The JV football teams from Clinton and East Bladen had to wait four days, but on Monday night they finally got to play the game originally scheduled for last Thursday. The Dark Horses used a rare quick start and capitalized on turnovers to take a 24-8 conference win over the visiting Eagles.
Clinton forced a turnover on the Eagle’s first possession when J’Daques Wallace scooped up an Eagle fumble to give the Dark Horse offense a short field. Clinton quickly took advantage of the turnover, efficiently marching the ball down field scoring the first touchdown of the game at the 3:40 mark of the first quarter when Emoni Monk carried it into the end zone from the 3-yard line. The Dark Horses opted for a two point conversion that was successful, but took two tries. The first attempt was called back due to a holding penalty. After the 10-yard penalty was marched off, Clinton’s Knowledge Evans dropped back and threw a 13-yard scoring strike to Carson Ellis to give the Horses an 8-0 lead.
Clinton’s defense came up big on East Bladen’s next possession forcing an Eagle punt after three quick plays. The East Bladen punter hit a short punt giving Clinton great field position once again, this time the Dark Horse offense started at the Eagle’s 37-yard line. Emoni Monk posted his second score of the night when he burst through the line for an 8-yard touchdown run with 11:54 remaining in the first half. Knowledge Evans called his own number to tack on the two-point conversion and the Clinton lead was 16-0.
The Eagle offense took the ensuing kickoff and drove into Clinton territory marching into the red zone, seeming to have found some holes in the Dark Horse defense. The opportunistic Dark Horses soon put a stop to the drive, forcing a fumble that Jatiyuhn Wilson recovered to give Clinton the ball back at their own 20-yard line.
Behind a couple of nice runs by Cameron Armwood and Jaheim Faison the Dark Horses pushed across midfield and set their sights on another score. Knowledge Evans connected with Carson Ellis for a big gainer down to the Eagle 2-yard line and Faison scored on the next play to give Clinton a 24-0 lead after Terrell Valentine slipped through the line with the two-point conversion.
East Bladen finally got on the board when they returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. After a successful 2-point try the Eagles had cut the Clinton lead to 24-8 at the 1:56 mark of the second quarter. With Clinton unable to get a drive rolling the Horses were satisfied to take the 24-8 lead to the locker room at the halftime break.
The second half proved to be a defensive struggle with both teams stepping up on defense and frustrating every offensive threat. Neither team was able to get any offensive traction and the second half was played to a scoreless draw, the game ending with the Dark Horses taking the 24-8 win.
After the game, Clinton head coach Scott Lewis praised his team’s quick start, saying, “we got out of the blocks early tonight, something we did not do in our first four games of the season and it paid off. We took advantage of a couple of turnovers in the first half and then the defense really stepped up in the second half. This is a good conference win for our guys.”
The win improves Clinton’s record to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Four County Conference play. Clinton will travel to Midway on Thursday for a matchup with cross-county rival Midway.