“We didn’t feel like we had to play perfect, but we had to play pretty good,” Red Devil head coach Andrew Webb said. “We went into halftime having played pretty good. We came back in the second half, and it was turnover, turnover, turnover … you can’t do that against a team like that.”
Perfect they were not. The Red Devils played hard and, at times, overheated. Chapman (6-0, 1-0 Region 3-3A), last year’s Class 3A champion, swamped Clinton (2-4, 0-1) by a score of 48-18 on Homecoming night at Wilder Stadium.
Was it closer than the score? Of course. How could it not be? Clinton was within eight points (12-20) at halftime. Chapman scored quickly in its first third-quarter possession, but the Red Devils, for once, scored even more quickly as Tquan Cromer returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to close to within nine (18-27).
The term that comes to mind for the rest of the night was, well, that’s all she wrote. The fourth quarter was “chippy,” Webb’s word, and his team’s frustrations, both with the referees and opposition tactics, boiled over.
The Red Devils put up some impressive numbers that were not points on the scoreboard. The splendid senior running backs, Kris Holmes and Mark Wise, combined for 239 yards. Clinton rushed for 254 as a team.
The Panthers rushed for 320 … and passed for another 78. They had 27 first downs, 12 of them in the third quarter, and averaged 7.9 yards a play. Clinton led by a wide margin, 28:42-19:18, in time of possession, principally because Chapman scored so quickly.
Also hurting the Red Devil cause were four turnovers and 75 yards in penalties.
D.J. Twitty scored four touchdowns and rushed for 186 yards, averaging 9.8 yards a carry for the Panthers, and quarterback Colton Bailey scored three times, twice on runs.
Afterwards, winning coach Mark Hodge did not seem overly impressed.
“I don’t feel like our seniors are leading very well,” Hodge said. “I feel like we show up ready to do what we do, but we’ve got to lead.”
Clinton will seek a region victory at Mid-Carolina next.
“They’re all important,” Webb said. “We’re going in there (the locker room) and discuss what we need to take care of, ourselves. When you put those seven letters across your chest that say ‘Clinton,’ people who have come along before us have set a standard. It’s not just about winning; it’s about how you play.
“Who cares what the other team does? We’ve got to take care of ourselves.”
During halftime, Tu’Nidra Richey was crowned CHS Homecoming Queen.
Chapman – Richard Tucker 40 pass from Colton Bailey (kick blocked) 3:00 1st
Clinton – Kris Holmes 1 run (kick failed) 6:37 2nd
Chapman – D.J. Twitty 11 run (Jake Cothran kick) 5:03 2nd
Clinton – Mark Wise 10 run (kick failed) 1:34 2nd
Chapman – Twitty 20 run (Cothran kick) 0:28 2nd
Chapman – Twitty 11 run (Cothran kick) 9:26 3rd
Clinton – Tquan Cromer 90 kickoff return (pass failed) 9:13 3rd
Chapman – Twitty 8 run (Cothran kick) 7:39 3rd
Chapman – Bailey 11 run (Cothran kick) 3:16 3rd
Chapman – Bailey 9 run (Cothran kick) 10:32 4th
RUSHING: Chapman, Twitty 19-186, Bailey 15-72, Dante Smith 8-59, Totals 43-320; Clinton, Holmes 22-126, Wise 16-113, Darien Bailey 3-12, Totals 45-254.
PASSING: Chapman, Bailey 5-8-0 78; Clinton, Konnor Richardson 0-1-1 0.
RECEIVING: Chapman, Twitty 2-9, Richard Tucker 1-40, Brandon Adams 1-24, Patrick Phongsat 1-5.