JIM TUMLINSON FIELD - The Clinton Yellowjackets (4-0, 1-0) scored on their second play from scrimmage and never looked back in a 31-6 romp over the visiting Greenland Pirates (3-1, 0-1) in the 3A-1 conference opener. Quarterback Weston Amos ran for two touchdowns and added another one through the air to lead the Yellowjacket attack.
The Yellowjackets received the opening kickoff, and for the second consecutive week, scored on the second play from scrimmage. This time, Senior Nate Lonnon burst through the right side of the line and raced 66 yards to the end zone. Charlie Sowell would then punch it in on the point after try to give the Jackets an 8-0 lead.
Greenland’s offense, which scored 76 points against Gentry the week before, quickly learned that the going would be much tougher this week. After being stuffed on three consecutive plays, the Pirates lined up to punt, but caught a break when Caleb Bowman’s block bounced to a Pirate upback who scrambled for a first down. Despite the break, the Jacket defense would hold.
The teams traded punts on their next possession. Later in the first quarter, the Jackets appeared to be driving, but Sowell fumbled inside the Pirate 20 yard line to turn back the Jacket scoring threat momentarily. After forcing a three and out, the Jackets would strike quickly on a touchdown pass from Weston Amos to Austin Drake for 26 yards. Amos’s pass to Jonathan Hagerman on the extra point extended the Jacket lead to 16-0.
Greenland’s offense still found itself stuck in first gear, turning the ball back over on downs to the Yellowjackets. Back to back big gains by Amos (rush of 17 and a pass completion to Sky Davidson) set the Jackets up in plus territory. On first and goal from the 10 yard line, Amos rolled right on a naked bootleg and outraced to Pirate defenders to the endzone. Amos would then tack on the extra two on a quarterback keeper to extend the lead to 24-0.
It appeared the score would stay that way going into halftime, as Greenland’s offense was still unable to sustain drives. The Pirates did manage to stop a promising drive by Clinton with an interception by Austin Fouch. Just before the end of the half, miscues by the Jacket offensive line led to a 4th and 24 from the Pirate 36 yard line. Amos, looking to pass, was forced to scramble before being brought down well short of the first down. Consecutive personal foul penalties on Greenland set the Jackets up first and goal from the five yard line. Amos once again rolled out to his right and outraced two Pirate defenders to the endzone for the score. Matt Gonzalez tacked on the extra point to give Clinton a 31-0 lead heading to intermission.
The biggest question mark of the second half was would the defense yield its first score since the 6:20 mark in the fourth quarter of week 1 against Heber Springs. It took a 19 play drive, 3 fourth down conversions, and a questionable spotting job by the officiating crew for the Pirates to end the Jackets scoreless streak at just over 11 quarters. Chandler Alaniz finally found the endzone on a two yard run around the left side of the defense. The two point conversion was no good to make the score 31-6.
Neither offense was able to generate anything else for the remainder of the game as both teams wore down on the humid evening.
Amos led the charge, completing 5 of 7 passes for 84 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Charlie Sowell caught a pass for 36 yards, while Austin Drake added 2 receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Amos added 42 rushing yards on 7 carries with 2 touchdowns. Sky Davidson picked up 69 yards on 5 carries, while Nate Lonnon added 60 yards on 2 carries to go with his touchdown.
Greenland’s high powered offense was held in check for a majority of the night. After averaging over 200 passing yards per game, the Pirates were limited to only 89 yards on 13 completions (28 attempts). Caleb Bowman led the defense with 12 stops and a blocked punt. Cort Bagley added 10 tackles, while Jonathan Carter and Sky Davidson added 7 tackles apiece. Ethen Drake broke up 2 passes in the game as well.
The Jackets head north next Friday night to take on the Green Forest Tigers in a conference matchup. Kickoff is set for 7 pm. The game will be carried live on KHPQ 92.1 with Jeff Hall and Mike Hawley on the call.
Game Notes: Captains for the game were seniors Nate Lonnon, Dylan Hayford, Clint Bagley, and Charlie Sowell… The Jackets turned the ball over twice in the game, and for the first time all year did not record a turnover on defense… The defense scoreless streak was snapped at the 2:03 mark in the third quarter. The Jackets had not given up a point for 136 minutes and 17 seconds… The Jackets 4-0 start is the best start since Clinton won 8 consecutive games to open the 2010 season… Nate Lonnon’s 66 yard rush was the longest of the season by a Clinton running back…