BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
VERMILION — Port Clinton dominated and scored at will, defeating host Vermilion, 41-0. The Redskins (3-4, 1-1 SBC Bay), who were coming off a loss to Edison, rebounded to defeat the Sailors (0-7, 0-2) in convincing fashion.
Cooper Stine had one of his best games of the season, running 15 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns and Colton Klima was magnificent, completing all eight of his passes for 155 yards and two scores.
Port Clinton scored 21 points in the first quarter and 20 in the second quarter to take a 41-0 lead into the half.
Connor Gillum caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Klima to open the scoring, and Hunter Mominee, who converted on five extra points, made the PAT to push the lead to 7-0. Stine scored twice in the first quarter on runs of 2 and 16 yards, respectively, and Jonah Sidney caught a 48-yard touchdown from Klima to open the scoring in the second quarter before two more touchdown runs (16, 16) by Stine closed out the scoring.
“We established the line of scrimmage early. We wanted to be more balanced and throw the ball. Our first touchdown was a (long) pass to Connor Gillum,” said Port Clinton coach Beau Carmon. “We had momentum going in our direction, and we took advantage of that. We capitalized on every drive except one. We executed our game plan. It was a really good team victory for us.”
Carmon had high praise for Stine, one of the team’s top players.
“He rushed 15 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns. He had some nice chunks, but he breaks tackles and gets yards after contact,” said Carmon. “He had an interception, and was our leading tackler for the game as well.
“(Klima) really did a good job managing the game. There were a couple of outstanding plays made by Connor Gillum and Jonah Sidney. The offensive line has gotten better. When you’re able to run the ball, it takes pressure off the passing game. The past few weeks, we’ve gotten better, even with the losses. I still think there’s tons of room for improvement, and the competition is only going to get better. It’s going to be interesting.”
Carmon believes better days could be ahead for Vermilion.
“We told the kids, ‘We’ve been Vermilion.’ Our kids have been invested, and people have invested so our program never went down that road again. Vermilion is extremely well-coached, I just think they’re out-manned,” said Carmon. “Coach (Brett) Colahan is a good coach. If he gets that program rolling, they could be a sleeping giant. They’re the biggest school in the Bay Division.
“I’ve been on three teams that went 0-10. My point is that I’ve been there. You’ve got to find the kids that never allow you to get to that level again. As a coach, you can take them to water, but they’ve got to drink it. They didn’t give up after Bellevue, Rossford or Norwalk. We’ve had to struggle for every win we’ve had. We don’t take any one for granted. It doesn’t matter if it’s a spectacular game. We’ve celebrated every single win, and we believe that every victory comes from the offseason work.”
On Friday, Port Clinton travels to Willard to face the Crimson Flashes.
“They’ve got a good quarterback, and they have size, they’re big, and they have a young, ambitious staff. Coach (Kade) Long comes from a football family. It’s a team who could be on the rise.. They have some athletes. You see signs of that when you see them play,” said Carmon. “I think it’s going to be a challenge. I think they have some athletes. They’re very capable of putting points up on the board. They’re not a team to take lightly, and we’re not going to.”