The Red Devils over the Vikings, the Centurions are next
Dropping the hammer - Fletcher Pruitt Jr. Photography & TD Club Player of the Week.
Kimon Quarles scored on a 7-yard overtime run to give the Clinton Red Devils a 32-26 win Thursday night over the visiting Emerald Vikings. Jykorie Gary scored the Red Devils' first TD of the season on a 90-yard kick-off return (pictured left).
As the Red Devils celebrated, on a rain-swept Richardson Field at Wilder Stadium, “Hammer Time” blasted from the stadium’s PA system. Red Devil football head coach Corey Fountain had just said a few hours before, at the Laurens County Touchdown Club, that running backs are the strength of his second version of the Clinton Red Devils, and they did not disappoint in the season-opener.
"We were in better shape at the end of the game," said Fountain, whose team went 4-7 last season, his first at the Clinton helm. "It was a total team effort."
In OT, Emerald tried to draw first blood with a field goal, but it was blocked. Clinton ran the ball back to the end zone but the rules say in overtime, a blocked kick cannot be returned. That set the stage for Quarles' run and the Red Devil, 1-0 overall, 1-0 region, season-opening win. Clinton ran the ball 44 times for 215 yards, adding 6 completions in 9 attempts passing for 25 -- 240 total yards. Shy Kinard ran for 120 yards, Quarles added 57 and Gary ran for 37. Austin Copeland went almost the whole way under center and in the shotgun for the Red Devils. The sophomore’s scrambling ability prevented several sacks from the Emerald defensive front.
Emerald ran the ball for 298 yards - and threw 1 pass.
Clinton missed a potential game-winning field goal - in the rain - with 32 seconds on the game clock, forcing overtime. The kick was from 42 yards out. On a 4th and 1 it looked like Clinton had the first down, and would have 1st and goal, but holding was called, putting the Red Devils in field goal position. The Red Devils got the chance to win the game on a Kade Heyward fumble recovery with 6 minutes to play.
Jykorie Gary tied the game at 26 with a TD run at the 6:53 4th quarter mark. Clinton put together a good drive late in the 2nd quarter but could not convert a 4th down in Emerald territory with 34 seconds until halftime. Shy Kinard added a 3rd quarter TD for the Red Devils, who also rang up the scoreboard with a scoop-and-score in the 1st quarter.
Clinton next plays Broome this coming Friday night, also at Wilder Stadium -- JV travels to Broome on Thursday night. Clinton was supposed to have played Union County in the opener, but the Yellowjackets had a coronavirus case. Emerald was supposed to have played Broome in its opener, but the Centurions had a coronavirus case - what that happens, football operations have to be shut down for the week, under SC High School League COVID-19 guidelines.
Clinton’s Oct. 9 game will be traveling to Chapman.