MANLIUS – The Amboy-LaMoille Clippers were eliminated from playoff contention after a 36-28 setback to Bureau Valley on Oct. 11 at Manlius. The Clippers dropped to 2-5 overall and 2-2 in the Three Rivers Conference.
Bureau Valley got the scoring started when Tommy Johnston ran in from 7 yards out and he added the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Clippers scored their first touchdown of the night when Jason Bontz found the end zone from 5 yards out with just under a minute left in the opening stanza. The PAT kick was no good.
The Storm was able to tack on another score before the end of the first period as Johnston sprinted 45 yards to paydirt. He also converted the extra-point kick.
Amboy-LaMoille made it a 14-12 ball game after Chris Jones sliced into the end zone from 1 yard out at the 5:09 mark of the second quarter. The Clippers went for the tie but their two-point pass attempt was incomplete.
The backbreaker for the Clippers occurred before intermission when Bureau Valley’s Parker Neuhalfen electrified the crowd with TD runs of 40 and 88 yards, the latter coming with 51 ticks left before halftime. Johnston booted both extra-point kicks and the Storm held a 29-12 halftime cushion.
“Those big plays late in the first half got to us,” said A-L coach Gary Jones. “(Neuhalfen) got loose on a couple of scrambles. He’s quick.”
Even though the momentum was on Bureau Valley’s side, the Clippers would not go away.
Bontz got into the end zone for the Clippers on a 4-yard run midway through the third period, and he also ran for the two-pointer to make it a 29-20 game.
Bureau Valley looked like it had put the game away on a 15-yard TD run by Neuhalfen with just under 10 minutes left in the contest, but back came Amboy-LaMoille.
Bontz ripped off a 30-yard run to put the Clippers near the Storm red zone, and then quarterback Liam Ohlendorf connected with Ryan Leffelman on a 21-yard touchdown strike down the middle at the 4:16 mark. Bontz powered in for the two-point conversion and Amboy-LaMoille was within one possession of possibly tying the game.
A-L got the ball back on offense with one last chance to send the game to overtime. The Clippers were driving when Neuhalfen intercepted an Ohlendorf pass in the end zone to seal the victory for the Storm.
“We could have laid down and died pretty easy in the second half,” said Coach Jones. “ I told them they played a good second half of football.”
Bontz ended with 206 yards rushing on 32 attempts, while Ohlendorf completed 5 of 8 passes for 97 yards. Damon Quest had three receptions for 75 yards.
Neuhalfen (17 rushes, 236 yards) and Johnston (16-136) led the Storm offense.
The Clippers return to action on Friday, Oct. 18 when they travel to Fulton.