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US Steel Game of the Year: Clairton 58, Jeannette 14

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Football fans tend to think of a great game in terms of a close game – a game in which the outcome is in doubt until the final minute, a contest where winner and loser are defined by a single play.

Sometimes, however, a great game can mean a game in which the combatants play the game at a high level. Great football players can make for a great football game.

This fall’s matchup between Clairton and Jeannette fits into that category.

The Clairton Bears had dominated their competition all season long, scoring 70 points or more each game and posting shutouts in four of their first five contests. Jeannette, however, shared first place in the Single-A Eastern Conference with the Bears, rolling through the season with an identical 5-0 record.

And when Jayhawks quarterback Julian Batts ran for a 64-yard touchdown on the second play of the game to put the Jayhawks in front 6-0, the crowd in Clairton was silenced. Students put down their cell phones and focused on the field, fans anchored themselves to their seats, and the Bears buckled their chinstraps in preparation for their first test of the 2014 season.

What unfolded in the next 30 minutes was breathtaking.

The Bears answered with seven touchdowns on their next seven drives. Sophomore running back Lamont Wade rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries, scoring on runs of 82, 33 and 17 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Williams completed 7 of 12 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and added another score on the ground.

Wide receivers James Hines and Raymone Clifford scored two touchdowns apiece. Hines scored on a 64-yard screen pass and added a 5-yard touchdown run. Clifford also recorded a touchdown catch and a touchdown

When the action finally came to a halt, Clairton had routed a very good Jeannette team 58-14, answering any lingering questions about thJeannette quarterback Julian Battseir legitimacy.

The Bears, of course, aren’t satisfied with big scores and gaudy statistics. In Clairton, titles matter more than numbers, and the month of November is what the Bears have been waiting for ever since their 2013 season ended without a title.

Clairton Bears 58 – Jeannette Jayhawks 14
October 3, Neil C. Brown Stadium, Clairton, PA

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