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Eastview quarter back Mark Dwyer faked a handoff and ran for yardage in the fourth quarter of the Lightning's 29-26 comeback victory Friday over Apple Valley. Photo: Glen Stubbe * email@example.com
Jahkye McClarron played offense for the Eastview football team last season. Switched to defensive back this fall, he showed off his ball skills on Friday.
McClarron’s fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown capped an incredible second-half comeback in the Lightning’s 29-26 victory at rival Apple Valley.
“It was exciting,” McClarron said of his 28-yard touchdown return. “We were a little shaky in the first half, but we kept our heads up and kept striving toward our goal.”
Shaky aptly describes Eastview’s first 26 minutes. Three first half turnovers resulted in a 20-0 halftime deficit. Apple Valley seemed poised to make it a rout as Dom McDew-Stauffer, a running back, took a direct snap, shed a few tacklers and burst around left end for a 70-yard touchdown and a 26-0 Eagles lead early in the third quarter.
The turning point was at hand, however. Eastview (4-2) responded as Henry McIsaac caught a pass from Mark Dwyer and broke away for a 58-yard score. The play cut Apple Valley’s lead to 26-7 — but the score change was only the tip of the iceberg.
“That kind of took something out of us,” Apple Valley coach Mike Fritze said. “We started losing our poise and discipline on offense and defense.”
Eastview, located in Apple Valley, continued its charge in Friday’s inaugural Battle for the Apple rivalry game.
An Eagles punt to their own 40-yard line allowed Eastview to pounce on a short field. The drive was capped with a 5-yard touchdown pass from McIsaac to Ben Oberfeld. Apple Valley’s lopsided lead shrank to 26-14.
Another Apple Valley punt. Another Eastview score. After losing three fumbles in the first half, the Lightning appeared to cough up a fourth before recovering. Crisis averted, Eastview got a 6-yard touchdown run from Will Rains, who plowed an Apple Valley defender into the ground then somersaulted over him into the end zone. He finished with 170 yards rushing. Three consecutive touchdowns and Eastview closed the gap to 26-21.
McClarron made it four in a row. He picked off a pass and ran across the field for a touchdown. A successful 2-point conversion gave Eastview a 29-26 lead at 10:59 of the fourth quarter.
“We played well enough to win,” Fritze said. “That’s what we have to take out of this.”
Apple Valley, ranked No. 8 in Class 5A, did little wrong in the first half, scoring three times and recovering three Eastview fumbles.
McDew-Stauffer’s short touchdown plunge in the first quarter marked the first Apple Valley points scored against Eastview since a 13-7 victory coming in September 2008.