Undefeated Clinton prepares to play in state semifinal

Mickey Alvarado

Clinton varsity football coach Scott McNitt presents the 2015 MHSAA Regional championship trophy to his players.

Only minutes after defeating visiting Jackson Lumen Christi 49-20 for the Division 6 regional football title on Friday the 13th, Clinton (12-0) head coach Scott McNitt gathered the Redskins together and scheduled an 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning practice to prepare for the upcoming state semifinal in Battle Creek on Saturday, Nov. 20, against Grand Rapids NorthPoint Christian (12-0).
“It’s a great day to be a Redskin, isn’t it?” McNitt asked his team after the big regional title victory. He told the players they should be proud of defeating an outstanding football team.
“You battled for four quarters and got what you deserved,” he said. “You did an awesome job. They [Jackson Lumen Christi] are one heck of a football team.”
McNitt mentioned one of his undefeated regular-season teams from 1990 that advanced to the Class-C state semifinal but lost 22-7 to Galesburg-Augusta.
“In 1990 we went to the state semifinals. Same situation right here,” he said. “We were celebrating, all happy and we didn’t show up for the state semifinals and we went home losers. And that’s the worst feeling ever. Stay the course... Don’t you be satisfied.”
In the regional game against Jackson Lumen Christi, Clinton’s Noah Poore scored on the Redskins’ first play after holding the Titans to a fourth down on the Redskins’ 25-yard line. A missed two-point conversion attempt had the Redskins up 6-0 with 8:30 remaining in the first quarter.
The Titans tied the game 6-6 with Bo Bell scoring a touchdown on a 43-yard run but didn’t take the lead with a missed point after touchdown (PAT) kick (3:05). 
On the following kick off Poore returned the ball 73-yards to the end zone for his second touchdown of the first quarter. A good PAT kick by Erik Bouse put the Redskins up 13-6 with 2:57 left on the first quarter clock.
Soon after entering the second quarter (11:54) Lumen Christi’s Josh Marsh reached the end zone on a 20-yard run and a good PAT kick tied the game 13-13.
Mathew Sexton broke free early in the second quarter and scored from the Titan’s 26-yard line and gave the Redskins a 21-13 lead with a good two-point conversion run (8:44).
With just 10 seconds left in the first half Sexton ran 39-yards into the end zone and a good PAT by Bouse put the Redskins up 28-13.
Poore scampered into the end zone midway through the third quarter (6:13) and another good Bouse PAT had the Redskins up 35-13.
Just over a minute and a half into the fourth quarter the Titans scored their final touchdown to set the score at 35-19. A good PAT kick had the Titans down by 15 points (35-20), however the Redskins weren’t done yet. 
Sexton scored another touchdown with 8:25 left in the game and after Poore intercepted a Titan pass he hit the end zone again on an 80-yard dash with 3:41 left in the game.
Bouse connected on both PATs to end all scoring.
Sexton rushed for 255-yards and four touchdowns while Poore rushed nine times for 110-yards and three touchdowns. Placekicker Bouse converted 5-of-5 extra point kicks.
“Give credit where credit is due as the offensive lineman, led by Alex McIntosh, Kenny DeShano, Austin Popp, Ethan Vaughn, Aaron Fowler, Blake Rogers and Josh Brown, fought hard in the trenches,” McNitt said.
Defensively, DeShano led the Redskins with 13 tackles. Sexton was right behind with 11 tackles including a sack while Brown recorded 10 tackles. 
Clinton’s Offensive Player of the Game was Sexton while defensive honors went to DeShano. The Redskins’ Red Army Player of the Week was Aaron Fowler while their special teams player was Danny Spence.


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