CLINTON – Clinton hasn’t had much success against some of the top-ranked teams in the state this season.
The Arrows’ two losses, which came by a combined 11 points, were to No. 1 South Panola and fourth-ranked Brandon.
Clinton finally managed to earn its breakthrough on Friday night.
The Arrows utilized an explosive offense to outlast No. 3 Madison Central, 35-30, in a Region 2-6A matchup at Clinton.
Before it claimed the victory, Clinton (3-2, 1-0) had to hold off a last-minute comeback attempt by the Jaguars (3-3, 0-1).
Clinton linebacker Jacobi Hearn came up with a clutch sack on the final drive and Kam’ron White came up with an interception of Madison Central quarterback Jack Walker to seal the victory.
It was the Arrows’ second consecutive win against the Jaguars, the first time they’ve done so since earning victories in 2001 and 2002. Madison Central had previously won eight in a row against Clinton before this two-game losing streak.
Cam Akers accounted for two touchdowns as did running back Darius Maberry and sophomore quarterback Walker Burchfield.
“It’s a real big win because it’s the first district game,” Akers said. “We don’t focus on this being a rivalry or anything like that. It was the first district game and we had to come out on top, and that’s what we did. We handled business.”
Burchfield tossed a two-yard touchdown to Rashaud Taylor with 4:52 remaining for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
The score gave Clinton a 35-23 lead. Walker led Madison Central on a quick scoring drive on the subsequent possession, though.
Akers said he wasn’t worried when the Jaguars mounted their final drive.
“I knew my team was going to come through …,”kers said. “I knew we were going to make the big play and that was my mindset.”
For the most part, Walker and the Jaguars couldn’t get the passing game going.
Maberry and Akers showed off their chemistry in the second quarter. Maberry took an option pitch from Akers and ran 19 yards into the end zone to give Clinton a 7-3 lead early in the second.
Later in the quarter, Akers found Maberry, who had sneaked past a defender, on a wheel route for a 41-yard touchdown pass, which gave the Arrows a double-digit advantage.
That lead grew to 18 points when Akers did some more damage with his arm when he connected with White for a 26-yard touchdown.
Madison Central had some offensive success on its first possession of the game, an 11-play drive that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by Michael Kroeze.
The Jaguars’ next three drives ended with a punt, another punt and an interception by Clinton defensive back by Ty Irwin.
Madison Central was able to find its groove again near the end of the half when Jaylon Uzodinma scored on a 14-yard rush to trim the Clinton lead to 11 with 1:19 left in the second.
Overall, the Jaguars finished with 315 total yards, while the Arrows finished with 447. Clinton also came up plus-two in turnover margin.
Akers completed 18 of his 29 passes for 291 yards and two scores. He also rushed for 83 yards. Maberry also ran for 83 yards.
Contact Antonio Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @AntonioCMorales on Twitter.
Cam Akers, Clinton
Akers passed for 291 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards.
The Arrows’ offense posted 447 yards, which helped them claim the close victory on Friday night.