Mid-Carolina in Clinton tonight for CHS homecoming
UPDATE: 3rd quarter explosion gives Red Devils 45-7 win, go to 1-1 in region
Clinton and Mid-Carolina have almost no experience playing each other. Both teams ran up against powerhouse Abbeville in non-region play - and both lost.
Mid-Carolina fell in its Sept. 23 game, 37-7. For Clinton, the score was a little more respectable, 34-17, against the No. 1 team in Class 2A. The Rebels fell to 0-4 in their non-region schedule with the Abbeville loss, then started region play against Broome.
Despite losing to Abbeville, M-C football head coach Louie Alexander saw positives. He told The Newberry Observer of quarterback Cade Ruff, “I thought he played really well and made some really good decisions and good plays with his legs.”
Alexander said against the Panthers, M-C had two starting offensive linemen, Will Morris and Robert MacDonald, out with concussions. Other players got in-game experience in their place, Alexander said. “We’ve been short because of players with injuries, but the effort from the players was tremendous. All in all the effort is all we ask from kids,” Alexander said.
Clinton got effort in a big way from its players as the offense came to life against Chesnee. In the 47-12 road win, in non-region play, Clinton rolled up a 47-0 lead, before allowing a Chesnee score with just over 5 minutes left to play. Kris Holmes ran like a beast, and it was best upfront blocking of the season for the Red Devils. Chesnee stacked the box - Charlie Craven threw over the top to touchdowns to Jalen Carter and Donte Reeder.
This Friday is Clinton’s Homecoming game at Wilder Stadium.
Mid-Carolina comes into Clinton’s Class 3A region because of 2016-17 re-alignment by the South Carolina High School League. Mid-Carolina and Newberry had been in Class 2A, and Newberry last season played Dillon for a Class 2A state championship.
Newberry, like Woodruff and Laurens, has been a long-time Clinton rival. Mid-Carolina, not so much. The Red Devils and Rebels have met in the summer, in 7-on-7 passing league play. Alexander has coached at Mid-Carolina for a long time, and before going there, he coached Whitmire High School.
In the pre-season, Friday Night Football Carolinas listed Mid-Carolina QB Ruff as a junior wide receiver. As the season reaches its mid-point, injuries and situations require players to change to new positions. For Clinton, Craven has been a constant, steadying force at quarterback. Holmes had limited success carrying the ball against Greer and Aiken, before his breakout 160-yard performance against Chesnee.
The defense was rock-solid in the non-region schedule. Before the Chapman game (region opener), just one opponent (Abbeville-34) scored more than 30 points against Clinton’s defense.
Clinton limited Greer to 21, Aiken to 14 and Chesnee to 12 (both scored late in the fourth quarter). Clinton lost Rakevis Brown, who was a terror getting into the offensive backfield against Laurens, to injury. Tyreke Watts and Dakota Webb have stepped up to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
For Mid-Carolina, in the pre-season in addition to Ruff, Friday Night Football Carolinas listed these players to watch: Corey Stone, seniorm QB; Terrell Long, senior, running back; John Steven Trammell, junior offensive line; Iyon Thompson, junior wide receiver and defensive back; Miles Dewalt, junior, defensive line; and Greg Wright, senior defensive line.
“Mid-Carolina has long been an annual fixture in the Class AA playoffs,” FNFC said, “even with a losing record three of the past four years. The postseason is no longer guaranteed for the Rebels as they move into a loaded region in Class AAA this season (Region 3: Clinton. Chapman, Broome, Newberry and Woodruff).”
Mid-Carolina was 4-7 overall, 3-3 in region playing in 2A last season. Their cross-county rivals, the Newberry Bulldogs, went 11-3 overall, 5-1 in region also in 2A last season.
Newberry “moved up,” also. Clinton, 3-7 last season, will play at Newberry Oct. 14, in a game that for a while was played early in the season - non-region - but now could play an important role in deciding who makes the Class 3A state playoffs from Region 3.