Titans get rude welcome at ranked Clifton-Clyde

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By Travis Mounts
TSnews

After six weeks of football, the Argonia-Attica Titans football team was a perfect 6-0 but none of the half-dozen teams they had beaten had a winning record.
Last Friday’s 64-16 loss at the Clifton-Clyde Eagles brought the Titans back down to earth. The level of competition increased dramatically last week after the Titans’ original opponent, the Medicine Lodge Indians, were replaced with the Clifton-Clyde Eagles, who had just one loss. The game was scheduled just the day before, leaving little time to prepare.
The change was necessitated after Medicine Lodge schools cancelled all activities through Oct. 30 as coronavirus cases spike in that community.
“They’re big and physical, probably one of the biggest, most physical teams we’ve played in my time here,” said Titans’ co-head coach Luke Greenwood. The Eagles were able to control both sides of the line of scrimmage.
The Titans’ Xander Newberry threw a pair of scoring passes to Noah Phillips in the first half, but it wasn’t nearly enough. The Eagles took a 22-8 lead after one quarter, and led 38-16 at halftime.
Running the ball was a chore for the Titans, who managed just 14 yards on 20 carries. Phillips had 15 of those yards. The Titans threw for 245 yards, as Newberry went 12-for-22. Phillips was the top target, with five catches for 167 yards. Conner Harnden had 39 receiving yards, and Cooper Topinka had 21 yards.
Blake Goodman was the top tackler with 15, and Adam Blanchat had 14 tackles.
Argonia-Attica’s troubles can be summed up briefly – they couldn’t get defensive stops, and they struggled to maintain drives. As they started losing the field position battle in the second half, the Eagles were able to pile on points and make the final score look worse than the game was.
The Titans are spending this week on improving their execution. Greenwood said they were hurt last Friday on passes that just missed and on missed blocks.
“We have to capitalize on the opportunities that teams give us,” he said. “If you have a chance to make a play, you’ve got to make it.”
The Titans visit the Fairfield Falcons this Friday. The Falcons are looking for their first win of the season and have struggled to be competitive.
For the Titans, this week’s focus is on themselves. They want to reduce mistakes and penalties, especially heading into the playoffs where those things can quickly end your season.
“We haven’t played a clean game all year. And honestly, we need to bounce back,” Greenwood said.