A week off, a week on, a week off, then State Playoffs
Rest and get better. That’s the challenge for Clinton - and its Nov. 4 opponent, Woodruff - in the week ahead.
The Red Devils will have a rare bye week this Friday before the last game of the regular season. It is brought about by Hurricane Matthew.
Because so many teams, especially in the Lowcountry, were affected by rain, flooding and poor field conditions during the two weekends that Matthew hung around the Palmetto state, the playoffs won’t start until two weekends later than normal.
Teams that choose to have a bye this Friday, including Clinton and Woodruff, will have this week to rest, then play the final regular season game, then rest again for a weekend, then start the playoffs (if they qualify) Nov. 18.
“We are in the hunt,” Clinton football head coach Andrew Webb said after the Red Devils 28-21 home win Friday over Broome.
Woodruff put itself in a position for a possible share of the region regular season title, with a 56-7 win over Mid-Carolina on Friday. In other region action, Newberry defeated Chapman, 28-27.
It looked a while back like Broome was going to sweep right into the Class 3A State Championship Playoffs. The Centurions lost their season-opener to Chesnee, then reeled off six wins in the row. One of those wins was against Class 5A Byrnes.
Then, Broome lost to Woodruff and on Friday lost at Clinton. Broome will end its season hosting Chapman. Neither teams wants to finish 2-3 on the season because that looks like fifth place in the region (Mid-Carolina is winless, and ends its season against Newberry).
The regular season-ending game for Clinton will be Nov. 4 at Wilder Stadium. The math is simple - win and they’re in. A 3-2 region mark (Clinton is 2-2 now) will be good enough for as high as second and as low as fourth in Region 3, a re-aligned and so-called “I-26 Region” in Class 3A football.
Friday, after Clinton beat Broome, Webb said if Clinton had decided to finish the regular season Oct. 28, “there would be two weeks before the playoffs start.”
Taking a week off now, then finishing the regular season, then having the normal rest week before the playoffs is “the best for everybody,” Webb said.
Clinton could get two important players cleared to play on Nov. 4. Kris Holmes was cleared for Friday’s game, but tweaked an ankle injury early against Broome, after running the ball twice.
Mark Wise and Koko Richey were “next man up,” combining for 162 yards rushing (Clinton had 148 yards rushing officially because sacks count against the rushing total). Holmes likely will be cleared to play Nov. 4, as will Rakevis Brown, Webb said.
Brown, a senior defender, was a terror rushing the quarterback in Clinton’s season-opening win over Laurens. Then, Brown went down with an injury and did not return to the lineup.
“A senior, who thought his playing days were over,” Webb said of Brown. Undoubtedly, there are players in the same situation for Woodruff, but Webb has said all season, “we need to take care of us,” and if Holmes and Brown take the field against Woodruff, it will be the first time since Aug. 26 the Red Devils will be at full strength.
JV Football: Clinton 27, Broome 24.
7th grade football: Mabry 14, Clinton Middle 12.
Today (Oct. 26): Tennis plays host to Fairfield Central. Volleyball plays host to Fairfield Central - 1st round of playoffs.
Thursday: CMS eighth grade football plays host to Saluda, 5 p.m. CHS JV football will play at Woodruff, 6 p.m. (JV schedule is not affected by varsity’s decision to play on Nov. 4).