To say the least.
Xavier’s offense responded with a six-play scoring drive — quarterback Quinton Scholer — ran it in from 3 yards out, and the Saints (9-1) led 7-0 just 2 minutes, 47 seconds into the game.
Similar scenarios repeated themselves throughout the first half. Xavier’s defense limited Clinton to 29 total yards in the first half, and its offense scored on its first five possessions — four taking advantage of a short field.
”Their offense is very high-powered,” Clinton senior safety Alex Caldwell said. “They kind of ran the same offense as Bettendorf, and they were just as good or maybe even better. They had good play-calling. Having less than 35 yards on a couple of drives to start the game really puts your defense in a bind on what to call. It’s tough on our defense to keep an offense like that out of the end zone.”
Xavier’s scoring drives covered 32, 34, 70, 32 and 24 yards. Meanwhile, its defense also got in the act as Ben Valentine returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown that made it 35-0 with 8:33 left in the first half.
”They came off the ball well,” Camp said. “We knew they were a pretty quality team, very aggressive, and they had a couple of big guys up front who were aggressive and used their arms well.”
The combination of playing on a short field almost the entire first half and a continuous clock in the second meant Xavier picked up only 214 total yards.
”Even defensively, I thought, we would do some things real well, then we’d have a breakdown,” Camp said. “That’s really kind of the story of the night.”
That and Xavier’s defense that stopped Clinton cold. The Saints limited the River Kings to 63 yards.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get much going on offense, but what can you do?” Alex Caldwell said. “They have a real good defense, defensive line. Number 32 (Daniel Vega), wow! He was in our face all night, a real good player.”