Clinton defeats Chapman, round three playoffs
On, to the Upper State Championship - w/stats PDF attached.
Clinton continued its season of “unfinished business” Friday night with a 49-27 win over Chapman in the 3rd round of the AAA State Playoffs. They celebrated a little then started preparing a game plan BUT NOT for the #1 team in the state.
Clinton travels to #4 Powdersville on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, instead of to Daniel, where Clinton lost last season in the 3rd round of the playoffs. Powdersville went for 2 to win the game with no time on the clock to spring the upset over Daniel, 36-35. It will be Clinton’s first road trip since Oct. 21, to Chester.
“We didn’t come this far, just to come this far,” Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain said.
“Our kids came out a little flat tonight, but a lot of credit to (Chapman), they had a great game plan. Our offense just kept blocking, we kept pounding that rock and we got a crack in the rock and then we broke the rock. Our defense played good; we got a little bit of momentum going into the second half, at halftime, and we came out in the second half, I think our players did a great job. Proud of our guys, proud of our coaches.”
A running trio each went over 100 yards for the game in Clinton’s 595 yards of offense. Bryson James pounded out 151 yards and 4 touchdowns which included a stunning leap over defenders at the goal line; Jayden Robinson ran for 145 yards, including a spectacular hand-on-the-ground to keep running score of 76 yards; and Jishun Copeland contributed 130 yards.
Clinton Junior Quarterback Bryce Young managed it all while going 4-for-7 passing for 135 yards. In the Red Devils first possession he barely overthrew 3 passes designed to loosen up the Chapman stack-the-box-against-the-run defense.
Lucas Kuykendall added a 24-yard field goal. Zay Johnson turned in a drive-killing interception on Chapman’s first possession of the 2nd half.
Still, Chapman managed 298 yards, mostly through the air, running 44 plays. Chapman led 7-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, and 14-7 in the 2nd quarter.
But the Panthers stalled out at 14 points until a 61-yard end-around run in the 4th quarter, and a touchdown with 2 minutes left in the game. Austin Boyd snuffed out Chapman’s final hope with an onside kick recovery.
Now 13-0, Clinton got its second win this season over Chapman – 49-19 on Sept. 16 and now 49-27 on Nov. 18, after Chapman won 27-26 in 2021 to earn the region championship. Clinton and Chapman are in different regions this season.
This Friday will be Clinton’s first trip to the Upper State Championship since 2009, the State Championship team that went 12-3 on the season – defeating Daniel 35-28 in the Upper State and Myrtle Beach 35-26 in the State title game.
In its 11-2 2021 season, Clinton was denied a trip to the Upper State Championship by a 52-7 Daniel win – thus, the “unfinished business” that Fountain refers to. But it won’t be Daniel that gets to host Clinton again – instead, it’s a fellow region champion, Powdersville, (ranked #4 in AAA behind Daniel, Dillon, and Clinton) that will be the host site. The destination really doesn’t matter – as Fountain says, “Wherever we got to go, whoever we got to face, in the yard, in the street, we’re going to get ready for them.”