Red Devils look for bounce back win
CLINTON WINS, 35-6. CHESNEE HERE TONIGHT: Panthers pounce, and keep on pouncing on the Devils
Abbeville scored 5 touchdowns to Clinton’s 1 to begin a fast-start, run-dominated 49-12 beat-down by the 5-0, two-time defending AA State Champions over the visiting Red Devils.
Mark Wise scored for Clinton, 1-yard run, 8:43 2nd quarter, PAT kick failed; and Kris Holmes found the end zone, 1-yard run, 0:50 3rd quarter, PAT kick failed. That was all the scoring for Clinton, while Abbeville was running the ball 37 times for 357 yards (Clinton, 51 for 177).
The Red Devils have to regroup for this Friday’s non-region match-up against surprising Chesnee, a 29-26 winner Friday over Berea. Next comes Sept. 29 and defending AAA State Champion Chapman, a 58-6 winner over Blue Ridge.
Last season, Clinton defeated Chesnee, 47-12, behind 419 yards on offense, including 121 passing.
But for Friday’s game against the Panthers, the home team’s linebackers were too fast and the Abbeville runners too powerful - Courtney Jackson 6-87, Bryce Jackson 5-77, JaBryan Sanders 5-54, Jermaine Blackwell 3-41 - for the Red Devil defense to handle.
The Panthers also hit a 66-yard scoring pass.
“We didn’t give ourselves a chance especially on defense,” Clinton football head coach Andrew Webb said. “We made way too many mistakes and they didn’t. In the first quarter, we didn’t block very well. We tried to get them at halftime and tell them, ‘Don’t look at the scoreboard. Focus on us. Let’s try to get better.’ We were able to finish a 40 play drive or something. There’s still positives, we just made way, way too many mistakes.”
Clinton’s final scoring drive was 71 yards in 16 plays, and the Red Devils dominated plays-run in the fourth quarter and overall time of possession. Abbeville’s quick-strike offense made time of possession a meaningless statistic. Early on, Clinton fumbled three times and lost one.
Passing was almost non-existent - Clinton’s Konnor Richardson passed nine times, completed four (one interception) for 24 yards; Abbeville’s Bryce Jackson passed four times, completed two for 78 yards (one completion was 66 yards).
That’s a big contrast to what Clinton will face Sept. 29 against Chapman.
After Laurens lost to Chapman, Raiders football head coach Chris Liner called the offense his team faced “basketball on turf” for the Chapman wide receivers’ go-up-and-snag-it pass catching.
Last season’s Clinton game at Chesnee was one of the Red Devils’ best of the season. It was the second time early in the 2016 season that Clinton went over 40 points, and Holmes, as a junior, was the workhorse, toting the rock 31 times for 160 yards. Chesnee could not stop the forward push of the Clinton offensive line, and Red Devil coaches patrolled the sidelines, yelling, “They can’t stop it, keep running it.”
Now, Chesnee is led by long-time AD Bill Owens stepping into his first head coaching role since 2004; he won a state championship at Broome. According to FNF (Friday Night Football Carolinas), Chesnee players to watch are Seth Blanton and Alex Lee, senior linebackers; Bo Walker, senior wide receiver, 46 receptions last season; Kyler Reagan, junior wide receiver; and Kobe Miller, senior defensive back.
In the 2016 game at Chesnee, Clinton’s Tquan Cromer turned in the first big, drive-killing play on defense with an interception for the Red Devils with 3:29 left to play before halftime on a fourth down pass. The pick allowed Clinton to protect a 20-0 halftime lead.
For the 2017 game at home, CHS Athletics will honor the 1977 and 1987 State Championship teams during "Throwback Night". The game is this Friday, 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Wilder Stadium.
All members and coaches of the two championship teams are invited to attend. Special jerseys will be worn that replicate the 1977 state championship uniforms and will have a commemorative patch that honor both teams. After the game, all team members and coaches are invited to go to the high school to eat "Friday Night Chicken" in the school cafeteria with the team.
The throwback uniforms will be available to purchase for $50. The State Champion members will have the first opportunity to buy the jerseys, and then they will go on sale to the public.
Other scores of interest, Sept. 15:
Boiling Springs 30, Laurens 14
Cathedral (N. Charleston) 42, Laurens Academy 12
Newberry 22, Fairfield Central 21
Ninety Six 23, Mid-Carolina 21
Ridge View 38, Union County 0
Greenwood 51, Aiken 14
Greenwood Christian 33, Ware Shoals 20
Greer 56, Woodruff 0
Byrnes 34, Broome 0
Whitmire 36, Branchville 16