Red Devils: past Union, on to Mid-Carolina

They came out and hit us in the mouth in the first half, and we had to regroup at halftime. Shy Kinard (sophomore running back) ran the ball hard. He was frustrated with the score, too, and he wanted to make sure that he did everything he could to help the team win. I can’t say enough about the way he ran." - Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain

Horn line is Union County’s 12th man - Kinard for 180 yards - Clinton wins 35-21 at Mid carolina

 

Pass interference on a point after touchdown.

The game started weird and just got weirder for the Clinton Red Devils Friday night.

It was especially weird for old-school types, who remember when the opposing band had to “play soft” when the quarterback was calling signals. The Union County band provided a modern lesson in band etiquette as its horns blasted away right next to Clinton’s offense on the Red Devils first two possessions and aimed toward the Red Devils on Clinton’s last possession of the first half. The possessions went for little yardage. When the band took a break in the third quarter, the Red Devils had their best sustained drive of the night, scoring on a Shy Kinard 2-yard run.

Kinard, a sophomore, went for 180 yards on 8 carries and 3 touchdowns in Clinton’s 54-21 loss to the Yellow Jackets in the start of region play.

“We didn’t want to start region play that way,” Red Devil football head coach Corey Fountain said.

Bands, of course, do not win football games. Clinton’s inability to stay with UC’s fleet-footed receivers, and failure to sustain pressure on the quarterback, was its undoing. Clinton won the second half, but Fountain rejected the idea that this was a “moral victory”.

“It didn’t give us a W in the end.”

Kinard scored two other times – 75- and 61-yard runs - when the Red Devils were far enough away from the UC band to hear their signals. But poor tackling quickly caught up with Clinton as Union County built a 47-7 halftime lead. Clinton scored in the third quarter; it was a 14-point fourth quarter.

“They came out and hit us in the mouth in the first half, and we had to regroup at halftime,” Fountain said. “Shy Kinard (sophomore running back) ran the ball hard. He was frustrated with the score, too, and he wanted to make sure that he did everything he could to help the team win. I can’t say enough about the way he ran … we kept blocking, kept fighting.  Greg Sanders (senior blocking back) is an unselfish player; he does that in practice, and he does that in the games. He’s going to give you everything he’s got every play. We’ve got to have everybody doing that.”

The Red Devils got quarterback Davis Wilson back from injury, and he and Navill Watson split time at signal-caller. Watson and Wilson connected for a pass completion in the second half. Union County’s experience in QB KeSean Glover and RB Junior Owens was just too much to overcome.

Union County scored on its first possession (a run) even though the center-quarterback exchange was fumbled. On a 3rd and 15 at the 50, Union County hit a touchdown pass. The PAT snap was mishandled and the holder rolled out for a pass attempt for a 2-point conversion; it was incomplete. Fighting through blocks, the Red Devils were flagged for pass interference. Union County got a do-over and was successful on the kick. Union County ran in a score opening the second quarter, before Kinard reeled off his 75-yard up-the-middle scoring burst. But the Yellow Jackets struck right back after a short kickoff. Clinton had a drive going on its own 45 - after a Union County spearing penalty - but turned the ball over on downs. A long pass led to another Union County scoring run. The Yellow Jackets ran in another score and hit a scoring pass despite a Clinton pass interference penalty. After the PAT, Union County kicked off from the Clinton 45-yard line.

Kinard’s short burst TD capped Clinton’s best drive with 29.4 seconds left in the third quarter. But then, Union County converted a 4th and 4 for an up-the-middle TD run, before Kinard capped the scoring with a 61-yard run.

Clinton, 2-4 overall, 0-1 in region play, prepares this Friday for a road game at Mid-Carolina. After that, Senior Night is against Newberry – the season’s final  home game – and the last two, Emerald and Woodruff,  are on the road. The big region game – Woodruff at Union County – is this Friday.

Scores of interest:

Laurens 20, Westside 17

Clarendon Hall 44, Laurens Academy 22

Mid-Carolina 13, Emerald 12

Woodruff 38, Newberry 14

Greenwood 49, Hanna 22

Whitmire 32, Ware Shoals 3

Chapman 49, Broome 7

Saluda 55, Silver Bluff 0.

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