Fullback Cleveland catches 2 touchdowns in career day

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHass Clutch Clay.That’s what his teammates call him.And on Saturday, in Syracuse’s 52-17 shellacking of Tulane, Cleveland lived up to the name. The fullback who hadn’t reeled in a single pass in his three-plus years at Syracuse caught two touchdown passes and almost converted a third.“The kids call him ‘Clutch Clay’ in practice because he catches everything in the flats,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said.Cleveland’s journey started more than three years ago when he walked on to the team as a freshman. This past summer, Shafer and the Orange granted him a scholarship.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I was so happy we could award him with a scholarship,” Shafer said, “because he’s a great example of what Syracuse University is all about.”Cleveland started last year, but Syracuse ran the spread, which he said cut down on his playing time. He didn’t get as much time as he would have liked.But Saturday, Cleveland didn’t just play — he dominated.His first touchdown came at the 3:21 mark in the first quarter. Hunt lofted a ball in Cleveland’s direction, and the fullback twisted his body and snagged the pass. There was no one within 10 feet of him.“I didn’t know I was so open,” Cleveland said. “It all kind of happened at once. It happened so fast.”With just more than five minutes left in the third quarter, “Clutch Clay” struck again. And with the exact same play. Cleveland noticed that Tulane was late to react on the first touchdown, so the Orange took advantage of the poor coverage one more time. That upped Syracuse’s lead to 49-17.Cleveland almost tacked on a third touchdown in the fourth quarter when he caught a pass in the red zone from backup quarterback Drew Allen. He motored toward the end zone on the far side of the field but was stopped just a few yards short.“I wish I had a little more speed,” said the robust Cleveland. “If I had a little more speed I would have had a touchdown.”Cleveland said “it was a long time coming” and that he’s thrilled his hard work is finally paying off.Said Shafer: “I love Clay Cleveland.” Commentslast_img

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