CLINTON — Clinton has given a couple of very good teams problems this season, and it looked for a while like Madison Central would get the same treatment Friday night.
Then the Jaguars came alive.
Robert Dumas Jr. rushed for two second-half touchdowns to help Madison Central pull away to a 34-17 win on the road in a key Region 2-6A game.
“I thought we played a complete game,” Madison Central coach Toby Collums said. “Clinton is a very tough opponent. They are very well coached and they have athletes all over the place. I thought our guys came out and played well early.”
The Jaguars jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first half with a couple of touchdown passes from Vic Sutton to Isaiah Spencer.
The first came on the game’s opening drive from 18 yards out, and the second came after a missed Clinton field goal from 21 yards out.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game and they were going to stack the box,” Spencer said. “So we knew coming in we were going to have to make plays one-on-one, and that’s what I did.”
The Arrows (2-3, 1-2 in 2-6A) finally responded on their third possession. A pass interference penalty set Clinton up with a first down at the Madison Central 10-yard line, and Luke Hopkins hit a 27-yard field goal to cut the MC lead to 14-3.
Clinton finally found pay dirt on its next possession. The Arrows marched 72 yards in eight plays and scored on a beautiful, 23-yard pitch-and-catch from Jordyn Battee to Juan Taylor to cut the deficit to 14-10 with 30 seconds left in the first half.
Clinton got hit with a controversial pass interference call on what looked like it would be the final play of the first half, which gave the Jaguars one untimed down, and Max Zuluaga nailed a 45-yard field goal to give Madison Central a 17-10 lead at the break.
The second half was much more one-sided.
The Jaguars went 56 yards in seven plays without throwing the ball on the first possession and scored on a two-yard run by Dumas Jr. to stretch the MC lead to 24-10.
After a quick three-and-out for the Clinton offense, the Jaguars went 82 yards in eight plays and scored on a four-yard Dumas Jr. run to make it 31-10 and put the game out of reach.
Clinton’s lone score in the second half came with just under three minutes left, when the Arrows took advantage of a short field and scored on a 12-yard run from Taylor.
“We played a little bit timid early on offense, which is unlike us,” Clinton coach Judd Boswell said. “Then we put together a couple of good drives, got some points and got back in it before it got away from us in the second half. We need to take that and build on it, because we don’t have time to blink with a good Oxford team coming in here next week.”
Sutton completed six of 11 passes for 83 yards and the two first-half touchdowns. The Jaguars rushed for 242 yards as a team, with Dumas Jr. leading the way with 88 yards on 16 carries.