Two second half goal line stands and the old-time Power I formation powered Clinton to a 38-7 win over Broome and advancement Friday in the second round of the Upper State AAA Playoffs.
Clinton will travel to powerful Belton-Honea Path this Friday in continuation of its quest for an Upper State Championship. It will be a contest between two Region Champions.
“Our guys were prepared for this game,” Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain said. “We played with a chip on our shoulder of offense, defense, and special teams. We kept hearing about their running back, their quarterback, their running back we got tired of it. Our coaches prepared these young men for this game, and we played Clinton football where we drove the ball down their throat.”
Fountain said the Devils’ offense went old-school – Power I – because of the defenses Clinton has been seeing – “we been seeing that popcorn stuff (defensive players not in set formations), guys moving around. We knew if we could get in the I, get up under center, we could operate, and they wouldn’t be able to do all that moving around. We haven’t done that (I formation) all year.”
This coming Friday will be a stern test for the 10-2 Red Devils. “BHP will be the best team we will play,” Fountain said. “We’ve got to prepare even better than we did this week against Broome, and we got to operate and just give a little more, a little more film, a little more on each rep.”
For the game, Clinton held Broome to minus 6 yards rushing (sacks count against the rushing total) and 19 completions on 33 attempts for 235 yards through the air.
Clinton’s balanced attack went for 181 yards rushing and 155 yards passing. Tray Cook’s 11 rushes for 85 yards led Clinton on the ground and Kadon Crawford’s six catches for 102 led Clinton in receiving. Junior Quarterback Tushawan Richardson scored twice for Clinton.
After pitching a shutout in the first half, Clinton allowed Broome to score on the second play of the second half. Later, Broome drove to the Clinton 3, but then the Centurions put the car in reverse and wound up facing a 4th and goal and turning the ball over on downs at their own 45. Late in the game, down by the eventual 38-7 final, Broome drove to the Clinton 6, hit reverse again, and wound up missing a 25-yard field goal attempt.
Richardson’s TD run with 5:30 left to play was sandwiched in between those Broome failures at the Clinton goal line.
The Devil Defense also held earlier, at its own 26 late in the first quarter, and that translated into a DJ Clark scoring run. With 5:50 left in the half, a Richardson to Zay Johnson pass drove Clinton to the Broome 4 and Tray Cook powered it in for the Red Devils second score. Richardson scored his initial touchdown with 3 seconds left on the first half clock.
Clinton answered Broome’s early second half score with a 3rd and inches at the Centurions’ 33 and a Richardson to Crawford pass to the Broome 1 – Zane McLendon hammered home the score, and Clinton added a 25-yard field goal after a Broome punt.
These are the matchups for AAA Upper State: Daniel, a 35-21 winner over Wren, against Chester, a 58-24 winner at Chapman; BHP, a 44-28 winner over Pendleton, against Clinton.
Lower State teams still left playing are Camden (upsets Dillon), Gilbert, Brookland-Cayce, and Crestwood.