Clinton came up short, 27-26, to Broome at Wilder Stadium on Friday night. The two game-deciding plays occurred at Broome’s 2-yard line.
Early in the second quarter, with the game still scoreless, Clinton (1-1 overall and in Region 3-3A) put together a 13-play drive, marching all the way to Broome’s 2-yard line. Looking to finish off the drive, the Red Devils turned to running back Shy Kinard, who appeared to cross the pylon before losing control of the football. No whistle was blown, no signal made, and what was ruled a fumble was returned all the way back to Clinton’s 48-yard line.
Subsequently, Broome’s Dylan Ramirez connected with Braxtin Turner for a 48-yard touchdown. Essentially, it marked a 14-point turnaround.
Clinton head coach Corey Fountain said, “That was a tough call. They couldn’t tell whether or not he crossed the line or not and they never marked it as a touchdown. … There’s nothing we can do about that. We’ve just got to come back from that type of adversity and keep playing and moving forward.”
Clinton recovered. Four possessions later, the defense stuffed Broome at the 1-yard line, resulting in a turnover on downs. On Clinton’s next drive, running back Jykorie Gary sprinted to the end zone for a 97-yard touchdown, thought to be a school record. He finished the night with 180 yards on 10 carries.
“He had a great game on offense and defense,” Fountain said, “and the guys blocked it up well for him and he hit it and didn’t slow up and did a good job.”
Broome got the ball back and scored via Ronald Hodges’ 31-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Ramirez just before halftime. Going into the break, Broome led 13-6.
Clinton wasted no time opening up the third quarter. With a 2-play, 63-yard drive ending with Kinard’s 34-yard touchdown run, Clinton knotted the game at 13 apiece.
Both teams traded touchdowns until around the 4-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Broome trailed 26-19 but orchestrated a quick 7-play drive. They decided to go for two, and it ultimately was the right call. Broome (1-0) led 27-26 with 1:23 left on the clock.
The Red Devils rallied, though. Clinton quickly made it all the way down to Broome’s 2-yard line. On third and goal, with no timeouts remaining, Fountain decided it was too risky to run another play.
He decided to bring the field goal unit out. Broome blocked the potential game-winning kick and the Centurions won, 27-26.
Fountain said, “They played hard and they did a great job and we can’t fault them at all, it’s on me. This loss was on me.”
Clinton piled up 402 yards of offense, all but 39 of it on the ground. The Centurions passed for 288 of their 377, with Ramirez connecting on 21 of his 35 attempts for three touchdowns. Four different Broome players – Turner, K.J. Morgan, Drew Alfred and Ronald Hodges – caught 4 of Ramirez’s throws each.