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Lions' football team rolls to a 41-20 home win over Anderson University

Sunday, September 30, 2012
by Dane Neumeister

The College of Mount St. Joseph football team got back to their winning ways on Saturday, after two recent close losses in the HCAC, as they knocked off conference-foe Anderson University at home on Pink Ribbon Girls Night, 41-20. The Lions, 2-2 overall, improve to 1-2 in the HCAC and will be back in action on Oct. 6 when they host a conference game against HCAC-preseason favorite Franklin College. The game will feature Delhi Day at the Mount.

Mount senior running back James Clay (Louisville, KY/duPont Manual) provided a record-setting performance on Saturday against the Ravens, as he rushed for a school-record 342 yards, eclipsing the old Mount mark of 277 set by Doug Anderson (2000). Clay also tied a Mount single game-best with four touchdowns, as the Lions overcame a 20-13 halftime deficit. The Ravens scored the game's first TD on a two-yard run late in the first quarter but the Lions got back into the game, riding a strong rushing attack, led by Clay. Clay scored on runs of 41 and 58 yards in the second quarter, to help the Mount to a 13-6 advantage but the Ravens would score via the run and by a passing TD to take a seven-point halftime lead. Anderson controlled the ball for just over 22 1/2 minutes of action in the first half, running off 36 plays to the Lions' 20 plays.

Anderson's offense would stall, however, throughout most of the second half, as they were forced to punt twice and they turned the ball over twice on fumbles. The Lions wold make the most of their own possessions, and after an early third quarter interception, scored on two straight possessions in the third quarter - once on a Clay TD run and once when Charles McCall (Miami, FL/Miami Norland) raced 62 yards to paydirt - to claim a 27-20 advantage. Brian Pitzer (South Salem, OH/McClain) would engineer a nine-play, 73-yard TD drive that took over five minutes, as he capped the drive with a 12-yard TD run on a second-and-11 play. Clay would add the final score of the night when he bolted 75 yards to the end zone - and Daniel Dripps (Wapakoneta, OH/Wapakoneta) added the PAT kick - to give the Mount a 41-20 lead with 4:52 to play in the game.

For the game the Mount rushed for a program-best 473 yards (on 46 carries), as McCall chipped in his first 100-yard game, totaling 102 yards on the ground. The six rushing TDs by the Lions tied a single-game record (Bluffton, 2008). Clay had 405 yards of total offense in the game, adding 49 punt return yards and 14 kickoff return yards to his 342 yards on the ground. Clay also went over 1,000 yards for the season, and now has 1,025 yards rusning in the team's first four games of 2012. He entered the game as the nation's top rusher. The Lions were held to one-of-10 passing, for 25 yards, in the game. Tim Bowman (Liberty Township, OH/Lakota East) led the Mount with 10 tackles, and forced a fumble, while Garrett Breiner (Louisville, KY/Male) chipped in nine tackles. The Mount out-gained Anderson in total yards, 498-283.

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