Yellowjackets and Red Devils TONIGHT
TONIGHT AT WILDER STADIUM, UPDATE: GREER WINS 41-0: A Trap Game: Greer, last season, was start of improved Clinton team’s early season stall
In 2016, a Clinton team that looked so good beating Laurens, looked about the opposite in week two against Greer and even worse in week three at Aiken. For 2017, the Red Devils aim to improve on what worked against Laurens - long passes after battering-ram runs - and eliminate turnovers.
A 1-1 Greer team comes into Wilder Stadium Friday, for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off, smarting from a 42-7 beat-down by Byrnes after a 42-14 opening win over Westside.
FNF (Friday Nigh Football, Carolinas) says about Greer, “The Yellowjacket defense struggled at times last season, giving up at least 38 points in all five of their losses. The offense should be even better than last year, though.”
Greer will rely on junior signal-caller Treyvion Houston, senior runner Quay White and junior running back Dre Williams. “(Quack) Cohen is among the best linebackers in the state and will bring stability to the defense,” FNF says.
The magazine says the 4A Greer defense “will be improved, and if so, Greer could be one of the most improved teams in the state.”
Last season’s Greer-Clinton game was played in the aftermath of a tropical storm over South Carolina. Greer’s field was out of range of most of the rain, so officials kept the game on schedule. Clinton scored a defensive touchdown, but Greer’s defensive line dominated so Red Devil QB Charlie Craven had little time to work and the running game broke down.
“Extremely pathetic” was the way Clinton football head coach Andrew Webb described the offense. Fast forward to this season, and Clinton - at least against Laurens - looked better on offense. The running game hit Laurens in Friday action for 124 yards by Kris Holmes and 73 yards by Mark Wise.
When Laurens stacked the box, Clinton threw over the top - 3 of 5 passes complete for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
This will be the big question for Clinton - if Greer’s defensive line last season could pressure senior Charlie Craven, what might happen with that line against sophomore Konnor Richardson?
The answer, for Clinton, could lie in its offensive line, with a season’s more experience, led by seniors. Webb said, against Laurens, the Red Devil linemen gave Richardson time to throw, and the big boys sliced open the Laurens defense for Holmes and Wise.
Red Devil fans held their collective breath late in the game, as Richardson took off out of the Clinton backfield on a keeper. Rolling left, he couldn’t throw, so he split three Laurens defender and bowling-balled into the end zone. It was Clinton’s third touchdown, but the Red Devils‘ final score for the evening. Laurens went on to a 24-18 home win.
Two weapons for Clinton against Greer are gone now - Jalen Carter got 56 yards and Donte Reeder got 52 yards receiving in last season’s game. Friday against Laurens, Dawson Green stepped up for a 39-yard touchdown reception and Zay Bennett scored on a 61-yard pass, both from Richardson.
Webb said after last season’s game against Greer, “They are not better than us. We have to get way better on offense.”
Keeping composure against the hard-hitting Yellowjackets also could be a key for the Red Devils. In last season’s game at Greer, a long Carter catch and run-after-catch for a touchdown was called back because an official ruled a block in the back occurred trailing the play.
Three penalties by Clinton assisted Greer’s first two scores. Craven was called for a rare offensive face mask penalty when he stiff armed a Greer defender.
Then, there was a late hit of bounds and a personal foul call, and by 5:37 left to play in the first quarter, the Yellowjackets had a 14-0 lead on White runs of nine and two yards. The game slowed down into a defensive struggle, and Twon Robertson surprised Greer QB Houston trying to throw a short pass in the shadow of his own end zone. Clinton also recovered a fumble at the Greer goal line to stop another Yellowjacket score.
After this Friday’s home game against Greer, Clinton is home again Sept. 8 against Aiken for the Dedication Game. The Red Devils travel to the last two seasons’ 2A State Champion Abbeville on Sept. 15. Last Friday, Abbeville defeated Woodruff, 42-19, staying unbeaten for their last 24 games.