Gaels look to extend their winning streak.
CLINTON - The Clinton High School football team, riding a two-game winning streak for the first time this season, looks to make it three in a row this Saturday.
The Gaels, 3-5 on the season, will travel to Upton to take on 6-2 Nipmuc Regional. The kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Nipmuc, which shares no opponents with the Gaels, is coming off a 25-0 victory over North. The Warriors are averaging 31.1 points a game on offense, while giving up an average of 20.1 on defense.
Clinton is averaging 19.8 points on offense, but has scored over 30 points in each of its last two contests. Both games were victories over teams with winning records.
The Gaels have given up an average of 24.4 points per game.
Last Friday night, Clinton overcame Tyngsboro, 36-21, dropping the Tigers to 5-3. Clinton finished at 3-3 in the Midland-Wachusett League C Division, while Tyngsboro is 1-3 in the loop.
"It was a statement game," Clinton senior captain Zach Kane said. "We came in at 2-5 and beat a team with a 5-2 record.
"We played a tough team and played tough," he said.
Clinton drew first blood by scoring on its first possession.
On third and goal from the Tyngsboro 11-yard line, junior quarterback Kyle Cutler passed to senior TJ Andrews for a touchdown.
The two-point attempt failed, but the Gaels led, 6-0, with 6:38 to go in the first quarter.
The Tigers answered, scoring on a 30-yard pass from senior quarterback Garrett Glavin to senior Stephen Jacobs at the 1:12 mark of the first frame.
Tyngsboro then took its only lead of the game, 7-6, on a successful point-after kick by freshman Austin Coene.
The rest of the half belonged to Clinton.
After a 22-yard kickoff return by sophomore Ronye Noel, the Gaels took over the ball at their own 40-yard line.
Clinton proceeded to march down the field, gaining first downs on rushes by senior captains Luis Feliz and Michael Bradley, and a 25-yard pass from Cutler to Andrews.
On second and goal from the 10, Cutler took to the air again, finding senior tight end Jon Bradway in the end zone for a touchdown.
Cutler hooked up with Bradley on the two-point conversion, and the Gaels led, 14-7, with 7:05 to go in the half.
The two teams proceeded to trade punts until the 40-second mark, when Clinton took over the ball at the Tyngsboro 35 after a good punt return by Andrews.
Two plays later, Cutler hit senior Brian Weihn with a 33-yard touchdown pass. He then found Weihn again on the two-point conversion.
The Gaels held a 22-7 advantage at the half.
The Clinton defense stopped the Tyngsboro offense for the fourth straight time to open the second half. After a Tiger punt, the Gaels gained possession at their own 12, and drove 88 yards in nine plays for another score.
Feliz, who had three first-down rushes during the march, capped it with a 16-yard touchdown run. He then took the ball into the end zone for a two-point conversion, and the Gaels were up, 30-7, with 4:06 left in the third quarter.
Tyngsboro gained some momentum with a touchdown and a defensive stop, but a Cutler interception returned the ball to the Gaels.
With Clinton leading 30-14, the teams traded punts, before the Gaels added their last touchdown on a 70-yard, 14-play drive that ate seven minutes off the clock.
Weihn picked up the score, running the ball in from five yards out to put Clinton ahead, 36-14.
Tyngsboro added a late touchdown, but when Bradway grasped the ensuing onside kick and dropped to the ground with the ball, he snuffed out the Tigers' hopes for a late comeback.
Cutler took a knee three times, and the Gaels took home a 36-21 victory.
"That's two in a row for us, and three out of four," Clinton coach Paul Constantino said. "Kyle (Cutler) had a good game throwing the ball, and we ran pretty well. Luis (Feliz), especially, ran really hard. He was carrying people.
"We're becoming a tough team to defend," he said. "We're climbing the ladder."
PHOTOG: Item photo/GRAHAM ENTWISTLE
CUTLINE: Clinton High School senior Brian Weihn hauls in a touchdown pass during last week's win over Tyngsboro.