By Justin Graves
CLEMENTS – There’s an old saying that football is a game of inches. Clements found that saying to be true the hard way in Friday night’s 27-21 Class 3A, Region 8 loss to Elkmont.
After the Red Devils took a six-point lead with 1:38 remaining in the game, the Colts received the ensuing kickoff on the 50-yard line. After two big plays from Jesse Cobb to get Clements within the 20-yard line, quarterback Cody Arnold completed a pass to Josh Eaton to put Clements on the 1-yard line with 15 seconds left. The Elkmont defense held its ground and kept Arnold from reaching the end zone as time expired.
“We should have never been in that situation,” Elkmont coach Chad McGehee said. “But our defense never folded, stepped up and kept them out of the endz one.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids out there playing, but they battled and kept their composure. A win is a win and we’ll take them any way we can get them.”
In a game that was a defensive struggle in the first half turned out to be a fourth quarter shootout.
With Elkmont leading 14-13, Chance Newby reached the end zone for the Red Devils on a 4-yard touchdown run. John Schrimsher kicked the extra point.
On the ensuing drive Joshua McWilliams intercepted an Arnold pass on the 50-yard line, but Seth Bachelor stripped the football and carried it to the Elkmont 30. Arnold found Cobb open on a wheel route that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown two plays later. Arnold found Cobb open in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21.
“We didn’t make any half time offensive adjustments,” Clements coach Forrest Williams said. “We were moving the ball pretty well at the end of the half, so we kept doing the same thing. We threw the ball a lot more tonight and we moved the ball with some success.
“We had several scoring opportunities, but had some drives fall short. You can’t have that happen.”
Elkmont swung the momentum back their way on their next offensive series. The Red Devils went on a 11 play, 7-minute drive that ended in a Jonathan Carter touchdown pass to Tim Woolridge. Schrimsher’s PAT was no good.
“We did a good job of executing our game plan,” McGehee said. “Our offensive line did a good job blocking and our backs capitalized. That’s the kind of effort we need.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but these guys are getting better.
Elkmont accumulated 239 rushing yards in the win. Red Devils’ offensive lineman Chris Barnett said the results his running backs had in the win is all the glory they need.
“We don’t get much glory, but we don’t need it,” Barnett said. “When our backs have success like they did tonight, that’s all we need. It makes you feel good as a linemen when your backs do as well as ours did.
“We knew we had to control the line of scrimmage and that’s what we did.”
Elkmont continues region play next week by hosting Lexington while Clements travels to Sheffield.
By Justin Graves