SEMINOLE — Clearwater picked up its first win, thwarting Seminole’s final effort in the closing minutes for a 24-17 victory.
“When you get your first, it’s a big one,” Clearwater coach Tom Bostic said.
The Tornadoes (1-4, 1-1) did not have a lead until midway through the fourth quarter Thursday but scored 17 unanswered points in the second half. The difference between the halves were turnovers and field position.
In the first half, Clearwater was continually starting drives at its 20 thanks to touchbacks by Seminole kicker Dalton Schomp. Two turnovers by the Tornadoes also stifled some promising drives and resulted in points for the Warhawks (0-6, 0-2).
The second half had a different tone. Clearwater quarterback Rob Yarbrough put up solid numbers, completing 10 of 15 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. It was the Tornadoes’ ground attack that did the job, though. In the second half, Clearwater rushed 23 times for 129 yards. Yarbrough accounted for 45 of them.
For Seminole, a first-half game plan that was dominated by running back Brett Phillips was abandoned later on. He carried the ball 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but got only five touches after halftime.
Seminole drove inside the red zone with less than a minute remaining, but the Clearwater defense tightened up. It sacked Noah Weller and had two pass deflections to seal the victory.