Surprising Clearview defeats Shawnee

Posted: October 06, 2012

Very few people thought that midway through the season, Shawnee against Clearview would be a game for first place in the West Jersey Football League National Division.

While Shawnee's inclusion is no surprise, the fact that Clearview, a team that went 2-8 last season and wasn't predicted to be significantly improved, was playing for first place seemed a little on the startling side.

To everybody, of course, but Clearview.

In this season in which there have been several surprises, it is difficult finding a bigger one than Clearview, which moved into sole possession of first place with Friday night's 20-14 win over visiting Shawnee.

Thus, Clearview improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the National Division. Shawnee fell to 3-2, 2-1.

"I don't want to say we're surprised because you put so much time in and expect to win," Clearview coach Mark Deal said.

Besides coming off a two-win season, Clearview lost some key players - one to transfer, another who decided not to come out for the team.

After starting 1-1, the Pioneers beat defending South Jersey Group 4 champion Pennsauken, and all of a sudden, teams were discovering that facing Clearview didn't mean an automatic "W."

"They are a talented team who played a great game," said Shawnee coach Tim Gushue, owner of 198 career wins.

The difference in this one was turnovers. Shawnee committed three in the second half, two fumbles and an interception.

Trailing by 14-7, Clearview tied the score on Mitch Harbaugh's second quarterback-sneak touchdown of the game. This one was from 2 yards with 11 minutes, 20 seconds left. Harbaugh then made his second conversion kick.

Clearview's Adam DeCecco, who rushed for 140 yards on 20 carries, set up the winning touchdown by recovering a fumble at midfield on the next series.

Four plays later, Clearview's George Kerasinis (9 carries, 55 yards) broke the deadlock on a 28-yard scoring run with 9:13 left.

Shawnee senior Luke Snyder was making his first start at quarterback after Andrew Bertolino suffered a season-ending knee injury last week.

Snyder completed 11 of 17 passes for 167 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown strike to Jake Dean that gave the Renegades a 14-7 lead midway through the third quarter.

Clearview won the fourth quarter, 13-0, and thus won the game.

"This is amazing," DeCecco said. "I will wake up tomorrow and not believe this."

When Clearview wakes up, Deal hopes the players don't read too much about this game.

One thing Deal told his team in the preseason was not to read - the preseason predictions, that is.

"I told them not to believe what they read about our team," Deal said.

Looks as if the Pioneers took his advice.

Now that the press will be favorable?

"I told them not to believe that, either," Deal said. "We have to get back to work."

And continue to prove those preseason prognosticators wrong.

Shawnee   0 7 7 0 - 14

Clearview   0 0 7 13 - 20

S: Anthony DiOrio 9 run (Vince White kick)

C: Mitch Harbaugh 1 run (Harbaugh kick) (White kick)

S: Jake Dean 45 pass from Luke Snyder (White kick)

C: Harbaugh 2 run (Harbaugh kick)

C: George Kerasinis 28 run (kick failed)

Contact Marc Narducci at or @sjnard on Twitter.

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