Redskins win D6 district football title

Mickey Alvarado

Clinton’s varsity football team celebrates with the district trophy after defeating Madison Heights Madison High School 43-20. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Returning the opening game kickoff during the Division 6 district final at Madison Heights Madison High School had Clinton’s varsity football fans shaking the visitor’s stands as the hosting Eagles stood silent shaking their heads at the speed of the Redskins’ Mathew Sexton.
Clinton took a 22-0 lead in the first four and a half minutes of play and went on to defeat the Eagles 43-20 for the district title.
“We came here to advance, and that’s exactly what we did,” Clinton head football coach Scott McNitt said to his players after the game. “It’s stressful. But, that’s playoff football. We played two outstanding teams on the road. Now we get a chance to go home.” With its district title win, Clinton hosts Jackson Lumen Christi in the regional final on Friday at 7 p.m. “You’re going to play another great football team. You enjoy this though. You’ve earned the right to go back home and play a playoff game at home. Outstanding job!”
McNitt said he was surprised to see the Eagles kick to Sexton for the first kickoff and that immediately set the tone. “That broke the game open,” he said. “You could see the momentum, the excitement on our sideline and not much going on over there. I was very surprised.”
With Madison football coach Drake Wilkins under investigation for possible unprofessional conduct and not on the sideline coaching, according to the Detroit Free Press, chants of “Do it for coach Drake” had the Eagles perk up before taking the ball for the first time against the Redskins. However, the Eagles fumbled the ball on the ensuing squib kickoff and Clinton recovered. The Redskins scored another touchdown just two plays later with Sexton carrying the ball into the end zone and Erik Bouse connected on the Point After Touchdown (PAT) kick to set the score at 15-0 with 10:52 remaining in the first quarter.
“It was going to affect them one way or another,” said McNitt of the Eagles missing their head coach. “Usually you rally around your coach. Or, if it gets out of hand like we got on them early, maybe it took away whatever it is they were playing for tonight. They hung in there and battled hard. They are an outstanding team.”
With 7:28 left in the first quarter, Noah Poore, who added a two-point conversion run on the game’s first touchdown, hit the end zone again on a 17-yard run and a good PAT kick by Bouse had the Redskins holding a 22-0 advantage.
Poore rushed for another touchdown in the second quarter and a good Bouse PAT had the Redskins up 29-0 with 6:37 remaining in the first half.
Madison scored its first touchdown with a long pass on its following possession but its two-point conversion attempt failed.
Clinton closed the first half leading 29-6.
The Eagles scored again in the third quarter (3:05) and Sexton blocked the Eagles PAT attempt to set the score at 29-12.
Sexton rushed into the end zone again and Bouse hit the PAT for a 36-12 lead with 11:08 left on the game clock.
Ryan Crews rushed for another Eagles touchdown to cut the score to 36-18 and a good two-point conversion run had Madison down by 16 points (36-20) with 9:27 remaining.
Sexton scored the final touchdown on a 39-yard run with 8:25 left in the contest and Bouse hit the PAT for the final, 43-20, score.
“I’m not satisfied as an offensive coach,” McNitt said of his team’s performance at Madison Heights. “I expect more. I expect better. We had a fast start and maybe we just got a little lax. You know, driving up here wasn’t an ease either. It was a tough ride up.”
Kickoff at Clinton (11-0, 80.0 playoff points) in Friday’s regional final against Jackson Lumen Christi (8-3, 68.0 playoff points) is 7 p.m.
“We are right where we want to be,” McNitt said to his players. “Now you’re playing for the big one. You win this one at home, you’re going to the state semifinals with a chance to go all the way. We’ve got to clean a lot of things up. I’m proud of every one of you guys. It’s a great victory.”


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