Fans got their money’s worth and then some in the battle against South Lenior and the Clinton Dark Horses Thursday night.
The stage couldn’t have been set any better — both JV football teams came into the game with the same record, battling for a conference championship and only one would leave the game with first place honors. In the end it would be the visiting Dark Horses in a 41-8 rout.
After a dazzling fireworks display and a cannon to ring in the start of the game, Clinton’s defense set the tone on what kind of night South Lenior was in for, shutting them down and forcing them to punt on their first drive.
The confident offense thanked them by putting together a 4-play, 90-yard drive that ended on a pretty pass from Jonathan Wright to Josh Armwood that netted 60 yards. Wright hit the PAT and Clinton was in control.
After another solid defensive performance, Clinton battled South Lenior’s defense once again. After a 6-play drive that came up about 3 yards short, Albert Deaver saved the drive by getting the first down on fourth and three. On the very next play, Deaver found a hole and scampered 40 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Wright hit the PAT and Clinton was up 14-0 after one quarter of play.
South Lenior tried to get something started on offense to open the second quarter, but continued to fall flat thanks to players like Julian Wilkins, who forced a fumble and recovered the ball for Clinton.
On the next play, Wright connected with Wade Sumner on a 40-yard pass that started another solid drive. Armwood caught a 12-yard pass to put Clinton deep in South Lenior territory. A play later, Rayquon Faison scored from 10 yards out to put Clinton up 20-0.
After a long half, the Dark Horses opened the third with some razzle-dazzle of their own. A perfectly executed reverse on the opening kickoff had Deaver delivering an impressive 80 yards into the end zone.Wright hit the PAT and Clinton was up 27-0.
Later in the quarter, Wright hit Kavon Dessus on a 50-yard pass. Three plays later, on fourth and eight, Wright hit Armwood for another touchdown, putting the Horses up 34-0.
Late in the third quarter, South Lenior’s offense managed to create a spark, putting together a nice drive that had them in scoring position on Clinton’s 2-yard line. However, Marcus Richardson forced a fumble and recovered the ball in the endzone.
Just inside the fourth quarter, Faison capped an 8-play drive on a 40-yard touchdown run to put Clinton’s final points on the board.
With under a minute left in the game, South Lenior scored, but the game was already over. Final score 41-8.
“They played a nearly perfect game,” said Clinton head coach Michael Bell. “It was about as close to perfect as it could be. I am just really proud of the way the guys played tonight and they really earned this championship title.”
Clinton’s offense finished the game with a total of 420 yards; it was the first time that they had done that this season.
“I tell you I am just blessed to coach these kids,” Bell said. “They are a great group of guys who always did the best job they could do even when times were hard, they pressed through. I am really proud of them.”
Leaders for Clinton: Passing: Wright, 223 yards, 1 TD. Last week, Wright through for over 200 yards and 3 TDs.
Rushing: Faison and Deaver each finished with over 100 yards rushing Thursday night.
Receiving: Armwood, 3-82; Sumner, 3-75.
Defensive note: South Lenior’s offense came into the game averaging 30 points a game.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.