Clinton made its second trip to Smithfield in a four-day span on Monday night to face the Spartan’s in their first road test of the young season. The Dark Horses and Spartans were ready to square off on this past Thursday when lightning filled the skies and caused a delay that eventually resulted in the game being pushed back to Monday due to the field conditions.
The four day wait didn’t seem to bother the Dark Horses as they scored four times in the first quarter on their way to a 62-0 rout of the Spartans.
The Dark Horses opened the game on defense forcing a Spartan punt after a quick three and out. It didn’t take Clinton long to get the scoring started as Jalen Smith broke off a 39-yard run on the second play from scrimmage setting up the Dark Horses with a first down at the Spartan’s 11-yard line. On the next play Ryheem Skinner took a hand off and scampered into the end zone with Clinton’s first score of the night at the 9:44 mark of the first quarter giving Clinton a 7-0 lead after Chandler Perry added the PAT kick, effectively giving the Dark Horses all the scoring they would need.
On the next possession the triple S offense picked up a first down and looked to be settling down. This success was short lived as the Dark Horse defense stymied the Spartans on the next three plays to force another punt. Clinton got a short field to operate in when Tyion Wright returned the punt across midfield to the Spartan’s 41-yard line. The Horses took advantage of the good field position, driving the ball on several nice runs before Smith plunged across the goal for a 1-yard touchdown to give Clinton a 14-0 lead with 4:07 remaining in the opening quarter.
Smithfield Selma returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown that was negated by a block in the back penalty. Even with the penalty the Spartans got good field position but were unable to make anything happen on offense and punted again, this time netting only 1-yard on a badly shanked kick. The Dark Horses took over at their own 30-yard line and went on a 2 play scoring drive capped by a 42 yard run around right end by AJ Williamson for a 21-0 Clinton lead at the 1:07 mark of the first quarter after Perry’s third successful PAT kick of the night.
The Spartan’s offense turned the ball over on the next possession, fumbling the ball back to the Horses at the Triple S 16-yard line. On the next play, Clinton QB Kris Williams found Hampton Brock on a short slant pattern that Brock ran into the end zone with 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter to extend the Clinton lead to 28-0 after Perry’s PAT kick was true.
The Dark Horses could only manage one more score in the first half when Skinner capped a 39 yard scoring drive on a 6-yard touchdown run with 7:29 left in the second quarter. Perry’s extra point attempt sailed wide of the mark leaving the score at 34-0. The Spartan’s offense made a little noise late in the half driving the ball into the red-zone before Kris Williams intercepted a pass in the end zone to snuff out the scoring threat at the end of the second quarter.
Clinton wasted little time picking up where they left off in the first half as they opened the third quarter with a scoring flurry. The Dark Horses scored twice on their first three offensive plays from scrimmage in the second half. Skinner bolted into the end zone on his first two carries of the half, scoring on runs of 54 and 26 yards. The first coming just 14 seconds into the half and the second at the 7:05 mark. Perry added PAT kicks to each score to run the Clinton lead to 48-0.
Williams got into the end zone early in the fourth quarter making an electrifying 62-yard touchdown run on a dive play over the right side of the line. Williams weaved his way through traffic at the line of scrimmage and then ran away from the Spartan’s once he broke into the secondary. After Perry added the PAT kick the Dark Horses held a 55-0 advantage with 8:30 remaining in the game.
The Dark Horses cleared the bench on their final possession of the night with several JV players seeing their first varsity action. Cameron Armwood made the most of his first varsity playing time, scoring a touchdown from 22 yards out as time expired to cap the scoring. Perry added his eighth point of the night on the PAT kick and the Dark Horses celebrated their 62-0 win.
Skinner led the Clinton offense with 11 carries for 124 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. Kris Williams added 89 yards on three carries with one rushing touchdown. Smith and Williamson each got three carries and each scored a touchdown with Smith gaining 61 yards and Williamson picking up 60 yards. Armwood had 26 yards on 3 carries with a touchdown.
Kris Williams had a good night throwing the ball, going 2-for-3 for 44 yards and one touchdown. Wright had one catch for 28 yards and Brock hauled in one ball for 16 yards and a score.
On defense the Horses were led by Devonte Smith and Michael Kramer, each tallied seven stops. Frank Nelson was in on five tackles and Skinner, Williamson, Khari Williams and Taylor Daniel each added four stops.
After the game, Clinton head coach Bob Lewis commented on his teams second blowout win of the year.
“We just happened to hit two teams in a row that weren’t at their best. We needed to be challenged a little bit and that did not happen tonight. That will come this Friday. I am just not sure that this game helped us get ready for Northside. Maybe it knocked off a little rust but we have got to be ready to play this coming Friday night,” Lewis said.
He continued to look ahead to the next game on the schedule adding, “Northside is a good football program. They have some size and can run, they are accustomed to winning and we will need everyone at their best to have a chance to win.”
The win over the Spartans improves Clinton’s record to 2-0 as they prepare for a big game on this Friday when they host the Monarchs from Northside. Northside comes in sporting a 3-0 record and are ranked in the top 10 in the 2-A ranks. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Dark Horse Stadium.