Red Devils already working on next season
A rebuilding season comes to an end.
Up by two touchdowns, Camden decided to gamble on an on-side kick. It wasn’t much of a gamble, as it turned out, since the giant C and Bulldog on the field made it tough for the officials to decide how far the ball went. Camden recovered after the orb rolled 9 yards, and that was all the momentum the home-standing Region Champion Bulldogs needed to defeat Clinton, 43-14.
The Red Devils managed touchdowns by Greg Sanders and Shy Kinard, missed a PAT and succeeded on a 2-point conversion. The offense was able to generate 21 points in the past two games - contests against the #1 and the #2 teams in Regions 4 and 3, respectively.
Clinton gained 265 yards against the Camden defense at iconic Zemp Stadium, right beside Historic Camden.
Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain said on Saturday Morning Rewind, “They played great all year for us. I just hate that we had to go down there and lose in the first round. … We have weightlifting class; we’ll be in there Monday working. After that game, our kids weren’t satisfied. T hey know they have to grind. We are going to make some adjustments and work on getting better.
“The seniors were great leaders all year for us. I wish I had them all one more year.”
The successful on-side kick was especially galling for Clinton. Two officials shooed Fountain back to the Clinton sideline as he protested the Bulldog recovery. The kick didn’t decide the game, of course; Clinton drove well on its first possession – after a Camden 7-minute drive for an 8-0 lead – but lost a fumble on the Camden 2-yard line. After that it was difficult for Clinton to turn the page and drive again. Sanders’ score came with 1:58 left in the 3rd quarter (Camden led 37-0) and Kinard found the end zone with 8:40 left in the game. Clinton had one more scoring chance but a 4th down fade to the corner of the end zone was not pass interference by the Camden defender (he said so).
Asked after the game about the first half fumble, Fountain said, “We gotta fix that.”
The drive that ended in the Clinton fumble came after the Red Devils got good field position on a kick-off (Camden’s first TD). The Bulldogs were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct because players left the field of play to ring a giant textile mill bell, now located behind the scoreboard end zone.
Clinton stopped a Camden drive with an interception with 2:07 left before halftime. But the Red Devils gave it right back with a Camden pick-six on the next play. Navill Watson, a junior, went the distance at quarterback for the Red Devils.
Clinton ends the 2019 season at 4-7, fourth place in Region 3-AAA. Camden moves on in the playoffs at 10-1, first place in Region 4-AAA.