The old adage goes that you can’t coach speed, but Clinton High School’s head football Bob Lewis would tell you that speed makes coaching a lot easier. The Dark Horses put on a dazzling display of speed on both sides of the ball during their ten sessions at the Sampson County Pigskin Jamboree on Friday night.
The Dark Horses opened the night on offense against Lakewood and quickly scored on the Leopard’s defense as they did on every squad they faced during the course of the evening. The Dark Horses emptied their stable of running backs with Hyson Howard, Raquan Faison, Raheem Skinner and Emiri Oates chewing up yardage in large chunks all night. The Clinton quarterbacks, Aaron Viser and Tyion Wright, also ran the football effectively as well as displaying the ability to pass when called upon. Viser hit Chandler Whitfield and Kris Royal with nice passes for long gains when they opened up the offense for the Dark Horses.
On defense the Dark horses were dominant at times with the front four spending a lot of time in the opposing team’s backfields. T J Boone and his D-line mates were an imposing force for Clinton, imposing their will on their opponents using a combination of size and speed that simply outmatched their foes for the most part. A strong pass rush and speed in the defensive backfield led to several pass break ups and a couple of interceptions. Cornerback Josh Armwood had a strong performance making a score saving interception of a Lakewood pass in the end zone. The linebacking corps was led by Seniors Jonathan Wright and Wade Sumner who spent the evening closing gaps and making life miserable for opposing ball carriers.
Coach Bob Lewis was pleased with his team’s performance, saying “we had some positives tonight, we hit well and if we can lock in on our blocking assignments on offense we will be alright.” Lewis went on to say that he was pleased with the contributions of the younger players, saying, “we had several kids come up from JV this year that are going to help us, and you saw them make some plays tonight.” We made some mental mistakes, but you expect that this time of year and we will only get better as we get more snaps under our belts,” added Lewis. The Dark Horses return 24 lettermen from last year’s team and this experience is going to be Clinton’s greatest strength. Lewis said, “we have 23 seniors on the team that will provide us with lots of game experience and leadership.”
The Dark Horses have a couple of weeks to get ready for their August 29th road opener at East Duplin. The Horses return home on September 5th when they host Laney. Fans who come out and follow Clinton this year will be treated to a fast paced offense and a hard hitting, speedy defense.