Clinton football coach Lee Camp couldn’t have been happy about the score Friday night.
Davenport Assumption scored the first 34 points against the River Kings and rolled to a 47-7 victory in the season and Mississippi Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
But there were some positives for Clinton and a lot of things that can be taken from the Week 1 defeat.
“This is a good game to get past us,” Camp said. “Assumption is as disciplined as any team to start the season with. We got a lot of good lessons out of this. We did a lot of good things. But we have a lot of improvement to make. It’s a good one to get past. Now we’ve got to refocus and (figure out) where we are going to go. I still think if we stay healthy, we’re going to be a real fine squad and be pretty tough.”
One good thing Clinton did was win the turnover battle. The River Kings did not have a giveaway and came up with one takeaway — much different than last year’s contest between the teams when Tim Kilfoy along had four interceptions for the Knights. With about 5:30 left before halftime, Clinton’s Seth Pennock punted with Assumption leading 34-0.
Kilfoy caught the punt for the Knights and started to pick his way up the field. Clinton’s Tyler Thomas came in and punched the ball out of Kilfoy’s grasp. Skylar Thomas landed on the ball and gave the River Kings’ their best starting field position to that point, at Assumption’s 39-yard line.
On the next play, quarterback Will Carr dropped back and found Shawn Mauritz near the left sideline. He hauled in the pass and was brought down for a 35-yard gain. On the next play, Torris Green ran up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown.
“I thought when we got the turnover, Will did a nice job of hitting the receiver down the line,” Camp said. “Then we were able to punch it in. That was a bright spot for us, obviously.”
Assumption started the game well, scoring on its first five drives. Senior running back Zach Mumm was like a battering ram for the Knights. He ran off right tackle and smashed into the line of defense for the River Kings.
He ended the first drive with a 26-yard touchdown run, 3:15 into the game. Mumm rushed for 69 of his 182 yards in the first quarter. His battering-ram style set up the passing of Assumption quarterback Derek Fulton as well as the running game of Kilfoy, among other.
“I really believed that Assumption’s running game was going to be pretty aggressive,” Camp said. “They did a great job with it. Wade (King, Assumption’s coach) always has his team ready to go at the start. It’s always a challenge with them. I thought our kids acted a little more shell-shocked than we expected right at the beginning.”
Mumm said, “I think we came out pretty strong. We did what we had to do.”
Assumption continued to flex its offensive muscles in the first half, scoring six touchdowns before the half. Fulton threw four touchdowns — all in the first half — and Kilfoy added a 1-yard touchdown run. Fulton finished with 113 yards passing and 60 rushing.
The second half was a different story. Assumption scored only one touchdown as the Knights were forced to punt — after not kicking the ball away in the first half — and Clinton held Assumption on a goal-line stand.
“I thought the third quarter we came out and played and did things better,” Camp said. “I thought our tackling was better in the second half.”
Camp said he was also pleased with some things he saw on special teams. Cody Collender made two exciting plays.
He blocked an extra point and returned a kickoff 61 yards for the River Kings.
“Cody’s got a real good spark returning the ball,” Camp said. “He did a great job. He got a couple nice blocks. There was a seam, and he does a great job of exploding when he hits it.”
Camp said it was a tough decision to go with Carr at quarterback over last year’s starter Seth Pennock, but in the end it came down to matchups.
“It’s been a really close battle back-and-forth,” Camp said. “The thing we knew tonight was Assumption was going to bring a lot of people. Will is able to get out a little bit better than Seth. If they would have stayed back, it would have been easier to have Seth sit back and throw. But we had to go on the run all the time. Seth gives us a big target as a wide receiver. I thought he did a good job as a defensive end. He’s really been improving in that area. You’re going to see him in the game a lot.”
Camp said who would play quarterback for each game would depend on the matchup.
Despite being on different sides of a lopsided score, both teams had things to feel good about and knew they have things to improve upon if they are going to be where they want to be at the end of the season.
“We know we have some things to work on. It’s a great win. We’re really happy about it. But we still have some things to work on,” Mumm said.
Camp said his group of kids had already shown improvement and would continue to do so.
“From two weeks ago, we’ve made great improvement,” Camp said. “These are the type of kids who are going to get better and better.”
Sophomores lose in overtime
CLINTON — Clinton’s sophomore football team lost to Davenport Assumption 21-13 in overtime prior to the varsity contest Friday.
It’s always a tough matchup with a tough program like Assumption,” coach Mike Griswold said. “It was a hard-fought game with mistakes on both sides of the ball. We were happy with our overall effort, but we have areas that we can improve on. Next week will be a good opportunity for us to correct some things, improve and move forward to North Scott.”
Clinton rushed for 105 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown run by Dustin Caldwell. The River Kings also passed for 81 yards, including a 18-yard touchdown reception by Alex Caldwell.
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 47, CLINTON 7
Assumption 20 20 7 0 — 47
Clinton 0 7 0 0 — 7
A — Zach Mumm 26 run (kick failed), 8:45
A — Tim Kilfoy 1 run (Cole Clements kick), 5:17
A — Jon LaGrange 12 pass from Derek Fulton (Clements kick), 1:39
A — Eric Lammers 10 pass from Fulton (Clements kick), 10:54
A — Kilfoy 14 pass from Fulton (Clements kick), 6:27
C — Torris Green 4 run (Jeremy Peters kick), 3:10
A — Nick Schebler 22 pass from Fulton (kick blocked), 1:52
A — Mumm 3 run (Clements kick), 2:19
Rushing — Assumption, Mumm 18-182, Derek Fulton 7-60, Tim Kilfoy 6-46, Jake Gervase 7-37, Bradley Grothus 2-21, Jon LaGrange 1-6, Jake Helle 1-1; Clinton, Torris Green 20-44, Ryan Driscoll 4-10, Jaylen Broadenaux 1-0, Will Carr 5-minus-6.
Passing — Assumption, Fulton 7-8-0, 113 yards. Clinton, Carr 3-6-0, 41 yards.
Receiving — Assumption, Eric Lammers 3-45, Kilfoy 2-34, Nick Schebler 1-22, LaGrange 1-12; Clinton, Shawn Mauritz 1-35, Driscoll 2-6.