Playing in cool weather, the Clinton junior varsity football team would begin the game Thursday night receiving the ball, against the East Duplin Panthers.
With East Duplin starting on offense, the Horses would show the Panthers what their defense was made of. Scoring their first touchdown of the night, RayQuan Faison would not hesitate to put Clinton on the scoreboard. The point after was no good, but Clinton was on the board with 6 with 2:45 minutes left in the first quarter.
East Duplin’s Nigel McKoy then caught a pass and scored the Panther’s first touchdown. Their 2-point conversion failed, and the score was knotted at 6.
Starting the second quarter off on offense, the Dark Horses stepped up their game,with Faison grabbing more yardage and moving the Horses closer to the end zone. With a long pass provided by quarterback Jonathan Wright, Wade Sumner would score Clinton’s second touchdown of the night, moving the score to 12-6 with 7:28 minutes left in the first half.
The East Duplin Panthers would not be denied, either, scoring another touchdown, to knot the score at 12 with three minutes to go in the period.
Clinton’s Albert Deaver would then strike back for his team, running the ball down the field to get closer to the end zone.
Ending their first half of the night with a recovered fumble, the Dark Horses would show the Panthers that they had just begun to fight.
The third quarter of the night would consist of back to back plays. The Horses would prevent the Panthers from entering the end zone by stepping up their defense. By doing this, the Panthers would realize they had no chance of a touchdown.
Halfway into the 4th quarter with the score still tied at 12, Albert Deaver broke through with much needed touchdown. With 7:23 minutes left, Jonathan Wright would add a point to Clinton’s score with a high kick, making it 19-12, Horses.
The Panthers scored again just a few minutes later, and with their 2-point conversion, East Duplin went up 20-19.
With continuous time outs, the Horses and Panthers would battle head to head in the last two minutes of the game.
Then game what Clinton coach Michael Bell called the clutch play of the night, a pass from Wright to Sumner with just over a minute left in the game.
“It was a beautiful pass and a beautiful catch, probably the greatest clutch play I’ve seen this season,” Bell said.
It also gave the Horses a 25-20 lead which they held onto until the final whistle.
“I thought they played a great game. We played a good team tonight in East Duplin and we gave up more points than we have all season, but it was that kind of game,” Bell noted.
Clinton’s JV moves to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in conference, tied now with South Lenior.
The Clinton Dark Horse JV will open up their next game Thursday, October 18, at Clinton against Northside at 6:30.