Maddasion said: “They’re very sound defensely. They get calls late, they get lined up and they do the right thing. (Numbers) 46 (Logan Clarahan), 32 (Vega) and 84 — the big kid (University of Iowa recruit Matt Nelson) — they’re just hard players and love the game of football. Thirty-two, I’ve never seen someone come off the ball like that all year long, and he was definitely in our backfield, which made it kind of tough to make a three-step drop and pass.”
Clinton finally found an offensive spark on its third possession, advancing the ball from its 20 to the Xavier 41 before the drive stalled and it was forced to punt.
”We mounted a drive there early. We went to a few quick hitters, then once it stopped and they were able to adjust their defense and take it away from us,” Camp said.
“I feel like we were having a little bit more pressure than we expected from the linebackers up the middle,” Maddasion said. “We ran a couple of those quick passes I think twice to Alex on the left side, and he made some moves and made some things happen. I think that was our most productive drive. Some things worked and some things didn’t.”
It was mostly the latter, however.
By halftime — well before that, actually — the outcome was clear. The Saints played many backups in the second half, as did Clinton, even using some of the players called up from the sophomore team.
But, even with the decisive loss, the River Kings were happy for the chance to play in the playoffs.
”For sure, making it to Week 10 is always your goal,” Alex Caldwell said. “From the end of school your junior year all the way up to now your goal is Week 10, maybe Week 11. But you can’t get to Week 11 if you don’t get to Week 10, and that’s what we did. I’m really proud of our guys for making it this far and putting a lot of sacrifice in.”