Two fumbles that led directly to a 10-0 deficit. A touchdown pass just before the first half ended. A fumble on Clyde’s first play from scrimmage in overtime that seemed to sit on the field for an eternity before the Fliers recovered.
Regardless, Friday night’s SBC Lake Division showdown was a stinging loss for host Norwalk. Trailing 31-24 in overtime, the Fliers went for two points and the win following a TD to leave town with a 32-31 win — and a share of the SBC Lake title.
The Truckers fell to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the Lake — and will face Columbian (7-2, 3-1) on the road next week in Tiffin a huge Division III Region 10 playoff seeding matchup.
Clyde (7-2, 4-0) had taken a 24-17 lead with 3:16 left on a 3-yard scoring run by Gunner Golden. However, the ensuing kickoff was returned 91 yards for a touchdown by Norwalk’s Ethan Phillips — and the Garrison Smith PAT tied the game up just 14 seconds later at 24-all.
Neither team could do anything to end regulation, forcing the overtime.
The Truckers had the ball first, and quarterback Garrett Chapin found senior receiver Brandon Haraway for a 9-yard TD pass. The Smith PAT put Norwalk up 31-24.
Needing a score to tie or win the game, the Fliers’ fumbled the ball on their very first play, but were able to recover at the Norwalk 20. The very next play, Ryan Lozier found Adam Koviak — who made an impressive leaping TD catch and got a foot in bounds in the back of the end zone.
Prior to a pending PAT attempt, Clyde coach Ryan Carter called a timeout and made the decision to go for the two-point conversion and the win. Running back Braydi Clark went to his right and was able to get to the right corner of the end zone for the winning points and run.
“I just felt like at that point in time, we wanted to go back on offense,” Carter said. “We weren’t exactly stopping them, and an extra point in this weather and on this field was not a sure thing.”
Norwalk trailed 10-0 after a fumble at its own 30 gave the Fliers a short field to kick a 28-yard field goal by Brock Newsome — then a Trevon Raymore fumble was picked up by Jack Morrison in the end zone with 7:56 left in the first half to put the Truckers behind 10-0.
Norwalk rallied with two straight scores in less than two minutes to take a 14-10 lead. Tche Leroux capped a 70-yard scoring drive — highlighted by a 3rd-and-30 catch by Haraway for 49 yards — with a 1-yard scoring run at the 4:43 mark of the second.
Trailing 10-7, Norwalk’s Alec Maloney then blocked the ensuing Clyde punt — setting up a Chapin to Raymore 10-yard TD pass two plays later for a 14-10 lead with 2:47 left in the half.
But the Fliers got a key 42-yard scoring drive capped by Cam Farrar catching a 14-yard TD from Lozier with 28 seconds left in the half to put the Fliers back up 17-14.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, and the Fliers were able to hold Norwalk to a 19-yard field goal by Smith with 10:53 left after the Truckers had a first-and-goal at the Clyde 5 scenario.
“A lot of self-inflicted issues that we have to get better at,” Norwalk coach Todd Fox said. “Now we really have to take a step back and refocus — I told the guys this is going to sting. But only one way to take the sting away, and that’s to finish this.
“We know what we are capable of doing,” he added. “We’re not there yet, we did not play that way tonight — and give credit to Clyde for taking advantage of those mistakes and to Coach Carter for that call at the end.”
Raymore ran 25 times for 163 yards for the Truckers, though he left the game twice with injuries. Chapin was 10-of-22 for 127 yards through the air, with Haraway catching four passes for 79 yards and a TD.
“They are a good defense, but we gave ourselves trouble,” Fox said of Clyde. “They are just a good, solid defense, but we had too many mistakes. They caused them obviously, but that’s what we have to correct. We have to get better there, and we will.”
Norwalk is actually expected to move up from third to second in Region 10 despite the loss. Wins by Mansfield Senior and Port Clinton helped boost the Truckers, who even with a loss next week are all but assured a first-round game at Whitney Field on Nov. 2.
“I’m proud of our guys for their fight, because that first quarter was almost catastrophic and they were able to respond,” Fox said. “We’ll go back, refocus for next week at Tiffin and then it’s on to Week 11.”
Clyde 3 14 0 7 8 — 32
Norwalk 0 14 0 10 7 — 31
CLY — Brock Newsome 28 field goal
CLY — Jack Morrison recovered fumble in end zone (Newsome kick)
NOR — Tche Leroux 1 TD run (Garrison Smith kick)
NOR — Trevon Raymore 10 pass from Garrett Chapin (Smith kick)
CLY — Cam Farrar 14 pass from Ryan Lozier (Newsome kick)
NOR — Smith 19 field goal
CLY — Gunner Golden 3 run (Newsome kick)
NOR — Ethan Phillips 91 kickoff return (Smith kick)
NOR — Brandon Haraway 9 pass from Chapin (Smith kick)
CLY — Adam Koviak 20 pass from Lozier (Braydi Clark run)