Bears fall at Clinton

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

CLINTON – Clinton High School scored 32, second half points to rally past Hertford County, 48-44, in the opening round of the NCHSAA State 2A Playoffs here Friday night.

The loss ended the season for the Bears, who finished with a 7-4 overall record.

HCHS led 22-16 at halftime thanks to a pair of three-yard TD runs by quarterback Keveon Rodgers and his 56-yard scoring pass to Israel Powell. Jahaun Bond and Tyree Coatney each added a conversion run in the first half.

The Bears stretched that lead to 28-16 on the opening possession of the second half where Rodgers and Elijah Winley connected on a 35-yard scoring pass.

Jakwan Wilson, who scored both touchdowns for Clinton in the first half, answered for the Dark Horses as he got his team to within 28-22 on a 61-yard TD run.

After an interception, Clinton got on the scoreboard again as Wilson capped a drive by catching a 12-yard scoring pass from Dylan Owens. Owens then ran for the conversion, handing Clinton the lead at 30-28.

That lead didn’t last long as Coatney reeled off a 60-yard run to paydirt. Rodgers added the conversion run as the Bears were back on top at 36-30 late in the third quarter.

Clinton tied the game at 36-36 on a 69-yard pass from Smith to Wilson. Then, after stopping HCHS in the redzone, Smith’s 67-yard TD pass to Alexander Evans gave the Dark Horses the lead for-keeps at 42-36.

An interception set-up Clinton’s next score as they mounted a 67-yard drive capped by a 12-yard TD run by Owens, staking the home team to a 48-36 lead with eight minutes remaining in the game.

Set-up by a long pass from Rodgers to Powell, the Bears scored on a 2-yard run by Rodgers followed by Coatney’s conversion run, getting the Bears to within 48-44.

The Bears had one final chance, driving to Clinton’s 40 yardline where they lost possession on downs with three minutes left and the Dark Horses ran out the clock to preserve the win.

Clinton (8-2 overall) advances to the second round to meet East Duplin (10-1).