Red Devils Travel to Mid-Carolina Tonight
UPDATE -CLINTON WINS 28-26, ANDREW WEBB AWARD, TONIGHT: Rebels looking to break into win column vs 2-4 Red Devils
Clinton looks to get healthy again against a winless Mid-Carolina team this Friday. But the Rebels, playing at home, know they can take a big step back toward respectability by beating 2-4 Clinton.
Both teams are coming off loses. Mid-Carolina lost a road game, 38-21, against Broome. Clinton lost to AAA Defending State Champion Chapman, 41-18. Clinton and Mid-Carolina are 0-1 in region play; Clinton will play at Broome Oct. 20, one of two road games that will wrap up Clinton’s regular season.
In the Broome-Mid-Carolina game, according to goupstate.com, the home Centurions were in control from the start. Broome was rested, coming off a bye week after a loss to Byrnes. It was Broome’s Homecoming.
Broome ground out yardage in the first0 half, but Mid-Carolina looked better in the third quarter. The Rebels’ Cade Ruff hit BJ Tobe on a 37-yard TD along the sideline. Broome’s Jarius Jeter answered, however, with a 65-yard burst up the middle, pushing the Broome lead to 28-14. Jeter ran for 209 yards (135 in the first half) for the 5-1 Centurions.
A high snap for Broome gave Mid-Carolina an early spark. Down 14-0, the Rebels got the ball at Broome’s 33-yard line, and scored their first touchdown on a Ruff to Tobe connection on 3rd and 16.
Last season, the Clinton-Mid-Carolina game got the Red Devils back on track to finish the 2016 campaign well and make the playoffs. Homecoming was good to the Red Devils in 2016 with a 45-7 win over Mid-Carolina.
This was the Hurricane Matthew game, when both schools agreed to move the game up a night because Mid-Carolina officials were expecting an influx of evacuees from the hurricane at the school, a designated Red Cross shelter.
The Red Devils were never challenged, except by their coaches, who told them to play every play and keep their heads in the game as the score mounted. Kris Holmes, then a junior and now a Clinton senior, carried the ball six times on the opening drive for 66 yards. He ended the game as the leading rusher with 146 yards on 15 carries before being injured in the fourth quarter.
With the 2016 win, Clinton improved to 3-4 overall and evened the region record at 1-1, the same outcome Clinton coaches, players and fans are looking for after the 2017 contest this Friday (7:30 p.m. kickoff).
In last year’s Mid-Carolina game, Charlie Craven hit Jalen Carter with a 64-yard TD pass (the Clinton senior quarterback finished the night with three passing TDs and 184 yards in the air – 14 of 19 with one interception), giving the Red Devils a 21-7 lead with 52 seconds left in the first half.
Carter was Craven top target, grabbing 76 yards on two receptions. Donte Reeder helped sustain Red Devil drives with six receptions totaling 40 yards.
“Charlie had a fantastic game,” Clinton Head Coach Andrew Webb said.
Elvis Fitz kicked six PATS, and added a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter.
All those players - Craven, Carter, Reeder and Fitz - are gone now, and Clinton will have the offense in the hands of sophomore quarterback Konnor Richardson and the kicking game resting on the feet of Luke Mann and Sam Tiller. Holmes and Mark Wise, seniors, will be the thunder-lightning combo that the Red Devils will look to for pounding, punishing yardage on the ground. Last Friday against Chapman, Clinton saw a glimpse of another weapon - Tquan Cromer stunned the Panthers kicking defense with a 90-yard kick return taken to the house.
(Mid-Carolina is directly southeast of Clinton on Hwy 76, going through Newberry and Prosperity toward Columbia, and it’s about an hour’s trip one-way. The football stadium is at the middle school, formerly the high school, campus.)