9-1 regular season
90 Yards, and see my taillights.
Clinton punched Woodruff early and often – enough to build a 32-0 lead with 1:42 left in the 3rd quarter – as the Red Devils pounded their way to a 39-17 regular season ending win Friday at WL Varner Stadium.
The 9-1 Red Devils now advance to the first round of the AAA State Playoffs, where Head Coach Corey Fountain reminded his troops, everybody is 0-0. To get there this coming Friday, Clinton is going to have to nurse two key injuries – to starting quarterback Davis Wilson and starting wide receiver Wilson Wages – and will have to clean up the 9 penalties called against them in the Woodruff game. One was for an illegal pass on a blocked field goal recovery; one was for a personal foul on a punt fair catch.
Fountain said, “We came out hot, moved the ball down the field capping off drives and we had some penalties that backed us up. We’d go two steps forward and three steps back. That’s what was going on in the second quarter and it was tough. Our guys persevered through and went into halftime, came back out at half time, and the third quarter just seemed to drag on. Guys get hurt, next man up and those guys have just got to execute, and our guys have got to have energy on the sidelines. We just have to stay up the whole game.”
Jykorie Gary, Clinton’s senior running back, proved the adage “great players make big plays in big games.” After Clinton’s first score, Woodruff came back to get the ball into field goal position – Clinton blocked the attempt and on the recovery was called for an illegal pass. That backed the Red Devils up to their own 10-yard line. Then came Gary.
Picking up an awesome block, Gary gashed the Woodruff defense for a 90-yard scoring run – he finished with 134 yards on the ground. Bryson James added 102 yards rushing to Clinton’s 1-2 punch. Before his injury, Wilson was 5 of 10 passing to add 93 yards to the Clinton effort.
Overall, Clinton gained 410 yards.
Wages scored Clinton’s first touchdown on a short pass; James added the 2-point conversion run. Then came Gary’s long touchdown. Then Clinton scored a safety on a Woodruff snap over the punter’s head and out the back of the end zone. Gary scored again from 5 yards out at the start of the 2nd quarter. Gary scored again but it was called back by a Clinton personal foul. Later the Red Devils received a punt and were flagged for a personal foul on the fair catch. Woodruff threatened with 2:05 until halftime, but Zay Johnson intercepted for Clinton in the end zone.
The teams exchanged fumbles, and a long pass to James set up Clinton at the Woodruff 36. Christopher Young’s catch of a Wilson pass on a 4th down moved the ball to the Woodruff 6 – James powered in again and added the 2-point conversion run. That gave Clinton 32 points.
Woodruff scored to start the 4th quarter – Clinton handed the ball to Austin Copeland after Wilson’s injury, and he engineered a drive that led to Copeland running in a touchdown off the edge – as Coach Fountain was begging the official for a timeout. Woodruff scored with 4:12 left to play – drove again and put through a field goal with 0 on the game clock.