A winless Clark team, desperately trying to make a defensive statement, ran into a Ben Franklin offense that has had difficulty scoring Friday at Pan American Stadium.
Clark quarterback Johnny Myers scrambled 16 yards for the game’s only touchdown in the third quarter as the Bulldogs defeated the Falcons 10-3.
Clark (1-3) had given up 120 points in its first three games, all losses. On Friday, Ben Franklin was able to get inside the Bulldogs 30-yard line only once, moving to the 6 before Miles McGuire was forced to kick a 22-yard field goal that cut the lead to 10-3 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.
“We finally got one,” Clark first-year coach Wesley Heath said. “It was a very competitive game. We saw them in the summer and they got a good look at our passing game, so we decided to come out today and run it a little.”
The Bulldogs running game produced 179 rushing yards. Sophomore Mekail Harris gained 124 yards on 14 carries.
“We also got a good effort from our special teams,” Heath said.
A bad snap and heavy rush resulted in a 4-yard punt by Franklin and led to Clark’s first score, a 35-yard field goal by Eduardo Garcia.
The Falcons punt landed out of bounds at their 40-yard line. The Bulldogs picked up one first down on three running plays before Myers hit Andre Martin for a first down at the 16. Franklin stopped the Bulldogs there and Garcia kicked a line drive that cleared the cross bar, the only score of the first half.
Clark stretched its lead to 10-0 on its first possession of the third quarter. The Bulldogs moved 61 yards in six crisp running plays. Harris picked up 23 yards on three carries, and a 21-yard scamper by Darius Bradley also preceded Myers’ 16-yard run.
“They were just a little more physical and quicker than us today,” Franklin coach Wally Scott said. “Harris gave us problems.”
Franklin has not scored a touchdown since its season opening 27-0 win over Ridgewood.
“We have trouble scoring,” Scott said. “We’re focused on improving, but we did not take advantage of opportunities today.”
Clark had two touchdowns called back because of penalties. In four games, the Bulldogs have now had five scores negated by flags.
“We’re young and we’ve got some kids who get overly excited,” Heath said. “We’ve got to be a little more disciplined.”