Zephyrhills Free Press

Clemens kick extends Bulldogs’ win streak

JV football team defeats Wiregrass a 17-14 on last second field goal by Christian Clemens

Christian Clemens booted a 22-yard field goal with just five seconds remaining to keep the JV Bulldogs’ 11-game winning streak alive with a 17-14 dramatic win over Wiregrass Ranch.

The junior placekicker watched his team march down the field in the closing minute and was prepared to boot a game-winning 42-yarder. Thanks to a few big penalties against the Bulls, Clemens’ confidence grew when the ball was moved to the five yard line.

 “I got a lot happier when they moved the ball up to the five-yard line,” Clemens said. “A 42-yarder would have been personal record. I was It was nice to only have to make a 22-yard kick.”   

With Clemens sizing up his kick with five seconds on the clock, Wiregrass coaches called timeout to try to ice Clemens, but he was expecting the move to try and distract him.

Instead, he focused on the winning the game. The next thing he knew he was carried off the field as the referee’s arms went in the air to signal the kick was good.

“That was nice,” Clemens said. “Keeping the streak going is big. It’s also a lot of pressure. A lot of times, you’re not thinking about it, but if your teammates are in your ear and that doesn’t help.

“I just focus on keeping my head down and hitting that ball.”

JV Coach Raleigh Allen greeted his kicker as he came to the sideline and just shook his head and smiled.

“He has ice in his veins,” Allen said. “He came through in the clutch for us tonight. It is a lot of pressure. I’m proud of him. He did an excellent job when we needed him.”

The winning streak is adding pressure for the Bulldogs with three games remaining in the season and the talk of back-to-back undefeated seasons starting to grow.

“The pressure is starting. As long as we’re having fun, working on fundamentals and getting better, then we’ll be OK,” Allen said.

The Bulldogs lacked some of the fundamentals against Wiregrass as a pair of turnovers turned into 14 points for the Bulls.

On the plus side, the Bulldogs offense came up big first quarter with a 23-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Jacavien McGovern to Teddy Sands. Malik Dillard added a touchdown in the third quarter when he bulldozed his way into the end zone from 17-yards out with defenders on his back.

With the Bulldogs up 14-7, Wiregrass needed just one play after a fumble recovery inside the Zephyrhills five yard line to knot the score at 14-14.

Then it was time for Clemens to be the hero.

“Everybody on the sideline told me it was going to come down to a game-winning field goal and I had one last year against Wesley Chapel and I made it, so my mindset was I have to make this one,” Clemens said.

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