It took six plays Thursday night for the Clinton High School football Dragons to make a spring noise that well could be heard next fall.
In a spring football game with no clock and no yard markers (to begin with), the Dragons opened the proceedings with a 70-yard scoring drive — Chauncey Felts doing the honors from 19 yards out, going almost untouched against Bearden High School.
Yes, that Bearden High School.
The “spring game” would end tied at either 18-18, or 3-3, depending on how you want to score your spring game touchdown points — each team scored three times (no extra points were played).
While this game means nothing in the grand scheme of high school football for next fall, it was a payload of information for a hungry Dragon Nation looking for success.
“It felt good,” Clinton quarterback Joshua Keith said after the game. “We’ve only had about eight days of work, so we saw where we need to work as a team.”
The Dragons looked slimmed down and conditioned, and played like it.
The Dragons scored on Felts’ run, a picture perfect pass from Keith to Bryson Maddox, and two yard sprint by Jawan Goins.
The Dragon offense was hampered by the rules of the spring match up — quarterbacks were considered “down,” or sacked, by even a brush from the defense. QB scampers were called down after five yards.
Keith does a lot of damage with his legs and his vision of the field. When asked if the sacks Bearden was credited with would have been something else in real game conditions, the signal caller just smiled.
The Dragon defense swarmed.
Twice, D’Mon Marable sent Bulldog running backs backward.
Tied at two scores each, the Bulldogs had a first and goal at the one.
Then it was second and goal at the four, then third and three and the three, and finally fourth and goal at the two.
The Bulldogs got the score.
Barely, but it enough to take a 3-2 lead.
“We ran a 3-4, but we switched to a 4-5 and put pressure from the edge,” Clinton Head Football Coach Darell Keith said. “We got to the ball, put pressure on the ball and got to their quarterback.
“Coach Xavier did a good job,” he said.
The Dragons answered after Bearden’s score. Joshua Keith found his targets, Elijah Lee and Goins pounded out yardage until, with third and goal from the two, Goins leaped over everyone to notch the game at 3-3.
“We wore down a little,” Coach Keith said. “We need depth. I need to do a better job of recruiting athletes in our hallways.”
The Dragon boss was pleased with what he saw Thursday, though.
Now, if the players can see all the positives, can maintain that attitude …
“Clinton is like the fat girl who loses 100 pounds,” Coach Keith said.
“We see a princess, but she still sees a fat girl.”