Clearview gives a history lesson with second playoff win over Hammonton
The Pioneers were 1-9 lifetime in the postseason before Friday's 23-7 opening round South Jersey Group 4 win over Hammonton.
Clearview's second-year football coach Steve Scanlon is a history teacher, and he used his skills in the classroom to motivate his team.
Leading up to Clearview's 23-7 opening round South Jersey Group 4 playoff win over visiting Hammonton on Friday, Scanlon made sure his team was well versed in the school's football history.
He detailed that the Pioneers entered this year's postseason with one playoff win in school history and none at home.
The Pioneers were 1-9. The lone postseason win came in 1986 when there were only four playoff qualifiers per group and Clearview was a Group 2 school.
Over the years, the Pioneers have grown in enrollment and the football team hopes that the win over Hammonton will make them grow in stature.
"We talked about (the playoff record) but we also talked about how that has no bearing on this whatever," Scanlon said.
Actually, it was pretty good motivational fodder.
And now that dubious feat is history.
Seeded No. 3, the Pioneers (6-2) will now get a rematch when they face No. 2 seeded Highland in Friday's South Jersey Group 4 semifinal. This season opened with a 14-6 loss to Highland in a game the Pioneers led 6-0 at halftime.
If one wants to look at recent history, it shows the Pioneers were just 3-7 last season, although they won their final two games and the momentum has carried over.
"This is huge, it is the biggest win for the school, our first home playoff win," said senior fullback-linebacker Justin Iaccio. "It is amazing."
The same can be said of Iaccio, whose 64-yard touchdown run on the game's first offensive series got the ball rolling.
Clearview is a run-oriented team and Scanlon has plenty of options. Several players get to carry the ball behind a solid offensive line.
"This is an incredibly unselfish team," Scanlon said.
In other words, the players don't care who gets into the end zone, as long as it is visited frequently.
Even after Hammonton (3-7) took a 7-6 lead on Jaiden Abrams 73-yard run, Clearview regained the lead for good on Rashan Allen-Hunt's electrifying 58-yard first quarter punt return.
When Hunter Lewis caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Mike Ancona and Hunter Logan booted a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter that was more than enough of a cushion.
It made everybody forget that the Pioneers were down by a point in the first quarter.
Then again, coming back is nothing new to the Pioneers and the degree of difficulty has been much higher than what they faced in Friday's playoff win.
Clearview trailed another Group 4 playoff team Mainland, 17-3 in the third quarter before coming back for a 24-17 win.
The Pioneers also trailed playoff qualifier Winslow Township 17-0 in the third quarter before scoring a 20-17 double overtime win.
Now that is some recent history to build on.
"This is the best thing ever," Allen-Hunt said. "Nothing is greater than this."
Then he added another reminder – "There is more to come."
Clearview has never won a sectional title, so history is against the Pioneers. Then again, this Clearview team is intent on rewriting the history books and it already started with Friday's home win.
Hammonton 7 0 0 0 – 7
Clearview 13 0 10 0 – 23
C: Justin Iaccio 64 run (kick failed)
H: Jaiden Abrams 73 run (Frank Damico kick)
C: Rashan Alen-Hunt 58 punt return (Hunter Logan kick)
C: Hunter Lewis 46 touchdown pass from Mike Ancona (Logan kick
C: Logan 37 FG