WESTFIELD TWP. — Not in his wildest dreams did Cloverleaf running back Grant Vujanov expect the game he put together Friday night.
In his final prep game, the senior registered the third-highest single-game rushing total in school history and scored four times as Cloverleaf crushed Highland 45-7 at Gene Clark Stadium.
“I can’t even describe it,” Vujanov said with tears in his eyes. “We wanted to prove that we’re a good team.”
The Colts (4-6, 2-5) dominated both sides of the ball thanks to the 5-foot-8 165-pounder, who carried 29 times for 263 yards, including scoring runs of 64 and 39 yards in a span of 2½ in minutes midway through the first half.
While Vujanov wanted to go out with a big-time performance, he didn’t expect the numbers he put up against the Hornets (4-6, 3-4).
“No, no way,” he said. “The line created all of those holes for me. This feels great.”
Vujanov added a 1-yard TD later in the first half, then reached paydirt from 14 yards out in the third quarter.
But this wasn’t a one-man show, as the defense and special teams had something to prove as well.
The defense came up with a host of big stops in fourth-down situations, recovered a fumble that led to one of Vujanov’s scores and intercepted a pass that two plays later quarterback Sean Mohney was able to punch in from 17 yards out as Cloverleaf built a 31-0 lead early in the third.
Toss in a special teams unit that recovered a squib kick by Mohney and had an onside kick that was recovered early in the second quarter, and the Colts were kicking up their heels in all facets of the game.
“I challenged the kids that we have 48 minutes of football left,” Cloverleaf coach Doug Haas said. “We work nine months out of the year for 480 minutes and it all dwindled down to this. We were able to come out and play with that fire and passion and that emotion that you need. Our underclassmen rose the occasion for our seniors and our seniors probably played their best football of the year.”
Mohney, the county’s second-best quarterback in terms of passing yards coming into the game, threw for 111 yards on an 11-for-23 night. Along with running for a score, he booted a 38-yard field goal before halftime.
While the Colts couldn’t do anything wrong, Highland had a tough time getting anything positive going.
Despite some strong running from Alex Koran (21 carries, 149 yards) and a big 37-yard pass from Austin Adams to Trey Edwards, whose six receptions gave him a school-record 40 for the season, the Hornets missed a pair of field goals and had a touchdown called back for holding late in the contest.
Highland got on the board with 2:10 remaining when backup running back Ryan Laubenthal scored from 7 yards out.
But the night belonged to the Colts, who won the annual Dr. Bruce Hulme Cup, which was established three years ago. Cloverleaf has never surrendered the cup and doesn’t plan on doing so anytime soon.
“This is my expectation of Cloverleaf football and this is where it’s been all year,” Haas said. “Unfortunately, there were a couple of games where it didn’t happen. This is something to build on.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.Cloverleaf 45, Highland 7
HIGHLAND 0 0 0 7 — 7
CLOVERLEAF 7 17 14 7 — 45
C — Grant Vujanov 39 run (Sean Mohney kick), 0:00
C — Vujanov 64 run (Mohney kick), 11:23
C — Mohney 38 field goal, 3:34
C — Vujanov 1 run (Mohney kick), 0:15
C — Mohney 17 run (Robby Buckwald kick), 8:27
C — Vujanov 14 run (Mohney kick), 7:45
C — Brent Grant 9 pass from Mohney (Mohney kick), 10:21
H — Ryan Laubenthal 7 run (Joe Simonis kick), 2:10