HAMMOND | The football seemed to hang in the air for about 22 hours, which is how long it took Clark and Calumet to finish its Week 2 game.
Pioneer quarterback Justin Martinez threw a beautiful pass toward the hands of Ramon Luevano as the clock ticked down toward the end of the first half. It looked like a sure touchdown.
But the Warriors' Josh Kielminski, who had shadowed Luevano the entire route, made a stick and did not give an inch, dropping the tight end at the half-yard mark, as the horn sounded.
It turned out to be a game-saver as Calumet beat Clark 14-12 on Saturday afternoon.
“I saw their quarterback eyeing the receiver the whole way,” Kielminski said. “I knew if I wasn't going to pick it I had to make a hit. I knew I had to make a play, a stop, or coach would yell at me when I got to the sidelines.”
The game had more stops and starts than a Pinto with bad breaks. On five different occasions the teams were on the field warming up when lightning struck and they were forced to leave the field for shelter.
“(Kielminski) made a great play,” Clark coach Jay Novak said. “That probably won them the game.”
The Pioneers (0-2) seemed half asleep on Calumet's first play of the game. Kyle Hubbard took a broken play 44 yards for a score at 9:18 of the first quarter.
With 2:56 remaining in the same frame, Martinez rumbled 39 yards for a score. But like Calumet, the conversion run failed and the score was tied at 6-6.
At 7:07 of the second quarter, Hubbard went 33 yards for another touchdown and Noah Fowler's two-point conversion run finished the scoring in the game.
The yo-yo-like beginning of the game was difficult, but Calumet coach Ivan Zimmer credited his seniors for getting everyone ready when it did start more than two hours after the scheduled 11:30 a.m. kickoff.
“We told our kids all week that everyone has adversity in life,” Zimmer said. “What tells you who you are is how you handle it and our kids did a great job on a tough weekend.”
Kobe Fowler led Calumet with 54 yards on 12 carries. Noah Fowler had 31 yards on eight carries.
“On my first touchdown they weren't ready and I made something happen,” Hubbard said. “We needed to start the game good and show people we were ready to play.”
Rodney Bagget led Clark with 52 yards rushing on nine carries, while Kensha Funches had 47 yards on four carries. Martinez was 7-of-19 for 129 yards.
“I am proud of my kids,” Novak said. “Last week we didn't play 48 minutes this time we did. We just had too many mistakes. We'll keep working until we learn how to win games like this.”