The Clinton Dark Horses continued their winning ways this past Friday night when they claimed their second straight win, besting Jacksonville-Northside. Making their debut in the first home game of the season they didn’t disappoint, beating the Monarchs rather handily, 24-7.
The home team didn’t face much resistance against their usually tough 3A rivals as a dominating first half offensively put the game out of reach. The Horses ran a new look this go-around that completely baffled Northside’s defense. Running a two and three wide formation, with the option, they ripped off chunks of yards that landed them 21 of their 24 points in the first two periods.
Not only were they virtually unstoppable in the first half, they also chewed up the clock in both quarters with multiple drives that exceeded seven minutes.
Defense was in prime form again as well and basically allowed no form of offense from the Monarchs the entire night; minus the one drive late in third that resulted in their only touchdown. Just as impressive as their entire games defensive showing was their stance in the first half. Dishing out nothing but three and outs the defense was only on the field for no more than nine plays the whole first half.
Another positive sign for Clinton was the improvement of their special teams, especially in all forms of kicking. Having found their man that can boot the pigskin in senior Reid Taylor, they looked liked a nearly complete team.
All things that Clinton head coach Cory Johnson pointed out as well in his postgame remarks.
“I thought we achieved our goal of continuing to get one percent better. Northside is a good program and we’re glad to get the win tonight,” Johnson said. “I thought that our offense played much better again and our defense was outstanding but we’ve still got a long long way to go.”
“Man I’ll tell you Reid is a stud, he played extremely, especially after playing in two soccer games earlier this week,” he added. “But, he really came through for us and that’s why I call him ‘Golden-Toe-Reid’.”
The Horses mixed up their scoring this go-around getting two on the ground from quarterback Knowlydge Evans and Jalen Smith. The other came through the air with a connection from Evans to Carson Ellis as Taylor chipped in the final three on field goal attempt.
While plenty of things went right for the Horses they didn’t come out away from this game completely scratch free. They are definitely banged up and injury is spread across the roster. They suffered more in this match up, losing running back Donte McLellan to a nasty horse collar tackle. Fortunately for them, one of their two bye-weeks is this Friday so they’ll have extra time to try and get back healthy with conference play inching ever so closer.
All things considered, this win pushes the Dark Horses to 2-1 on the season. They’ll be home again when they take to the field on Sept. 14 against Southern Lee.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]