CHS, Johnson get first win

By Michael Hardison - Sports Writer
Clinton’s Davion Smith churns his way upfield Friday night against East Bladen. - Michael Hardison | Sampson Independent
The Horses’ Donte McLellan turns upfield looking for room Friday night against the Eagles. - Michael Hardison | Sampson Independent
Knowlydge Evans runs the ball in a previous outing. - File Photo | Sampson Independent
Dakota Butler gets dragged down in a previous contest. - - File Photo | Sampson Independent

The Dark Horses recovered in full force Friday night during non-conference football action. On the road for the second time this season, they claimed the win over East Bladen, 14-0, in the Game of the Week.

Clinton found themselves in another tough, low-scoring and gritty game. Turnovers, all fumbles, were in abundance by both sides. For Clinton, they had three themselves throughout the course of the night. Luckily for the Horses, the defense was in top form again and completely shut down all the offense from the Eagles.

Offensively they showed solid improvement, especially rushing the football, though they were a little slow at times. They also missed a few key opportunities that could’ve made the score much worse, but untimely turnovers worked against them each time.

Turnover issues were also something that Clinton head coach Cory Johnson pointed when speaking about his team’s first win on the season, Johnson’s first as the Dark Horses’ head coach.

“We had way too many turnovers tonight and we’ve just got to take better care of the football. We played outstanding defensively but, again, we just turned the ball over way too much,” Johnson said. “We can’t be sloppy with the football because, at the end of the day, that’ll lose you the football game.”

“I thought we played better offensively than we did last week, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he added. “Defensively we continue to play good, we had a few mistakes, but we played a physical game against a physical football team and got the win.

“We got the ugly win tonight, but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day,” Johnson concluded.

It surely was a physical game as indicated by the score, especially for the majority of the first half, when some of the turnovers occurred. One in particular against the Eagles that really killed their momentum for the remainder of the night was a fumble inside the Clinton 10-yard line when the Eagles had a chance to draw first blood.

After that, the Horses marched the length of the field and converted the first touchdown of the night. Clinton then carried that energy into the second half when they punched in the final score. Both the Horses’ touchdowns came on the ground as they ended the night with two rushing TDs.

With their first win under their belt, the Dark Horses rise to 1-1 overall on the year. They touch their home field for the first time next Friday night when they host the always formidable Jacksonville Northside.

Clinton’s Davion Smith churns his way upfield Friday night against East Bladen.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_CHS-GOTW-2.jpgClinton’s Davion Smith churns his way upfield Friday night against East Bladen. Michael Hardison | Sampson Independent

The Horses’ Donte McLellan turns upfield looking for room Friday night against the Eagles.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_CHS-GOTW.jpgThe Horses’ Donte McLellan turns upfield looking for room Friday night against the Eagles. Michael Hardison | Sampson Independent

Knowlydge Evans runs the ball in a previous outing.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_CHS-GOTW-4.jpgKnowlydge Evans runs the ball in a previous outing. File Photo | Sampson Independent

Dakota Butler gets dragged down in a previous contest.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_CHS-GOTW-3.jpgDakota Butler gets dragged down in a previous contest. File Photo | Sampson Independent
Horses overcome turnover issues for first victory

By Michael Hardison

Sports Writer

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]