It was a night of near misses for the Clinton Red Devils -- photos.
The second game of the season was decided on a missed Clinton field goal with 9.9 seconds left to play. The Red Devils had a touchdown nullified – and a Broome fumble recovery returned to mid-field – because the officials couldn’t decide if the ball broke the plane of the goal line. Another time, a PAT kick went awry, and the potential 2-point pass was just a little too long for a receiver.
Broome scored its winning points on a deflected 2-point conversion pass that just as easily could have bounced away harmlessly.
One thing Clinton, 1-1 overall and in region play, didn’t miss out on was an electrifying Jykorie Gary run. The speedster flew 97 yards for a 2nd quarter touchdown, making the game 7-6 Broome, after Clinton held the goal line with 5:50 left before halftime. It is unofficially the longest scoring run in school history.
Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain said, “That’s a tough one; I’ll take (responsibility on) that one. We got to block it up if were going to make the field goal and we didn’t block it the way we got to block it. We didn’t have another time out so we went for a field goal. (The Red Devils) played hard and they did a great job and we can’t fault them at all. This loss is on me.”
Fountain said Gary “had a great game on offense and defense, and the guys blocked it up well for him and he hit it (97-yard run) and didn’t slow up and did a great job.”
Gary’s run came after Clinton did not have a touchdown acknowledged by the officials, and lost a fumble returned to midfield. Broome struck for a TD pass on the next play. With Gary’s run and a failed PAT, Clinton was behind 7-6, when Broome scored again with 38 seconds until halftime. Clinton scored on the second play of the second half, a Shy Kinard scoring run. Broome answered back to break a 13-13 tie, going up 19-13. Clinton scored again with 3:41 left in the 3rd quarter, but had a fumble kill a drive with 7:50 left to play in the game. CK Vance got the ball right back for Clinton with an interception, putting the ball on the Broome 40. Gary scored again at 4:16 left to play – an Austin Copeland to Wilson Wages pass completion was the big play on this drive.
That meant Clinton had a 26-19 lead with under 4 minutes on the game clock. But Broome’s pro-set, big play offense was not to be denied – moving the ball with 2 pass completions and regrouping as a Broome player was treated for cramps.
Still 26-19 Clinton with 2:40 left to play, Broome pushed the ball to the Clinton 6. On 4th down, the Centurions passed for a TD and completed a 2-point conversion on a deflected pass. There was 1:26 left on the Wilder Stadium clock.
Clinton used all that time except 9.9 seconds to get into field goal range but could not convert. It was Clinton’s second straight nail-biter – the Red Devils beat Emerald in overtime last week.
Clinton travels to another high-octane team this Friday at Chapman, a 49-14 winner over Emerald.