Clinton High’s goal, with two weeks left before the season opener, is to perfect simple things. It would be inappropriate to claim the Red Devils must walk before they can run.
They must run before they can pass.
Even though Brookland-Cayce defeated Clinton 7-0 on Friday night at Wilder Stadium in the Red Devils’ preseason jamboree, head football coach Andrew Webb seemed pleased, given that the wrong side of the scoreboard was occupied.
“We were way better,” he said. “Way better than we were Tuesday (against Ninety Six in a scrimmage). We didn’t finish a drive early. We made a mistake on another drive that stopped us from scoring. We made a mistake on a bad snap, on defense, where our secondary froze.”
“Froze,” in practical, pertinent translation, meant a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Reed Charpia to Will Way.
Where there’s a Will …
Those were the half’s only points. On second thought, the placekicker, Eric Young, had one for the Bearcats.
Clinton ran the ball almost exclusively, and mostly well, but not well enough to break away and not well enough to sustain a long drive. Junior Darien Bailey toted the bulk of the mail. Quarterback Konnor Richardson, also a junior, also rushed effectively.
“There are a lot of things we’ll take out of here that are positive,” Webb said. “We’ve still got mistakes to get corrected, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we were much better than we were Tuesday, and these guys will continue to work when we come back Monday.”
Asked about the infrequent use of the pass, Webb said, “We’ll get separation on the pass if we can run the football. That’s what will open it up. We’re going to stay stubborn-headed (on the pass) for a little while longer.”
Woodruff, a Region 3-3A rival of Clinton, played the opening half and defeated Saluda 14-7 on a fourth-down touchdown run in the final seconds made a bit more surprising by the fact the Wolverines only needed a chip-shot field goal.
On the other hand, wins don’t count now.