Throwing back to another win
In their final pre-region tune-up, the Clinton Red Devils drew on two teams ffrom the past that wound up with a 27-1 record and 2 state titles between them - the 1987 and 1977 Red Devilsd - to defeat Chesnee, 35-6, at Wilder Stadium Friday night.
Improving to 2-3, Clinton came out early, overcame some penalties as the game went on, then got fresh legs on the field in the 4th quarter to defeat the improved Eagles. The former State Champions were honored at halftime, and members of those teams talked to the current Red Devils about "the intangibles" before the game started. "Listening to those guys come back, there was a bunch of them and just for them to come in and share what those intangibles mean. For our guys to hear that, it was unbelievable." CHS football head coach Andrew Webb said. "It gave me goose bumps. I was ready to put on a helmet and go play. It was special to have those guys back and honor them the way they deserved."
Webb said the team responded well to a "get better" mentality following a loss at 2-time defending state champion Abbeville. "They kinda bounced back from a brutal week of practice," he said. The coach said this week coming will be more of the same.
"We're set to go back, get better. We're going to do the same thing this week that we did last week. We're going to have another brutal week of practice, we got to continue to play more physical, we got to continue to get 11 men to the ball. We got to continue to tackle better. Really, our football team will be how well we can do the fundamentals night in and night out. We have a tremendous challenge the next five games in our conference."
Clinton got rolling right off the bat, accepting the opening kickoff and driving for a Kris Holmes touchdown. Dawson Green took a Konnor Richardson pass to the house for the next score, then Holmes hit pay dirt again with 6:59 to play before halftime. A sack stopped a Chesnee drive on 4th down, and the Eagles punted. Clinton got the ball on its own 4, and with a Holmes first down, was able to run out the first half clock.
Vilo Boyd's fumble receovery set up Clinton again to start the second half, and Holmes ran it in with 8:16 left in the 3rd quarter. A Chesnee drive was helped by a Clinton face mask penalty, but the Eagles were forced into 4th and 14 at the Clinton 18 yard line and settl;ed for a 40-yard field goal try. It was no good, and Clinton kept hopes alive for a shutout.
Chesnee recovered a Clinton fumble with 10 minutes left to play and broke onto the scoreboard with a run, then recovered the on-side kick. The Eagles were forced into a 4th and 5 at midfield, and Boyd intercepted a pass to stop that drive. Because the Clinton defense was on the field for a while, Holmes got a second wind to come back out with the Red Devil offense. Darien Bailey and Titus Hood provided fresh legs for the running game, which produced another Clinton TD with 1:46 left in the game.
Clinton will host AAA Defending State Champion Chapman on Friday for Homecoming. Then, the Red Devils will have just one more home game (Newberry) before the AAA playoffs.