Crosstown Showdown XI- Day 3 Game 2

Game two of Saturday's Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown pitted the Mason Comets against the Clayton Northmont Thunderbolts. The Comets shined early, jumping out to an early 10-0 second quarter lead, but the Thunderbolts struck strongest in a dramatic comeback, scoring 21 unanswered fourth quarter points en route to a 28-17 victory.

Both offenses struggled early, and the defenses took advantage. Mason was able to apply pressure to Northmont quarterback Chase Belton often, while Ohio State commit C.J. Barnett, Kent State commit Danny Gress, and the rest of the Northmont defense kept the Mason offense out of the end zone for the entirety of the first half. Mason owed it's early scoring to senior defensive end Clay Northcut, who blocked a Thunderbolt punt early to set up a 29-yard field goal by Andrew Grage. In an odd turn of events, the second quarter featured Northcut again blocking a Northmont punt, this time recovering the ball, fumbling it into the end zone, then falling on top of it for the Mason score, giving the Comets their early 10-0 lead.

Belton started getting more protection form his offensive line and the Northmont offense started flourishing. After a 49-yard pass to senior wide receiver Billy Gayler, Belton tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Josh McClain, a sophomore who should be a top prospect by the time he reaches his junior and senior years.

Mason answered back late in the third quarter, as backup quarterback Derek Cox completed his lone pass of the game, a 45-yard touchdown pass. The pass was nearly intercepted, but instead bounced off the defensive back's hands and landed perfectly in the grasp of senior wide out Jason Lamb, giving the Comets a 17-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But the fourth quarter would belong solely to the Thunderbolts. Belton got things started early, tossing senior Mark Mays a 16-yard touchdown ball. The Northmont defense got in on the scoring action when senior linebacker Chango Noaks Jr. turned a Patrick Koman pass attempt into pick-six, returning the interception 13 yards for the Thunderbolt touchdown, giving Northmont their first lead of the day.

But Belton wasn't finished. After impressing with his ability to run the ball the entire game, Belton exploded for a 65-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining in the game. The score would be the nail in the coffin for the Mason Comets. Belton finished the game 13-20 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns, while also running the ball 14 times for 93 yards and a score.

With a dramatic fourth quarter comeback, head coach Lance Schneider and his Clayton Northmont Thunderbolts won their debut game in the Crosstown Showdown.

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