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Mavs take 41-6 win over Clinton

2020 football season opens in Anderson County

  • Anderson County High School’s Josh Miller squeezes past Clinton’s Nate Murphy for Anderson County’s second score Friday night at Anderson County High School. Clinton’s Andy King (12) comes in just a second too late to help on the play. The Mavericks beat Clinton 41-6 to open the 2020 season. - Ken Leinart

  • Clinton’s Trace Thackerson (center) carries the ball into the end zone for a Clinton touchdown. - Ken Leinart

Well… that was certainly something to see.

The Mavs hosted Clinton on Friday, Aug. 21, for the long-time rivalry game between the two schools.

Anderson County came away with a 41-6 win.

Not only was it the first game of an uncertain season, it was also the first game for Clinton’s new coach, Darrell Keith. The game was beset by lightning and heavy rain in the second half, but most spectators stayed to support the players.

Anderson County started off with an early score on a 43-yard pass from Stone Hatmaker to Cam Thomas, but Clinton did manage to block the extra point from that score.

Two-and-a-half minutes after that, Anderson County scored again off of a nine-yard run by Josh Miller, putting the Mavs up by 13 points halfway through the first quarter.

Unfortunately for Clinton, the Dragons had another setback when AC blocked a Dragon punt, only for Russ Lindsay to recover the ball and return it 34 yards for another touchdown.

Clinton didn’t take it lying down, though, fighting down the field for its only touchdown, in the second quarter. That ball was carried by Clinton quarterback Trace Thackerson. Unfortunately for Clinton, the extra point kick barely made it over the AC line, flying way under the uprights and straight into a band-member’s face.

The final score of the night came with 29 seconds in the first half, with another pass from Hatmaker to Thomas, this one only 38 yards, ending the scoring the same way it started.

Hatmaker finished with 195 passing yards to Thackerson’s 43, but Thackerson rushed for 63 yards throughout the game. On the receiving end, Clinton’s Kendall Lucas led the Dragons, with 40 yards, while, for the Mavericks, both Bryson Vowell and Cam Thomas came out strong, with 91 yards and 78 yards, respectively. Daniel Bethel finished the night strong, with seven kickoffs for a total of 420 yards.

David Gillum, head coach for the Mavericks, said he felt the game went well.

“As a coach I was pretty pleased. It was a really good night. We played pretty clean. We got a few penalties here and there that helped extend a couple drives for them and slowed down some drives for us, but nothing that really stopped us from moving the ball or gave them enough momentum to get the ball into the endzone. As far as playing clean and tackling and blocking well, it was a pretty good showing for the type of preseason we had.

“In a first game, especially coming off the offseason we had where there was so much uncertainty and the odd preseason, there’s a lot of emotions, especially playing your hometown rival your first week. All the emotions going through your mind that first week, it can be hard, but I’m glad the kids could control that emotion and execute.”

In addition to a good showing, Gillum said he’s pleased with how the younger players got some reps, which will be especially important for them to get their jitters out before the upcoming game against Powell this Thursday.

“Got to play some kids and give a lot of people some good reps. Most of our [second string] played late in the second quarter and all the third quarter, and then we got some third-string and younger kids in the fourth,” he said.

“The [offensive] line dominated. That front seven on offense were just as advertised. Stone Cummins, Max Oglesby, and Russ Lindsay were all over the place. I was proud of a lot of the kids. I felt like everybody we put out there performed really well.”