The Clinton Dark Horses had to face frigid weather and travel exhaustion again in the second round of the playoffs Friday night. This time they battled the undefeated Northeastern Eagles, who pitched a 35-0 shutout against the visiting team.
The first quarter went by quietly. An early interception by Dewan Lesesne eight minutes in sparked the Horses. It turned out to be of no avail as Clinton was forced to punt. They changed possessions a few more times until the last minute of the first.
In that final minute a long pass for about 30 yards from the Eagles brought the first quarter to an end, the score 0-0.
On the follow play as the second quarter action began, Northeastern broke one for about 26 yards on a carry and the go-ahead score. The point after was good and the Eagles led 7-0.
Their run success continued in the second as a couple of drives later they marched down to the goal line. This time punching it in at 4:53 on a 4-yard carry. The PAT was through the uprights again, with the Eagles pulling ahead 14-0.
The Dark Horse offense was stagnated by the Northeastern defense for the rest of the half. The final big play before halftime was another interception by the Horses, this one at the hand of Kris Williams with 22.8 left to go. They opted not to go for a score, but instead went for a simple run play to end the half. Unable to make a dent in the lead, the Dark Horses still trailed 14-0.
The Horses came out fired up at the start of the third. They moved the ball the best they had all night, moving the chains again and again, eating up most of the clock in the third quarter and getting to the goal line. They couldn’t break the plane and turned the ball over after a fourth down failed attempt.
Just a few plays later, the Eagles scored again on another long run play. This time it went for 90 yards and their lead increased to 21-0 after the PAT went through. A personal foul on both teams with 12 seconds left and a 15-yard run up the middle by the Eagles brought the third to a close.
Northeastern was in the end zone for the fourth time less than two minutes into the fourth. They did it through the air this time on a 9-yard pass and with 10:20 left to play the score was 28-0. They scored one final time with 6:28 left in the fourth bringing the game to its conclusion of 35-0, marking the end of the Horses’ season.
They finished the year an even 6-6.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.