Tyrone’s Clifton Commits to Geneva College


Lucia Isenberg

Matt Clifton

Tyrone football player Matthew Clifton has committed to Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA to continue his football and educational career in the fall.

Clifton was a key player on the defensive side of the ball for the Golden Eagles over the past several seasons, specializing in pressuring the opposing team’s quarterback.

This past season Clifton broke the school’s single-season sack record with 15.5 sacks and ended his high school career with 31.5 sacks.

Matt was one of the hardest workers on the team and a big playmaker on the defensive side of the ball

— Head Coach John Franco

“Matt was one of the hardest workers on the team and a big playmaker on the defensive side of the ball,” said Tyrone Head Coach John Franco, “He set the record for sacks by a defensive player and constantly came up with the big defensive play. I feel he will be an outstanding player at the college level.

“I chose Geneva because they have a very good football program,” said Clifton. “I also got to meet with the coaching staff and they were all very helpful during my visit. They were really what I was looking for with a small Christian college.”

Geneva competes in NCAA Division III and is affiliated with the Presidents’ Athletic Conference and the National Christian College Athletic Association.  In 2019, the Golden Tornadoes posted a 3-7 record.  This spring the team is 0-3, playing a shortened spring schedule of games because of the cancelation of the fall season due to COVID-19.

Clifton plans to major in secondary education/history. He is also interested in religious studies.

“Geneva and I have been speaking for a while. I didn’t consider them too much until I spoke to Coach Franco and I got to go on a football visit to meet the coaching staff and see what they were all about,” said Clifton.

On and off the field Clifton was a leader on the team.

“I’ve played with Matt since youth football and was impressed then and still am. I know he’ll play his best wherever he plays and I am excited to see how it goes,” said senior player Dean Grassi.

Tyrone’s Head Coach John Franco only had good things to say about Clifton and his decision.

“Matt Clifton had an outstanding season in addition to an outstanding career at Tyrone as a player and a leader. Matt is one of the best defensive ends I have ever coached. We wish him the best of luck,” said Franco.