After several inches of rain fell in Elizabethtown this week, Friday night’s game between East Bladen and Clinton was postponed until Saturday night. The field however was still saturated and murky which made it poor field conditions for both teams, but the Horses didn’t allow the conditions to dampen their spirits as the defense played a great game, holding the East Bladen offense to under 75 yards on the night.
Clinton’s offense suffered some setbacks with fumbles and interceptions. With the score 12-7, Kris Williams picked off a pass and scampered 84 yards for the touchdown to lift Clinton to a 19-7 win over East Bladen.
Clinton came out of the gates quickly and began play on the 48-yard line to start the game. Seven plays later, Williams capped off the drive on a 17-yard touchdown run. The kick failed but the Horses took an early lead 6-0 with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
The Clinton defense swarmed all over the Eagles on their next two possessions, not allowing them to move the ball at all.
The Horses’ offense seemed to be on a roll on their next possession beginning play on their own 34-yard line. Ryheem Skinner was the workhorse, catching two passes of 14 and 22 yards. Jalen Smith grinded out yards for seven yards to get inside the Eagles 10-yard line. Unfortunately for the Horses, Skinner fumbled and East Bladen recovered it.
Once again the defense would rise to the occasion and hold steady, forcing East Bladen to punt.
With a minute remaining in the first half, Clinton had enough time on the clock to put more points on the board, but for the second time a pass was picked off by the Eagles. In the ensuing drive, East Bladen quarterback Quinton Bedsole would connect with Ethan Hines for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The kick was good and East Bladen would take their first lead of the game, 7-6 at the half.
Clinton would come out rejuvenated in the second half, started by two huge runs by Smith. On the next play from scrimmage Skinner would scamper 26 yards for the touchdown. The conversion run failed but the Horse were back on top 12-7 with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
The Horses would turn the ball over three consecutive times on two interceptions and one fumble. The fumble was a questionable call due to the players knee being down, but the refs considered it a fumble giving the ball back to East Bladen.
The Eagles would move the ball to the Clinton 27-yard line, that’s when Williams would step in with the interception and cruise 84 yards for the score, sealing the win.
Coach Bob Lewis said the between the field conditions, officiating and the offense, it was a difficult game.
“We shot ourselves in the foot several times with turnovers. Our defense was simply outstanding tonight — it was a total team effort,” Lewis said. “East Bladen has a good team and it’s nice to get a win over here. I think we have lost the last two years over here.”
Smith led Clinton with 108 yards on 17 carries. Skinner picked up 84 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Wright contributed 27 yards and Williams gained 22 yards and scored two TDs, one rushing and the game-clinching pick-six.
Defensively, DeVonte Smith and Prentice Murphy each had 11 tackles each. Michael Kramer and A.J. Williamson contributed eight and seven tackles, respectively.
Clinton remains undefeated with a 6-0 overall record and a 2-0 record in the Four County Conference. They will host Midway this Friday.
Melony Henderson can be reached at civitasmedia.com