Jay Banyasz, Columbia Raiders claim Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes crown

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Columbia quarterback Jay Banyasz, center, pushes in for a touchdown during the second quarter against Clearview on Friday. The Raiders defeated the Clippers, 51-25, to win the PAC Stripes Division.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clippers running back Anthony Alston, front, leaps over a defender on a carry during the second quarter against Clearview on Friday.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Clippers quarterback Roger Engle, left, stiff arms Raiders linebacker Jacon Kleinhenz on a QB keeper during the second quarter Friday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Raiders quarterback Jay Banyasz runs behind his offensive line for a touchdown during the third quarter Friday.

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Through the mud and the rain, Jay Banyasz and the Columbia Raiders made it look easy.

The result: A Patriot Athletic Stripes Division title.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Banyasz, who rushed for five touchdowns and threw for another in a 51-25 thrashing of Clearview at Tom Hoch Field on Friday night.

The Raiders (9-1, 7-0) racked up 397 yards on offense and put it on display early in what was a back-and-forth first quarter that saw four touchdowns.

The first came from Columbia — also coming on its first play from scrimmage — when Banyasz found Austin Walaszewski for an 18-yard throw-and-catch for a touchdown that put the Raiders up 7-0.

On the ensuing drive, the Clippers (7-3, 5-2) tied the game when Chad Anderson capped a 12-play, 60-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run.

Anderson had a great first half on the ground, rushing for 133 yards and a score on 17 carries.

On the very next drive, Columbia needed just four plays this time to regain the lead, 14-7, on a 44-yard TD run from Banyasz. Clearview responded on its next drive when Roger Engle found Lance Billings for 28-yard TD, but a botched snap on the extra point had the Clippers trailing 14-13 heading into the second quarter.

Clearview took its first lead of the game on its first possession of the second quarter, a 62-yard run from Anderson on a direct snap to make 19-14 after the failed 2-point conversion.

As they did before, though, the Raiders retaliated with a TD of its own, a 1-yard run from Banyasz as they regained the lead 21-19 as the result of a Clippers turnover.

“The star of the show was the offensive line,” Columbia coach Jason Ward said. “Obviously Jay Banyasz went nuts and he’s a special athlete, but our offensive line really delivered. I’m so proud of those guys because they haven’t had the best year.”

After the Clearview regained the lead, 25-21, on an Engle 47-yard TD pass to Gerrell Williams, the Raiders took it back, 28-25, just before the half on a 2-yard TD run from Jacob Kleinhenz.

Kleinhenz added 87 yards on the ground, 86 of which came in a second half that was dominated by Columbia’s defense.

The Clippers totaled 278 yards on offense in the first half but could only squeeze out 106 yards in the second half.

Anderson’s big first half didn’t carry over into the second, rushing for just 26 yards.

“In the first half we left some big plays and our tackling was rough,” Banyasz said. “In the second half we told ourselves that we’re going to go out there and dominate the game like we’ve been doing all year. It helped that the offense clicked as well.”

He wasn’t kidding.

On five second-half drives for the Raiders, four of them resulted in points — including three more rushing TDs for Banyasz.

Leading 44-25, Justin Reznik intercepted and Engle pass that helped setup Columbia’s final score of the game, a five-yard scamper from Banyasz.

It was the finishing touch to an all-around great regular season for the Raiders, who enter the postseason on a nine-game winning streak.

“It’s just very special to me having grown up here my whole life,” Ward said. “When you see kids kind of rise above the expectations that have been set for them and become champions like this … I’ll never forget this group of guys that’s for sure.”

Columbia 51, Clearview 25

Patriot Athletic Conference

Stripes Division

Columbia (9-1, 7-0) 14 14 16 7 — 51

Clearview (7-3, 5-2) 13 12 0 0 — 25

Scoring

C — Austin Walaszewski 18 pass from Jay Banyasz (Matt Zelinsky kick)

C — Chad Anderson 1 run (Daimon Knowles kick)

C — Banyasz 44 run (Zelinsky kick)

C — Lance Billings 28 pass from Roger Engle (Kick failed)

C — Anderson 62 run (Conversion failed)

C — Banyasz 1 run (Zelinsky kick)

C — Gerrell Williams 47 pass from Engle (Conversion failed)

C — Jacob Kleinhenz 2 run (Zelinsky kick)

C — Banyasz 5 run (Kick failed)

C — Zelinsky 20 FG

C — Banyasz 2 run (Zelinsky kick)

C — Banyasz 5 run (Zelinsky kick)

Team Statistics

First Downs — Columbia 21, Clearview 15

Yards Rushing — C 259 (Banyasz 172) C 179 (Anderson 158)

Yards Receiving — C 138 (Walaszewski 34), C 205 (Williams 123)

Passes Att.-Comp.-Int. — C 14-7-0, C 23-10-1

Fumbles-Lost — C 0-0, C 2-1

Penalties-Yards — C 3, C 11.

@PaulBarney18

Last Updated: 10/27/2012 12:35:26 PM EST

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