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Philly edges Clarkdale

By By Matt Barrett/staff writer
Jan. 23, 2002
PHILADELPHIA Clarkdale lost a hard fought match to Philadelphia 4-3 Tuesday night, leaving the District 5 3A-2A-1A playoff picture up in the air.
The homesteading Tornadoes, now 4-3-3 on the season, needed to beat the Bulldogs by three goals to clinch their spot in post-season play. Clarkdale defeated the Tornadoes by two early in the season.
Despite falling behind 4-0, the Bulldogs scored three goals in the last 10 minutes of play to force Philadelphia to win out their season to make the playoffs. The weather was a factor as the Bulldogs, Tornadoes and even the officials had a hard time finding footing on the saturated Harpole Stadium turf.
West Lauderdale leads the league with an undefeated division record and visits Clarkdale on Thursday, before hosting Philadelphia on Saturday.
Philadelphia did not get its fourth win easily against the Bulldogs. Clarkdale's Daniel Warren and Jonathan Pickett helped the Bulldogs control the tempo of the first eight minutes of the game. Pickett and Warren pressured the Tornado goal heavily in the opening moments, but no goals resulted despite the strong play.
The Tornadoes found their rhythm with 25 minutes remaining in the half. Philadelphia's Kip and Dustin Turner put on a show for the home crowd in the last minutes of the first half.
Kip Turner was the first of the brothers to put points on the board for Philadelphia with 22 minutes remaining in the half. The two continued to find each other open in the middle resulting in several shots on the goal for the Tornadoes.
Adam Box played the goal tough for Clarkdale batting away several of the Turner shots. The brothers overpowered the middle with 18 minutes remaining in the half. Dustin Turner slipped the ball past Box for the second Tornado goal.
The physical play of the two teams continued to escalate as the game progressed. Clarkdale had several open shots at the goal late in the half, but the wet field proved to much to overcome, hampering the attempts. The Turners' hustle resulted in the final goal of the half. Dustin found Kip open, leaving Clarkdale trailing 3-0 at the break.
The Tornadoes found the goal for the fourth and final time with 29 minutes remaining in the game. Dustin Turner found brother Kip to put the Bulldogs down by four. Clarkdale didn't give up , however, as Justin Culpepper was the first Bulldog to find the goal with 10 minutes to play in the match.
Clarkdale found the goal for the second time when Pickett found teammate Tyler Swanner, who picked up the goal with six minutes left.
The Clarkdale defense turned up the heat showing intense hustle in the final minutes. Their efforts would be rewarded by a Prewitt goal. Time expired before the Bulldogs could find the goal to tie. The final score was 4-3 Philadelphia.
The Tornadoes have to win out their season to make postseason action. The Tornadoes play Newton County at home and travel to Southeast this week. They also play at West Lauderdale on Saturday.
Clarkdale Coach Mark Taylor will be preparing his Bulldogs for action against West Lauderdale on Thursday at Clarkdale.