Wise was quick to set the record straight.
“The whole line was blocking great tonight,” Wise said, which, 20 yards away, head coach Andrew Webb had just predicted.
“That’s a real great game for Mark,” Webb had said, “but it’s a real compliment to the seven people up there blocking in front of him, and I know he’d say the same thing.”
Wise did more than just run well.
The running was marvelous, though. A senior, Wise tied Brian Kingsborough’s 2006 record for touchdowns in a game, scoring on runs of nine, 13, 56, 45 and two yards. He scored twice in the first quarter, twice in the second and once in the third.
Aiken scored two touchdowns in the game’s final two minutes, the latter, after an onside kick, with two ticks left on the clock. Clinton had led 27-0, 33-7, 40-13 and 47-20.
The game wasn’t ever in doubt. The game was a track meet.
Clinton (1-2) piled up 488 yards of offense, 411 of it on the ground. Kris Holmes (11 carries, 55 yards) and sophomore Darien Bailey also scored.
The Red Devils ended Aiken’s first three drives with interceptions, and stopped another that way in the second quarter. All four interceptions – by Jeremiah Boyd, Tquan Cromer twice and Vilo Boyd – led to Clinton touchdowns.
“We had to get a win,” Wise said. “I just took the ball and rolled with the flow.”
Aiken (0-4) got 90 yards rushing from Jeremiah Green. Two quarterbacks combined for 208 yards and four touchdowns.
Webb said, “We needed to get off to a good start, and I felt we were clicking on offense and defense in the first quarter. We need to build on that. We gave up too many big plays. As far as the second half, sometimes you have to step back a little because we were trying to get as many people in the game as we could. They had their starters in. We shot ourselves in the foot a few times.”
In pregame ceremonies, Clinton High School honored the family of the late Harold Williams, an assistant coach for 34 years, and also honored the mothers of team members in a continuation of the FAMILY Night theme.
C – Mark Wise 9 run (Luke Mann kick) 11:10 1st
C – Wise 13 run (Mann kick) 2:21 1st
C – Kris Holmes 1 run (kick failed) 0:22 1st
C – Wise 56 run (Mann kick) 5:10 2nd
A – Deondre Bynum 63 pass from Kory Wallace (Austin McKay kick) 4:50 2nd
C – Wise 45 run (run failed) 3:53 2nd
A – Jeremiah Green 16 pass from Quindarius Corley (kick failed) 1:23 2nd
C – Wise 2 run (Mann kick) 10:00 3rd
A – Stavon Porter 71 pass from Corley (McKay kick) 4:42 3rd
C – Darien Bailey 6 run (Mann kick) 11:18 4th
A – Green 12 run (McKay kick) 1:59 4th
A – Green 14 pass from Wallace (pass failed) 0:02 4th
RUSHING: Aiken, Green 16-90, Alex Thomas 8-48, Total 28-131; Clinton, Wise 19-255, Holmes 11-55, Greg Sanders 5-39, Bailey 6-28, Total 49-411.
PASSING: Aiken, Corley 4-11-1 109, Wallace 3-7-3 99; Clinton, Konnor Richardson 9-16-1 77.
RECEIVING: Aiken, Green 4-52, Porter 1-71, Bynum 1-63, Charvis Jones 1-22; Clinton, Ty Priestley 3-7, Tquan Cromer 2-25, A.J. Peake 2-24, Sam Tiller 1-6.