South Aiken handed Clinton its second straight loss as the previously winless Thoroughbreds stunned the Red Devils 41-30 Friday night.
In the upset, South Aiken seemed to one-up the Red Devils at their own game, rolling up 489 yards in total offense, including 336 yards on the ground behind two 100-yard rushers.
The Thoroughbreds (1-5) took a 20-15 lead into halftime thanks to a 14-yard run by Jevon Edwards that capped a six-play, 82-yard drive with 1:15 left in the second quarter. Edwards ran for a game-high 199 yards on 35 carries.
South Aiken extended its lead to 27-15, striking first in the third quarter on a 35-yard pass from Terrence Smith to Ryan Lubeck. Smith ran for 161 yards and completed 8 of 10 pass attempts for 141 yards and two scores.
The Red Devils (4-2), who had managed a 15-14 lead on a 6-yard run by D.J. Clark with 2:16 left in the second quarter, were never able to wrestle the lead away from South Aiken in the second half.
Clinton rushed for 385 yards, behind 152 yards from Tushuwan Richardson, but an effective passing game struggled against South Aiken. Richardson completed 1 of 8 pass attempts. The only Red Devils completion was a 52-yard touchdown from Richardson to Austin Boyd with 10:44 left in the fourth quarter that cut The Thoroughbreds’ lead to 34-30.
Javen Cook scored twice on runs of 9 and 11 yards for the shorthanded Red Devils, finishing with 70 yards on seven carries. Tray Cook ran for 96 yards on 10 rushes.
Clinton, who lost top two returning rushers Jayden Robinson and Kason Copeland earlier this season – were without starting linebackers Brett Young and Carson Glenn as well as defensive back/wideout Zay Johnson, a Cincinnati commit and Shrine Bowl selection, due to more recent injuries.
“There were a lot of new faces out there, and they gave it their best effort, and we still had opportunities to win this football game,” said Clinton head coach Corey Fountain. “They gave us a shot, and they’re getting experience and it’s going to help us with depth later on down the road.”
The Red Devils are to begin their Region 4-3A schedule Friday (Sept. 29) at Wilder Stadium against Union County (1-5).