Keeping momentum -- a goal for Red Devils against Newberry team that Clinton knows well
Clinton is looking to build on momentum, and Newberry is getting back to the fundamentals in a battle of region opponents Friday at the Bulldogs’ Mike Ware Field.
The Red Devils are coming off a 45-7 region home win over Mid-Carolina, while Newberry lost 31-21 to region-leading Broome. It is an important region match-up, another meeting of long-time rivals and the final road game of the season for Clinton.
Clinton plays host to Broome, 6-1 overall including a win over Class 5A Byrnes and 2-0 in region play, on Oct. 20, and will host Woodruff, winner over Chapman Friday on a last-second field goal.
The winner of Clinton-Newberry breaks out of a 1-1 logjam in the middle of Region 3, Class 3A, and takes an important step toward the state playoffs. Newberry is 4-3 on the season, Clinton is 3-4.
Newberry is coming off an 11-3 2015 season that saw the Bulldogs play Dillon for a Class 2A state championship. That team, which lost to Dillon, also lost 30 seniors to graduation. Bulldog football head coach Phil Strickland is rebuilding, but has a solid nucleus in Amir Abrams, junior running back, and Tyriq Goodman, junior quarterback. Both scored touchdowns in the loss to Broome.
Strickland told The Newberry Observer after the Broome game, “We didn’t do very good last week. We turned the ball over too many times on offense.
We have to work on better tackling and securing the ball on offense. We’re getting the ball. We just have to hold onto it. We need to be more alert this week. We need to do a better job at stopping and recognizing what Clinton does on defense because they mix it up a whole lot and not give up big plays.”
Strickland said in practice leading up to the Clinton game, his team is getting back to basics - tackling and hanging onto the ball.
Against undermanned Mid-Carolina, Clinton put together its most complete game of the season - allowing one score, scoring on a long pass, a kick return and running the ball, and coming together behind the senior leadership of quarterback Charlie Craven.
Against Newberry’s defense, Broome quarterback Jake Mathis had a hand in all four Centurions touchdowns, throwing for one and running short yards for three scores. Broome led 14-7 at the half. Goodman’s TD run with just over 6 minutes left in the game got Newberry to within three points of Broome, 24-21. The Centurions stopped a Newberry drive on downs late in the game to set up a third touchdown run by Mathis.
Just like Clinton’s game against M-C, Newberry’s game against Broome was played Thursday, because of the threat of heavy rain from Hurricane Matthew, just off-shore from Charleston.
In other region action this week, Broome plays at Woodruff and Chapman plays at Mid-Carolina.
Directions to Newberry: From Clinton High School, take Hwy 72 east to I-26 east toward Columbia. Get off onto Hwy 219 (Exit 76), turn right toward Newberry. The stadium is on the right (just past Newberry County Schol District office). Turn in at the Vocational School onto a frontage road to get to visitors parking.
Alternate: From uptown Clinton, take Hwy 76 east, through Joanna, and on to Newberry. Hwy 76 becomes the Wilson Road bypass. Turn left at the stop light at Main Street/Hwy 219 (corner with CVS and RiteAid), Newberry High School stadium will be on the left. Distance: 20 miles, takes about 30 minutes (7:30 p.m. kickoff).