By Joey Derrico
The second-seeded Clemson Tigers have defeated the defending champions in the College Football Playoffs National Championship. The game took place on Monday, January 9 in Phoenix, Arizona, in front of an crowd of 76,000. The showdown was a rematch of last year’s championship game in which Alabama defeated the Tigers 45-40. This time, Clemson downed Alabama 35-31 to win their first championship since 1981.
Alabama was the team to strike first in the game. Running back Bo Scarbrough of the Crimson Tide had a 25-yard touchdown run to put Alabama up by seven through the first quarter. Clemson pushed back in the second quarter with a touchdown run by quarterback Deshaun Watson to make the score 14-7, Alabama, at halftime. In the third quarter, Alabama heated up by adding a field goal and a 68-yard touchdown pass to extend their lead to 24-14. The fourth quarter is where things began to get hectic. Watson started the quarter impressively with a 72-yard march down the field for a touchdown. Alabama added a field goal and Clemson another touchdown to make the score 28-24 Clemson. With two minutes left, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts ran for a 30-yard touchdown to put the Tide 31-28. Deshaun Watson got the ball at his own 32-yard line with two minutes remaining. In a remarkable drive, Watson led the Tigers 68-yards for a touchdown, scoring with one second left on a touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow. Clemson went ahead on the touchdown 35-31 to win the game and all its glory. The Tigers were appropriately greeted by thousands of fans during their return to Death Valley on Tuesday.