Under bright stadium lights and through a smokey entrance, the Clinton Dark Horses entered Panther territory Friday night in Duplin County. It was a battle from the start, but in the end, the home team managed to take down the Horses 21-14.
East Duplin got on the board first with 4:02 left on the clock in the first quarter.
Beginning the second quarter off on offense, the Horses would make their way down the field little by little. A pass by Greg Smith and a catch by Owen Hunt, put Dark Horses yards away from their first touchdown, which they got a few downs later to knot the score at 7.
A solid kickoff from Dark Horse Justin Parker put the Panthers on their own 13-yard line. Clinton was able to hold the home team on downs, but when they grabbed their next possession, the Horses weren’t able to find much opportunity to score.
Then East Duplin caught fire again.
With a 78 -yard run, East Duplin would score their second touchdown of the night, bringing the score 14 to 7, with four minutes left until the half.
Right when the crowd was starting to lose hope in the Horses, Shian Bradshaw raced down the field and into the end zone. The point after was good, and with 10 second left in the half, the teams were tied once again, this time at 14.
It would be Clinton’s final score.
When the Panthers returned from the break, they were determined to find the end zone again, but strong defense by both teams left the score knotted at the end of the third quarter.
But East Duplin was not to be denied. Taking charge, East Duplin would score another touchdown with 2:41 minutes left in the game. With the PAT good, the Panthers were ahead 21-14.
Clinton had 2 minutes to catch up, and while they fought hard, they couldn’t hit pay dirt.
On rushing, Tykearion Stevens had 12 carries for 41 yards, and Demontio Stevens had 6 carries for 11 yards. Passing, Greg Smith had 12 for 25, 2 touchdown, and 163 yards. Shian Bradshaw would have 1 touchdown. Receiving, Shian Bradshaw had 1 catch for 38 yards, Owen Hunt had 2 catches for 37 yards, and Spencer Jacobs had 2 catches for 28 yards. On defense, Elexus Raines had 10 tackles, Tykearion Stevens had 11 tackles, Blake Ellis had 9 tackles, Roy Williams had 8 tackles, Kenneth Ford had 7 tackles, and Owen Hunt had 6 tackles.
Clinton will travel to Northside, Friday, Oct. 19 for a 7:30 p.m. game.