By Danny C. Davis
The Clinton Arrows continue down the toughest stretch of their Region 2 Class 6A schedule with four tough Region 2 opponents ahead. The good news is that three of those games will be played in the friendly confines of Arrow Field.
The next two are at home, and both are brutal. The Arrows host long-time rival Madison Central October 8 at Arrow Field. CHS has dropped four in a row to the Jaguars, with the last win coming at Arrow Field in the 2016 North Class 6A Semi-finals. The Arrows host tough Oxford on October 15. The Arrows fell to the Chargers 31-27 in last year’s North Class 6 A Semi-finals. CHS finishes out October on the road at Grenada before hosting Tupelo at home on October 29.
At Starkville, Clinton fell 28-21 to drop to 1-1 in Region 2-6A and 2-3 overall. Like three of the four previous Arrow games, Clinton had second-half leads only to see the lead slip away once again in the fourth period. Clinton led the game until only 7 minutes remained.
In the first half, Juan Taylor caught a 61-yard TD pass-scoring play from Jordyn Battee, and JaKobe Calvin had a 1-yard TD run that gave the Arrows a 14-7 halftime lead. After a Starkville score and missed PAT, Taylor made it 21-13, scoring with 48 seconds left in third period. But, after that, it was all Yellow Jackets, who scored 15 fourth-period points and shut out the Arrows. A 91-yard drive and a 2-point conversion for SHS tied it 21-21 with 7 minutes left.
The Yellow Jackets scored the winning TD with 59 seconds.
Starkville had 296 yards offense in the final two quarters, as opposed to 152 for CHS.
Leading the Arrow defense was Blue Coleman with seven tackles, and T J Spann and Elliot Denson with five stops each.
On September 24, CHS held on to defeat Germantown 35-31 in overtime to notch their first Region 2-6 win of the year. Like the previous game against Brandon, CHS gave up two touchdowns in the fourth period to see their lead evaporate, but, unlike in the Brandon game, CHS held on to win this one.
Clinton dominated the first half and seemed to be in complete control when running back JaKobe Calvin ran three yards to score to cap a short 34-yard drive and put CHS ahead 21-7 with Luke Hopkins’ extra point with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. But, after that, the Arrows found themselves in a tight battle. Germantown‘s Tykon Wade ran Hopkins’ ensuring kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-14 with 10 seconds left in the third period.
It didn’t take the Arrows long to go up by two scores. A five-play 55-yard drive was capped by Calvin’s 28-yard run to make it 28-14 with 10:08 left. But, after that, it was all Mavericks. Germantown made it 28-21 with 4:49 left on backup QB Drew McCluskey’s 54-yard pass-scoring play to Tony Knight.
Clinton seemed content to run the ball and the clock, but Jordyn Battee’s fourth down pass was picked off by the Maverick’s Jaishun Bell and returned 53 yards for a touchdown to tie it 28-28.
But, this time, the Arrows pulled it out in overtime. The Arrow defense stopped Germantown and forced a field goal on 4th and goal at the Arrow 3. Battee ran 10 yards to score on the Arrows’ first attempt in overtime, to end the game 35-31.
“I‘m glad I had a chance to redeem myself after throwing that pick 6 that tied it up,” said Battee, only making his 4th career start at QB. “I think we all grew up a lot tonight and are proud we got a district win.”
They are a resilient group,” said Arrows head coach Judd Boswell. “We made mistakes in the second half, but we didn’t hang our heads down and went out and find a way to win tonight. We never complain about a district win. They are all hard to come by.”
Junior wide receiver Kyler Hutton had a highlight reel first half for the Arrows. He scored both of the Arrows’ first half TDs on back-to-back touchdowns by the air and by the ground.
Hutton, WAPT Channel 16’s prep player of the week, caught a 28-yard pass from Battee with 10:57 left in the first half to score and make it 7-0. Just a little over a minute later, Hutton ran around left end 45 yards to score and make it 14-0.
“Jordyn put the first one right to me, and I was able to beat their guy,” said Hutton. “The second play we had worked on a lot in practice, and I had some good down field blocking.”
Battee had 17 carries for 81 yards and a TD, Calvin carried 15 times for 75 yards and two scores. Hutton had 3 carries for 43 yards and a TD.
Battee completed only 8 of 18 passes with two interceptions for 95 yards and a TD.
Jacquavian Carter and Quinton Whitehead both led the Arrow defense with six solo tackles and two assists each.
“We knew if we stopped their run, we stood a good chance to win,” said Carter, a two-year starter at linebacker. “We were taking what they gave us and just came up with a couple real good stops in the overtime to win.”