Clinton’s JV Horses started their game against visiting Croatan a little unfocused, and even though they hit pay dirt a couple of times, they allowed their opponents to stay in the game.
That changed in the second half, and Clinton went on to plow through Croatan’s defense time after time, getting their second conference win of the season 35-13.
“We started off a little slow tonight on offense and defense,” coach Michael Bell, “but we came back from the break with a new determination, and the guys were on fire. They got their focus and they got the job done. They were able to put the game away like they are supposed to do.”
The Horses started off much as they did last week, when a flag due to an illegal receiver down field forced a beautiful Jonathan Wright to Josh Armood 60-yard touchdown pass to be called back.
“That was tough, particularly since it happened to Josh last week, too,” Bell said. “But we were able to shake it off, calm down and get back to playing, too.”
The Horses first touchdown came off a 15-yard run from Albert Deaver. Wright kicked the extra point and Clinton was up 7-0.
But Croatan came right back to tie it up just before the half, but Clinton wasn’t done either.
This time Wright hit Karon Dessus on a 50-yard pass that put Clinton on the 1-yard line. Raquan Faison ran it in, giving the Horses a 14-7 half-time lead.
In the second period, Clinton got the stop early to take over, driving the ball back down field where Tyree Peyton took it in for a 2-yard TD run. Wright’s extra point failed. Clinton was up 20-7.
Croatan wasn’t ready to give up, though, putting another 6 on the board, and the score was 20-13.
That’s when Clinton got fire. When they got the ball back on the next set of downs, Peyton ran one in from 65-yards out off a hand-off from Wright. The Dark Horse took the hand-off, cut all the way up the sideline for a beautiful run.
This time, Clinton tried the 2-point conversion, with Deaver taking it in to move Clinton ahead 28-13.
Peyton got one more TD, this time on an interception he ran back 40 yards, and Wright got the PAT to give the Horses the 35-13 win.
Bell praised his team’s second half play. “They got refocused after the half and refused to give up. It was a good win.”
Bell gave credit to the defense for holding the visitors, singling out the play of Josh Armwood, Peyton and Hyson Howard.
“Everyone did their jobs,” he stressed.
Clinton moves to 4-10 overall and 2-0 in the conference. They travel to Swansboro next Thursday night for another conference game.