CLEARWATER — It was a night of firsts for the Falcons: Their first win, their first shutout and the first game for senior linebacker Ali Cheaib in seven weeks.
Cheaib announced his return on Clearwater's first drive of the second half, when he stripped the ball from quarterback Ryan Hagen and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. On the following series, junior linebacker Kyle Kunnen recovered a fumble and returned it 40 yards for a score.
The Falcons (1-6, 1-1) forced five fumbles and intercepted Hagen three times. The first came on the Tornadoes' first drive when junior Trevonte Anderson returned a pick 47 yards for the Falcons' first touchdown.
In the second quarter, senior quarterback Ryan Singer hit junior Allen Battle for 42- and 40-yard scores on back-to-back drives.
Clearwater falls to 5-3 and 0-3 in Class 5A-8.
Paul Mueller, Times correspondent