Red Devils slog through a win
“It’s not holding if you don’t get flagged” (22 photos).
Bryson James’ 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, with about 30 seconds before halftime, deflated the Newberry Bulldogs, and led Clinton to a 34-20, third game of the season win Friday at Mike Ware Field.
Despite playing two reserves at quarterback and pretty much emptying the bench in the 4th quarter, Red Devil Football Head Coach Corey Fountain was upset by the execution of his offense. The Red Devils will be having a Labor Day practice.
Fountain said, “Guys that should have been stepping up, didn’t step up. We’ve been saying since January that we should be executing; we didn’t execute. We’ve got to get better at executing. We’re going to practice on Labor Day at 7:30 in the morning.”
Looking to another road game this Friday at Aiken, Fountain stressed focus against every opponent. “We’ve got to be more focused in practice this week. Last week the game was hyped up (a home win against Laurens). This week was not the same atmosphere but that’s not an excuse.”
Clinton had the game well in-hand, 34-6, at the 6:23 mark of the 4th quarter, when Newberry scored its second touchdown and then its third touchdown with 1 minute left to play. Clinton took a knee to run out the clock, just as it had done in wins over Batesburg-Leesville and Laurens – teams the Red Devils scored 55 points against in each of the two season opening games.
Clinton ran the ball 40 times to gain 220 yards and was 1 for 5 passing for 7 yards – 45 plays for 227 yards, after running for nearly 500 yards in each of the first two games. The Red Devils had 3 kick-off returns for 116 yards, highlighted by the James 85-yard kickoff return touchdown just before halftime, and 12 penalties for 76 yards.
James carried the ball 11 times for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns, Jishun Copeland had 7 carries for 63 yards, Jayden Robinson had 5 carries for 49 yards and 1 touchdown and Tyshuwan Richardson had 3 carries for 29 yards and 1 touchdown.
Clinton had two touchdowns called back because of penalties.
Clinton now leads this series, 57-29-1, including a 41-20 win last season – Newberry went on a 6-game winning streak in this series in 2014-2019.
The last time Clinton started a season 3-0 was in 2010, under Scott King – coming off a 2009 AAA State Championship season, under Andy B. Young. That 2010 team went to 4-0 before a 1-point loss to Belton-Honea Path, and ended the season 7-4. That was the last winning season that Clinton had before 2021’s 11-2 season, Fountain’s third at the helm.
Clinton goes for 4-0 this Friday traveling to Aiken, a 19-6 loser to Strom Thurmond in Friday night action.