**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Clare Pioneers bounced back in a big way in week 2, defeating Pinconning, 76-6. It was the first win in new head coach Steven Sprangers’ tenure. It was truly an all-around team performance, as nine different Pioneers found the end zone. They would take on a Beaverton team who would be looking for their first win on the year. The Beavers had been decimated by injuries, and were hoping to stay healthy while gaining some momentum in the early going of 2022. With some adversity for both teams on the young season, it would be the Pioneers looking to battle more of that in the early going Friday.
This one started the Beavers’ way, as they would be the ones to strike first on a 10-yard touchdown pass. This would give Beaverton an early 6-0 lead after a failed PAT. Clare would be dealt a tough hand on their 8th offensive play of the game when junior starting quarterback, Miles Haggart would be forced to leave the game with an injury. Beaverton would hang onto a 6-0 lead heading into the 2nd quarter.
Jayden Arthur, a Sophomore quarterback who was just moved up from JV for the defensive side of the ball on Tuesday, would be the one tasked with leading the Pioneers at quarterback. Carter Smedley would help Arthur get things going for the Pioneers with a 23-yard touchdown run. This would give the Pioneers a 7-6 lead after a successful PAT from Ethan Cook. Arthur would welcome himself to varsity football when he would pound it in on a 1-yard touchdown run. Cook would make it a 14-6 Pioneer lead after the PAT. The Pioneers would find the end zone yet again on a Westyn Bryant 7-yard run. Clare would have all the momentum heading into halftime leading 20-6.
Clare would tack on another score in the 3rd to make it a 27-6 ballgame. Arthur would find his way into the end zone again on another 1-yard run. This would give the Pioneers a 33-6 lead. Beaverton would do the last of the scoring on the night on a 15-yard touchdown pass, but it was just too little too late as Clare battles to a 33-13 win over the Beavers. The Pioneers battled through some adversity on the night but found a way. Coach Spranger was beyond proud of his team, “We fought through a lot of adversity tonight. In the 2nd quarter the guys really stepped up to take control of this game”.
Arthur had 2 touchdowns while gaining 54 yards on the ground, and accounting for another 82 yards through the air. The Sophomore also had an interception in this one. Smedley had 80 yards on the ground with 1 touchdown, added 3 catches for 30 yards, and had 8 tackles on the defensive side. Bryant led the way on defense with 14 tackles, he account for 2 touchdowns on the offensive side. The Pioneers rolled up 400 yards of total offense, with 304 of that coming on the ground. The defense held Beaverton to just 214 total yards.
Clare now moves to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the JPC. They will face a new task next week as they head into Gladwin to take on a Flying G’s squad that has not allowed a point on the year. The two will clash next Friday night with what could be a lot at stake in the conference. Gladwin is 3-0 overall, and 2-0 in JPC play. Beaverton will look to grab a win next week as they get some hometown cooking in what will be there first home game of the season. After playing the first three on the road, they will welcome in the Shepherd Bluejays in their home opener. Beaverton moves to 0-3 on the year, and 0-1 in JPC play. Shepherd will come in at 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference.