliminate mistakes. We couldn't get a rhythm offensively.
"Their personnel was a little better than ours, and sometimes that's what it comes down to."
Shelby 0 0 6 0 -- 6
Clyde 0 7 7 7 -- 21
C -- Gabe Gilbert 6 run (Jordan Colson kick)
C --Gilbert 68 pass from Ryan Meyer (Colson kick)
S -- Will Lance 11 pass from Zach Strine (kick failed)
C -- Gilbert 6 run (Colson kick)
First Downs 10 13
Rushes-Yards 36-121 37-195
Passing-Yards 83 127
Comp-Att-Int 5-15-0 7-15-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 2-1
Penalties-Yards 4-25 4-26
Shelby -- Strine 15-55, Lance 13-44, Denver Burks 5-7, Zach Yates 3-15. Clyde -- Gilbert 3-10, Meyer 19-106, Brad Smith 1-1, Colson 8-55, Adam Turner 6-23.
Shelby -- Strine 5-15-0-1. Clyde -- Meyer 5-17-0-1.
Shelby -- Yates 2-53, Burks 1-10, Lance 1-11, Jake Bammerlin 1-9. Clyde -- Mac Wilkerson 2-18, Colson 1-5, Gilbert 2-87, Dustin Patten 1-12, Turner 1-5.