The Rivalry - Year 3
Rivalry kicks off the 2019 season - Laurens wins, 28-0.
The new-look Clinton Red Devils and their fan base have the chance to travel well this Friday as they head to KC Hanna Stadium on the campus of Laurens District High School for the 2019 varsity football kickoff.
Clinton is home for the two games after that – Sept. 6 against Broome and Sept. 13 against Powdersville. The Sept. 6 game will be a re-dedication of Wilder Stadium, after an extensive renovation (remember, clear-bag policies in effect for all games).
For Laurens head coach Chris Liner, the Raiders will be “a good bit farther ahead” of where they have been in the past as the season starts. Liner told Saturday Morning Rewind that the Raiders have a lot of three-year starters and it’s the second season running the flex bone. Laurens has had four scrimmages - Strom Thurmond, Chapin, Spring Valley and Boiling Springs.
Because of a new SC High School League rule of three days between scrimmages and what Coach Corey Fountain called “circumstances beyond our control, the Red Devils did not have as many scrimmages and had game-like play against Berea cancelled.
“I’ve been close friends with last three Clinton coaches, and they have done a good job committing to football again,” Liner said. “You don’t (just) have six coaches anymore and substandard facilities - kids will just transfer.
The way schedules are now, Liner said, the first three games are like pre-season games, “not that they’re not important.”
Laurens will have three road games after the home opener. Discussing starting the season against Clinton, Liner said, “Football had become less important in both communities; we need to generate some excitement. Laurens had six coaches in the last 20 years.”
Liner said he wants to take the Raiders to Myrtle Beach in week two because “we have 37 kids who have never seen the ocean.”
For Laurens, look for Louisville commit, running back Duane Martin. Liner said, “He has started four years on varsity, and he is a great kid. He deserves the accolades he’s getting. We are glad to have another (NCAA Division) D1 player; we have had several D1 commits over years.” Also, Ryan Campbell is a four-year starter, taking the reins again at quarterback.
For Coach Fountain, who came to Clinton from Lamar, this Friday will be part of the grind. “We look forward to it. We have worked all summer and it’s been a grind. After a couple weeks of practice, our guys were ready to hit someone else.”
On offense, the Red Devils will look “not much different than what you’ve seen in past. We will run, it will be dressed up different – formations, different kids running the formations,” Fountain said. “You’ve got to get after it, get to the football. You’ve got to be able to flip that switch – be a good guy in the school, the community, at home; and on the field get to another switch. That’s what we are teaching our kids to do.”
Davis Wilson and Navil Watson are having a QB competition for Clinton. They will operate out of the shotgun with receivers on the wing. “Every play sets up another play,” Fountain said. “It looks like we’re running the same play; you grind, you keep perfecting it and making corrections. You’ve got to grind to shine – and gel together.”
Looking at Laurens, Fountain said, “They have a great staff, they are well-coached. We will be ready to rock ‘n’ roll – they’ll be ready to go - Friday nights, that’s where it’s at. Any chance you get this week to see our kids, say ‘we support you’ - our kids are going to give you everything they’ve got. We will do the best we can to make you guys proud – we want them to be examples for everybody.”
Look for Clinton to carry the motto that Fountain has suggested: “Respect Tradition and Build On It.”
For Presbyterian College, this Saturday is a trip to Stetson (Florida) for a 7 p.m. kick-off and action on ESPN+.
The Sept. 14 and 21 games will be at home. The Blue Hose will wear a CG sticker, for the late Hall of Fame coach Cally Gault. This season will be enhanced by the largest freshman class in 10 years at PC. Also, Stetson and Jacksonville (first two opponents) are Pioneer Football League teams, and PC will join the PFL in 2021 (playing non-scholarship football).
On Sept. 14 – Scotsman Club Night – PC Athletics will play tribute to the Blue Hose 1959 Tangerine Bowl team (played East Carolina) and the 1975 national semi-finals team under Coach Gault.