Lest the Red Devils bus back home overconfident – they face a stern test in their own preseason affair on Friday against Strom Thurmond – head coach Andrew Webb was quick to say, “We made some mistakes, but we were way better than we were on Tuesday (at Belton-Honea Path). We’ll be all right. We’ll get those things fixed. It was our first time ‘under the lights,’ and I think we need to focus now on the little things.”
In two quarters, the Red Devils outgained the Tigers, 278-114 in total yardage, and outrushed them, 206-25. Blue Ridge trailed for all but the first five plays and picked up six more passing yards (89-83), but quarterback Jake Smith connected on only six of his 16 pass attempts and was intercepted twice.
Surprising no one, Clinton relied on a potent and balanced ground game. Six different backs had rushing attempts, led by Kris Holmes with 78 yards and Mark Wise with 69. Holmes and Darien Bailey scored touchdowns.
Konnor Richardson, the sophomore quarterback, connected on six of his 10 pass attempts, with four winding up in the arms of senior Dawson Green. Green’s final catch was Clinton’s final touchdown, a 12-yarder with 3:59 remaining.
“Dawson has been our most consistent receiver all summer,” Webb said. “We said, as a coaching staff, that we had to find ways to get him the ball. He can catch. He does what he’s supposed to do. He’s a reliable player.”
Backup quarterback Devan Diggins produced Blue Ridge’s only score on the scrimmage’s final play.
“We’re making progress in the defensive backfield. Strom Thurmond is always a physical team. We’ll step up. We’ll be better than we were tonight,” Webb said.
Between Clinton’s triumph over Blue Ridge and Laurens’ 9-7 win over Woodruff, Class 5A Spartanburg thumped the defending Class 3A champion, Chapman, by a score of 31-7.
Ben Lippen takes on Woodruff in the first half of Clinton Game Night, which begins at 7 p.m.