The Clinton Red Devils, whose offense was efficient and defense stingy, finished their season with an astounding victory over the Strom Thurmond Rebels, 38-6, at Wilder Stadium on Friday Night.
The Red Devils’ defense showed its force early and often, beginning the scoring with a forced fumble and touchdown with the Rebels’ offense backed up on their own goal line.
Seconds into the second quarter, Clinton’s defense again put points on the board, forcing another mistake from Strom Thurmond, a safety, as Rebel running back Devron Williams couldn’t make it out of his own end zone.
With the score 9-0, Red Devil quarterback Austin Copeland connected with running back Kimon Quarles for a 66-yard touchdown pass down the seam of the defense. On the night, Copeland connected on 6 of his 10 passes for two touchdowns and 187 yards. Quarles hauled in 2 receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown, while also toting the rock 10 times for 25 yards and a touchdown.
At the half, the score was 16-0, with the Rebels’ offense only amassing a measly 40 yards on 25 plays. In comparison, the Red Devils put up 158 yards on 24 plays.
The second half was more of the same for Clinton’s defense, as it held Strom Thurmond (3-3) to only six points.
Clinton’s offense turned it up in the second half, adding rushing scores from Quarles and Shy Kinard and a passing touchdown from Austin Copeland to his twin brother, Justin Copeland.
With the Red Devils’ matchup against Laurens High School canceled next week and no playoff berth, Red Devil head coach Corey Fountain applauded his team’s focus on its final game of the season.
“They don't give up. You know, last week took the air out of us,” he said in reference to an excruciating loss at Union County that took Clinton out of playoff contention. “It really did. And then this week we had adversity because we thought we were going to be able to play our rivals in week eight and it just didn't happen. And that took the wind out of their sails.
“It hurt the seniors not to be able to play in that game, but they found a way to get back up, to get themselves up. And this, this was a game of pride.”
The Red Devils finished their season 3-3 with their glimpses of success boding well for the future.
C – Bryson James 0 fumble recovery (Wyatt McWatters kick) 04:34 1st
C – TM safety 11:43 2nd
C – Kimon Quarles 61 pass from Austin Copeland (McWatters kick) 03:30 2nd
C – Quarles 4 run (McWatters kick) 2:01 3rd
ST – T.J. West 80 pass from Patrick Westbrook (run failed) 1:30 3rd
C – Justin Copeland 23 pass from Austin Copeland (McWatters kick) 11:46 4th
C – Shy Kinard 7 run (Jack Carroll rush) 7:10 4th
Rushing: Clinton (46-244), James 1-70, Kinard 15-67, Gary 11-40, Jishun Copeland 6-38, Quarles 10-25; Strom Thurmond (7-18), Charquez Booker 8-44.
Passing: Clinton,A. Copeland 6-10-0 187; Strom Thurmond, Patrick Westbrook 13-27-2 178
Receiving: Clinton, J. Copeland 4-123, Quarles 2-64; Strom Thurmond, West 5-108, Gregory Bryant 4-38, Logan Johnson 2-25.