For Homecoming, another defending state champion
TONIGHT: Chapman wins 48-18. Homecoming for the Red Devils
Looking at Clinton’s game against Laurens, and Chapman’s game against Laurens, the mountain that the Red Devils must climb this Friday becomes obvious. Chapman is the second defending state champion on Clinton’s 2017 schedule.
The Panthers capped a 12-3 season last winter in thwarting Dillon’s attempt for five consecutive state titles, winning 29-27 in the AAA state title game (Dillon moved up from AA to AAA). In the 2016 contest against Clinton, Chapman ran its record to 5-1 with a 38-17 victory. A second half explosion by Chapman wiped out a 14-10 Clinton lead.
Both teams have played Laurens this season. Clinton lost the opener, 24-18, at KC Hanna Stadium. Chapman rolled over the Raiders, 61-24, in a game at Inman.
Laurens football head coach Chris Liner says Chapman is emblematic “basketball on grass” style of play taking over high school football.
Clinton will have to stay grounded against a tough Chapman defense to have a chance to derail the Panthers’ express. Mark Wise and Kris Holmes combined for 230 yards on the ground Friday against Chesnee, but the running game struggled the week before against two-time defending AA State Champion Abbeville. The Konnor Richardson to Dawson Green passing combo worked for a TD against Chesnee, and during the season-opener against Laurens.
The Red Devil kicking game is on the upswing, with Luke Mann and Sam Tiller combining to hit all five PATs against Chesnee.
In the Chapman-Laurens game, the Raiders had three first half turnovers. Those quickly became 21 Chapman points. One Laurens turnover went the same way in the second half. Going into the Laurens game, Chapman was averaged 51 points per game.
Laurens got a hold early. The Raiders took possession on their own 15 after holding Chapman on fourth down. A fumble set the Panthers up in scoring position again - 24-yard TD pass, Colton Bailey to Brandon Adams.
Clinton fans should expect to hear Bailey’s name a lot this Friday - the senior QB was 17 for 24 for 235 yards and three touchdowns against Laurens.
Playing before their home crowd, Chapman rocked Laurens for a 49-10 halftime margin.
DJ Twitty ran for 145 yards, 24 carries, and four touchdowns; and Patrick Phongsat caught six passes, 131 yards, and three touchdowns for Chapman against Laurens.
Laurens senior Troy Dendy rushed for 122 yards, 21 carries, and Duane Martin added 90 yards, nine carries.
FNF (Friday Night Football Carolinas) says of Chapman, “Chapman’s offense put up unreal numbers last season as the team made its way to a state title. Bailey was the state’s leading passer. Twitty led the state in rushing and (Richard) Tucker and Phongast were second and third in receiving, respectively. This year, all return on what is likely the 3A team to beat. The offense carried the team all season, but it was the defense that led Chapman in the state title game. The Panthers have relied heavily on this senior class, and this might be their best opportunity to take home another title they’ll have over the next few years.”
This will be the region opener for Chapman and Clinton. It’s also Clinton’s Homecoming.
Chapman (in Inman) and Broome (Spartanburg) leave Clinton’s region with 2018 re-alignment, to be replaced by Emerald (Greenwood) and Union County (moving down from 4A to 3A).
Clinton’s schedule after this week is:
Oct. 6, at Mid-Carolina;
Oct. 13, home against Newberry;
Oct. 20, at Broome;
Oct. 27, at Woodruff.