Losses in the first two games had raised a certain alarm in the community, and Clinton got the message and responded with a 47-0 shutout in Friday night’s first-ever meeting with Powdersville.
“We felt, when we left the practice field, that we were better on Thursday than we were on Monday,” Clinton head coach Andrew Webb said. “Ultimately, as coaches, that’s our goal.”
Try Friday to Friday.
Broome had defeated Clinton 42-17 a week earlier. Turnabout, in fact, was not just fair, but great, play.
The Red Devil defense, which had allowed 76 points in its first two games, yielded none – and a pittance of yards – in the third. Powdersville rushed for a net of 19 yards. Elijah Campbell intercepted two passes. Sam Tiller picked up a fumble and ran it 44 yards for a score.
A shutout. The Patriots didn’t score. At all.
Clinton (1-2) rushed for 242 yards. Quarterback Konnor Richardson completed three of seven passes. Two were for touchdowns. Titus Hood sprinted 61 yards for the game’s first score on the Red Devils’ third offensive play.
Powdersville (0-3) lost by 47 points on the scoreboard, four in turnovers, 7:54 in time on the clock and converted one first down in 13 third downs and three fourths.
“One thing’s for sure,” Webb said. “It sure does pay to be a winner. It’s way better to win than it is to lose. I’m proud of the guys for sticking together. Oh and two was not where we wanted to be. It was tough. They continued to work, and I’m really happy we had some success.”
In the first quarter, the Red Devils scored on two of their three drives. First, Richardson found Hood behind the Patriots’ defenders for a lightning strike. JyKorie Gary set up the second score with a 23-yard punt return, and Greg Sanders scored the first of two touchdowns on a two-yard run on the fourth play of a 25-yard drive.
In the second quarter, Clinton ran out of downs at the Patriot 23, but Powdersville quarterback Tay Cureton’s fumble was recovered by Marchavis Choice at the 23, and Gary then scored from nine yards out. After three punts, two by Powdersville, Richardson’s second touchdown pass, 37 yards to P.J. Bluford, hiked Clinton’s lead to 27-0 at halftime.
The lead just kept on expanding. Sanders scored his second touchdown. Tiller scooped up the loose ball when teammates sacked Cureton 19 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Clinton led 41-0 after three quarter.
Backup quarterback Cameron Nichols led the final drive, 61 yards in seven plays, and gained 10 of them – and the final two – himself.
The noteworthy change in Clinton football was that the Red Devils didn’t look surprised to win.
“That was the fundamental message to them,” Webb said. “When you get off the bus, you’ve got to expect to win. In everything leading up to this, in all our preseason scrimmages and the first two games, we never landed the first punch.
“We were feeling the opponent out. And then, when we did get punched, we didn’t respond well. For us, landing the first punch really helped.”
Not to mention the first … and the second … and … the 47th.
Clinton 13 14 14 6 – 47
Powdersville 0 0 0 0 – 0
C – Titus Hood 61 pass from Konnor Richardson (Sam Tiller kick) 8:16 1st
C – Greg Sanders 2 run (kick failed) 4:36 1st
C – JyKorie Gary 9 run (Tiller kick) 5:01 2nd
C – P.J. Bluford 37 pass from Richardson (Tiller kick) 0:33 2nd
C – Sanders 1 run (Tiller kick) 9:30 3rd
C – Tiller 44 fumble recovery (Tiller kick) 7:37 3rd
C – Cameron Nichols 2 run (kick failed) 3:43 4th
RUSHING: Clinton, Sanders 19-84, Nigel Fant 3-38, Kimon Quarles 9-35, JyKorie Gary 6-34, Hood 6-33, Jay Grant 5-16, Nichols 3-10, Dashaun McGee 1-1, Richardson 3-(9); Powdersville, Josh Frazier 9-28, Brian Lowery 2-0, Tay Cureton 15-(-47).
PASSING: Clinton, Richardson 3-7-0 113; Powdersvile, Cureton 7-18-1 95, Lowery 4-11-1 38.
RECEIVING: Clinton, Hood 1-61, Bluford 1-37, Elijah Campbell 1-15; Powdersville, Kiundre Hunter 6-66, Joe McGuff 3-33, Andrue Smith 1-23, Frazier 1-11.