Clements running back Jairrice Pryor is an unstoppable force right now, and the Colts are looking pretty good as a result.
Pryor rushed for 268 yards and scored five touchdowns as Clements defeated Phil Campbell 44-27 Friday night to improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Class 3A, Region 8 play.
Pryor has rushed for more than 200 yards in each of Clements' three games. He had 215 in the season opening 50-6 win over Elkmont and 217 in a 48-14 win over Tanner. He has also rushed for 12 total touchdowns this season and thrown for another score from the wildcat formation.
“He's just a phenomenal athlete,” Clements coach Michael Parker said. “He's the rock of our offense. He does some thing's that just aren't coachable Anytime youv'e got a kid like that with those natural abilities, it's a blessing to have. He's doing his job and making me look like a million bucks.”
Pryor's final two touchdowns of the night put the game away for the Colts. After Phil Campbell scored to close to within 32-27 in the fourth quarter, Pryor scored on runs of 18 and 31 yards to secure the victory.
“It was huge to know we could overcome some adversity,” Parker said. “I felt confidence our offense would to well, we just had to stop Phil Campbell's offense. We were finally able to do that in the fourth quarter.”
Phil Campbell actually scored first, but Ian Ezell returned the ensuing kickoff back to the 2-yard line, which set up Clements' first score. On the Colts' next possession, Pryor raced 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play to give Clements the lead.
Hayden Graves scored on a 12-yard run to give Clements a 20-7 lead, but Phil Campbell got a score late in the second quarter to cut the Colts' lead to 20-14 at halftime. Graves finished the game with 58 yards rushing on nine carries.
Each team scored a touchdown in the third quarter, as the Colts took a 26-20 lead into the final period. Clements expanded the lead to 32-20 before Phil Campbell scored its final touchdown of the game to trim the Colts' lead to five points.
However, Pryor's final two touchdowns of the night put the game out of reach and gave Clements a great start to region play.
Clements avenged last season's 15-7 loss to the Bobcats and now control their playoff destiny right off the bat.
“Last year we let them sneak up on us and it put us behind the 8-ball in the region, and we had to sneak in the playoffs due to some other teams losing,” Parker said. “Anytime you can control your own playoff destiny, that's a whole lot better than trying to sneak in. Right now we control our own destiny, and I think we can compete with anybody in our region. Hopefully we'll keep this ball rolling.”