Clover falls to Trojans in top 10 battle

Herald correspondentOctober 23, 2010 

The Northwestern Trojans already possess one of the most prolific passing attacks in Palmetto State high school football history.

Add a few big plays on the ground, and, well ...

"You get in a 14-0 hole against a team like that and you can't miss on offense," Clover Coach Jet Turner said. "Northwestern is a good football team. It was a big hill to climb."

No. 2 Northwestern, 9-0 overall, 3-0 Region 3-AAAA, jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind a balanced offense and never trailed in a 42-21 victory over the Blue Eagles Friday at District Three Stadium.

Quarterback Justin Worley enjoyed another record-setting night in the process. He completed 33-of-45 passes for 429 yards.

He became the first quarterback in South Carolina high school history to surpass the 11,000-yard mark. With four touchdown passes, Worley surpassed Myrtle Beach's Everett Golson for the career touchdown pass lead at 131.

"What more can you say about Justin Worley?" Northwestern coach Jimmy "Moose" Wallace said. "He's an incredible kid, on and off the field."

Worley wasn't the only offensive player in a groove. No. 9 Clover (7-2, 1-2) used three- and two-man fronts to slow Northwestern's passing attack early, but that opened running lanes for LaThomas Long. He took advantage.

Long ripped off three runs for 44 yards on the Trojans' opening drive, setting up a pitch-and-catch from Worley to B.J. Boyd for a 14-yard touchdown.

Northwestern forced a Clover punt on the next possession, and Worley opted for the quick strike. The senior connected with Robert Joseph for a 75-yard touchdown pass on a slant-and-go route. The Trojans led 14-0 with 3:52 left in the first quarter.

"We had a couple three-and-outs, and our offense kept scoring and scoring," Wallace said. "Our offense did a great job, and our defense played hard all night."

Worley said the focus now is on No. 6 Gaffney (7-2, 3-0), which visits Northwestern next Friday in a de facto Region 3 title game.

Clover, meanwhile, will face Rock Hill (3-6, 0-3) at home.

"We've got to back to work and get ready for Rock Hill," Turner said. "Our kids will bounce back."

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