Defending state champion Chapman, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A, broke open a scoreless halftime tie with 24 straight second-half points en route to a 24-8 victory over visiting Clinton Saturday night in Inman.
Clinton, which turned in a heroic defensive effort against the Panthers’ high-powered offense in the first half, was unable to hold Chapman down for four quarters.
The Red Devils (1-2 overall, 1-2 Region 2-3A) finally got on the scoreboard on a 3-yard pass from Davis Wilson to Kimon Quarles. Wilson, making his season debut after missing the first two games of the season due to an ankle injury, led Clinton on a last-minute drive that ended with the touchdown pass to Quarles. Wilson ran for the 2-point conversion.
Clinton was able to own the clock in the first half and dominated the time of possession, holding onto the ball for more than 28 minutes of game time. The Red Devils allowed the Panthers, who were averaging 49 points per game this season, just one first down in the first half. That was the plan from the outset, said Clinton head coach Corey Fountain.
“We wanted to sustain drives and keep the ball out of their hands,” Fountain said. “We’ve just got to finish drives. It’s frustrating but our guys are getting better each week, and we’re going to learn from our mistakes. We’ve got to be ready for Woodruff.”
Chapman (3-0, 3-0) narrowly outgained the Red Devils with 243 yards, while Clinton finished with 236 yards from scrimmage, 165 of those coming on the ground. Shy Kinard led the Clinton rushing attack with 78 yards on 21 carries.
The Red Devils will face Woodruff in two weeks, following a bye next week.