A football playoff bid is possible. It would require a pair of upsets for the Clinton Red Devils, but it’s not as unlikely as it looks at a glance.
Clinton (1-2, overall and in Region 3-3A) has longtime rival Woodruff (2-1, 2-1) paying a visit to Wilder Stadium on Homecoming Friday night. In their final region game, the Red Devils will visit Union County, the team they were scheduled in play in the opening game on Oct. 30.
Chapman (4-0), the reigning 3A state champion, stands alone at the top. The Panthers defeated Clinton 24-8 two weeks ago after the game was scoreless at halftime. Only the Red Devils have offered much resistance. Chapman defeated Woodruff 45-14 and Union County 69-26. Woodruff defeated Union County 28-26.
Enough of what has already happened and what might happen later. Running back Shamare Dendy, who once played at Laurens, is the centerpiece of a strong Wolverine offense.
“I definitely think we have to play a complete game in all phases,” Clinton head coach Corey Fountain said. “They’re very explosive on offense.
“[Dendy] is complete player, a very explosive player. He can catch the ball, run, and sometimes he lines up at quarterback and makes things happen.”
Clinton has a bevy of explosive backs, led by Shykorie Gary, Shy Kinard and Kimon Quarles. Clinton’s weakness has been an inability to convert drives deep in opposition territory. To beat the odds and make the playoffs, that has to change.
“We’ve had more big plays than last year,” Fountain said. “Short-yardage situations are what we have to shore up. We’ve got to close out drives and find a way to make it happen. That’s the best way to win this game: finish out games, drives and plays.
“[Woodruff] can do it all on offense. The best way to win is keep the ball away from them. We’ve got to eliminate mistakes and punch it in the end zone when we’re in the red zone.”