The First Loss

A controversial simultaneous possession in the end zone call gave Chapman a touchdown, and a 27-26 lead that it would never give up in handing Clinton its first loss.

 

 

The Red Devils, 7-1 on the season, had taken a 26-21 lead on the first play of the 4th quarter, in a AAA Region 3 battle of the unbeatens Friday night at Wilder Stadium. Chapman drove back but faced a 4th and 20 from the Clinton 40 with 7:26 left to play. On a jump ball pass to the endzone, Clinton caught the ball and Chapman put its hands on it. Chapman scored the touchdown; the 2-point conversion failed.

Chapman then recovered a Clinton fumble. The 8-0 Panthers drove to 4th and goal from the Clinton 17 but failed to convert with 3 minutes left to play. Clinton – 83 yards away from an important region win – could not advance the ball, hurt by a holding penalty and passes that just went off receivers’ fingertips.

Chapman took a knee at the Clinton goal line to finish the game.

Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain said he was blocked from view on the pivotal catch and call. He said it didn’t matter anyway how he saw it – it was how the officials saw it that matters.

Fountain said he was proud of the players for “getting hit in the mouth” and bouncing back – Chapman took the opening kick and scored the first touchdown. Clinton recovered the onside kick. Clinton scored with 2:10 left in the 1st quarter – Chapman answered right back, on a long catch and run, and touchdown with 58 seconds left in the 1st quarter. Chapman scored again with 9:41 to play before halftime. A fumbled punt gave Clinton the ball, but the Red Devils failed on 4th down. Later a fumble recovery gave Clinton the ball again and the Red Devils scored on a pass. Chapman scored on a long pass, but a holding penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty set the Panthers back. Clinton got the ball back and drove to the Chapman 5 as the first half ended.

Jishun Copeland scored on a 30-yard run – he had 127 yards rushing for the game. Clinton broke up two long passes on 3rd and 4th down in its own territory, with 4:28 to play in the 3rd quarter. Clinton had a long gain wiped out by an illegal block penalty – the Red Devils also had a long punt return nullified by an illegal block penalty.

Clinton would up with the ball at the Chapman 42 with 2:08 to play in the 3rd quarter – Bryson James, returning from injury, then broke off the first play of the 4th quarter run that gave Clinton the 26-21 lead. Then Chapman won it on the long pass to the corner of the end zone.

For the game, Clinton ran for 234 yards and passed for 124 yards. Senior QB Davis Wilson was 8 for 16 passing, as Clinton amassed its 358 yards. The go-ahead touchdown was scored on an 11-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:32 off the game clock – and kept the powerful Chapman offense off the field.

 

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