Clinton’s end of the first half – start of the second half blitz overwhelmed Newberry and led to the Red Devils’ 41-20 win Friday night at Wilder Stadium. The Red Devils, 3RD ranked in the state in AAA, improve to 5-0 on the season.
“We’re 0-0,” Clinton Football Head Coach Corey Fountain said, alluding to the end of non-region play and the start this coming Friday of region play, qualifying teams for the State Playoffs.
Every play, every rep will be important from here on out, Fountain said, post-game.
It didn’t start well for Clinton. Newberry took advantage of the Red Devils’ aggressive run-stopping defense to slide a receiver into the secondary on the game’s third play. That staked the Bulldogs to a 6-0 lead. Jykorie Gary scored for Clinton on the first play of the 2ND quarter.
Newberry bounced back with a score, aided by a long run by senior quarterback Zsyheim Epps. Clinton took the lead back on a Justin Copeland catch of an Austin Copeland pass, after Newberry fumbled a punt.
From then on, it was all Clinton. The Red Devils secured the ball with 1:52 until halftime, after a Newberry intentional grounding penalty and a punt. Bryson James put Clinton further ahead with a short TD pass reception with 35 seconds until halftime.
Jishun Copeland scored for Clinton in the first possession of the 2nd half, then scored again after Newberry fumbled the kickoff. Newberry put together its best drive, but Clinton held on a 4th down running play with 3:45 left in the 3rd quarter. Justin Copeland rounded out the Clinton scoring to start the 4th quarter, with Newberry managing a last-stanza touchdown, with 7:37 on the game clock.
Sporting the #3 ranking in the state, behind Daniel and Dillon, Clinton carries its 5-0 record into a contest against Union County this Friday at Wilder Stadium; #5 in the state Chapman also is in Clinton’s region (Oct. 15 at Wilder Stadium).