WNY Athletics

White’s pick-six propels Clarence to road victory over Will North

It’s not often you see a player contribute touchdowns on both sides of the ball, but Clarence safety/quarterback Garrett White pulled off that very feat on Friday night.

White tallied a 102-yard pick-six, as well as a 37-yard touchdown pass, to help lead Clarence to a 28-6 road win over Williamsville North in Section VI Class AA action.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever coached a kid like that,” Clarence coach Paul Burgio said on White. “You see him do it on offense, but to do it defensively too … I don’t have words for those kind of plays, he just makes me look good. I’m so glad he’s on my football team, that’s all I can say.”

The Red Devils came out of the gate strong, holding the Spartans to a three-and-out on their first possession and then marching down the field to take a 7-0 lead thanks to a 25-yard Scott Raymond rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

Then came the White heroics.

After a North fumble in the second quarter gifted Clarence quality field position, on the first play of the drive, White threaded the needle between two Spartan defenders to connect with his brother, Grayson White, who hauled in his sibling’s pass and strolled into the endzone to make it a 14-0 Red Devil advantage.

The Spartans answered by putting together their strongest drive of the game to that point, battling down to the Red Devils’ 11-yard line with 11 seconds to play in the half. On the ensuing play, North quarterback Mitchell Kelly rolled to his right and took a shot into the endzone, only for White to haul it and sprint 102 yards the other way for a touchdown as time expired in the half.

It was a potential 14-point swing that gave Clarence all the momentum heading into the final two quarters.

“I stuck to the game plan, ran the right coverage, and made a good play on the ball,” White said on his pick-six. “I got some great blocks on the return and just ran until I couldn’t.”

Raymond would cap off the Red Devil scoring early in the third quarter with a 7-yard touchdown. While White’s big plays may stand out, it was the Clarence rushing attack that consistently beat the Spartan defense, and a noteworthy two-touchdown performance with over 100 yards from the senior Raymond played a major role.

“That was our game plan, to come in and run the football,” Burgio said. “We wanted to slow the game down, and I think we did that.”

Defensively, Clarence looked stout all game, preventing the Spartan offense from gashing them on the ground, which they seemed intent on doing early in the matchup. A late score from North’s Kendal Donovan got them on the board, but it was too little, too late for the Spartans.

“[The pick-six] was a turning point in the game,” North coach Paul Palizay said. “I felt we made five or so bad plays tonight that cost us the game, and a lot of that had to do with technique … it’s the simplest things that need to be fixed.”

Both teams return to action next week, as Clarence plays host to Kenmore West in a non-league matchup, while the Spartans look to rebound at home against Niagara Falls.



All Photos Credit Shawn Turri/WNYAthletics.com

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