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Arrows can still clinch home playoff after falling at Tupelo

By Danny C. Davis

Arrows football

Despite falling 35-7 on the road at Tupelo on October 28, the Clinton Arrows can still finish second in Region 2-6A and clinch a home playoff game with a win over Jackson Murrah this Friday night at Arrow Field. The game will be senior night with the Arrow Band, cheerleaders and football seniors to be recognized.

Clinton is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in Region 2-6A. With a win Friday night, CHS would finish 5-2 in Region play and finish second.

The Arrows’ loss at Tupelo by 28 points marked their worst point differential loss since CHS fell at Starkville 45-7 on November 6, 2015.

Clinton did not score an offensive touchdown, and the only Arrow points came on Jacquavyian Carter’s 5-fumble return for a touchdown with only four minutes left. Tupelo outgained Clinton with 364 yards to only 85 yards for CHS. But Carter’s touchdown marked the only touchdown that Tupelo has given up at home this year.

Clinton had opportunities in the first half. Trailing 9-0 late in the first quarter, the Arrows drove to the Golden Wave 28. But Clinton jumped off sides and then turned it over on downs.

Tupelo scored on their next drive to make it 15-0 at the half. Tupelo had a 20-point third period. Clinton did not threaten offensively in the second half.

Karmarious Gibson had eight tackles for the Arrow defense. Jakobe Calvin accounted for 77 of the Arrows 85 offensive yards.

On October 21, the Clinton Arrows clinched a playoff spot with a hard-earned homecoming win over Grenada. On a night when the offense had a hard time getting in sync, the Arrows leaned on the defense to edge out a tough 12-6 Region 2-6A win.

“Grenada was very physical and the best defense we had played against all year,” said Arrow head coach Judd Boswell. “But our defense stepped up and made the plays we needed to win. I am very proud of our team for finding a way to win and clinch a playoff spot.”

Grenada took the opening possession and drove 62 yards in eight plays behind running back Macaleb Taylor to take a 6-0 lead after a blocked extra point with 9:20 left in the first period.

But that would be the Chargers’ only points of the night. In fact, Grenada only had 85 yards of offense on 50 plays, including -1 yards passing.

Clinton had plenty of problems on offense, too, moving the ball, but Grenada’s defense had a lot to do with that.

“Grenada‘s defense moved from one side of the field to other and stopped us. Their linebackers were very hard to run on,” said Boswell.

Clinton’s only touchdown in the game came on Jakobe Calvin’s 19-yard run on the first play of the second period. Hayden Wolfe’s extra point put the Arrows ahead 7-6 with 11:52 left in the half.

Clinton had to cling to the one-point lead until early in the fourth period, when the Arrow defense forced an intentional safety by Charger punter Jacory Seals, who stepped out of the back of the end zone to make it 9-7 with 11 minutes left.

The Arrows led 12-6 after Wolfe’s 38-yard field goal with seven minutes left.

After that, it was up to Clinton’s defense to preserve the slim lead. And that is just what they did.

The Chargers had possession at the Arrow 34 with 3 ½ minutes left, but, after a couple big stops by the Arrow defense, Veshone Malone intercepted Charger QB Holt Gober with 2 ½ minutes left to help preserve the win and clinch a playoff spot.

Leading the Arrow defense were Karmarious Gibson, who had five solo tackles and two assists, and Kenny Andrews who had four tackles and two assists.

“We had to play our best game on defense to help our team win,” said Gibson, a senior. “We knew after that first drive that they scored on that we had to shut down their run game, and that is what we were able to do.”

Andrews agreed, “We came out and played a little soft and had to turn it up a notch on defense the second half.”


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