On a night when the weather was bad, and the field position was worse the Clinton Yellowjackets lost to the league leading and third-ranked Stuttgart Ricebirds 43-14. The Yellowjackets traveled the 129 miles to Stuttgart in wind and at times heavy rain. The game was played with wind gusts up to 22 miles per hour, falling temperatures, and rain in the second quarter. The game in the first half was played predominantly on the Jackets side of the field with two Clinton drives beginning at their own 1-yard line. Stuttgart began three of their first half drives inside Yellowjacket territory.

Stuttgart began the game at the Clinton 49, but the Yellowjacket defense held forcing a punt that was downed at the Clinton 1-yard line. The Yellowjackets picked up two first downs but was forced to punt after a penalty and the Rice Birds took over in great field position at the Jackets 34. Jaiden Strange would score the first touchdown for the Birds on a 10-yard run but the point after was no good. On the ensuing kickoff the Jackets allowed the ball to hit the ground and it rolled to the 1-yard line before being recovered by Clinton. On the first play from scrimmage the Yellowjackets were called for intentional grounding in the endzone for a safety and an 8-0 lead for Stuttgart. A great free kick by Zane Widner pushed the Rice Birds back to their own 14-yard line and the Jackets defense got a stop forcing the Birds to punt but once again Clinton was backed up in bad field position at their own 10-yard line. After a short Clinton punt for only 9-yards Stuttgart would score on a 1-yard run by Daniel Poole and Jack Hosman’s point after kick increased the Ricebirds lead to 15-0. Stuttgart would score one more time before the half with quarterback Tymir Copppins passing to Kendrick Hawkins for a 10-yard touchdown and the point after gave the Ricebirds a 22-0 lead. Clinton’s only score in the 1st half came on a pass from quarterback Harley Tobin to Nick Epley for 32-yards the two-point attempt was no good.

The game for all intents and purposes ended after the first four plays on offense by Stuttgart. The Ricebirds would strike quickly scoring three touchdowns in four plays rolling up 210 yards of offense in the process. The first score came from speedy junior Cedrick Hawkins on a 61-yard run on the first play of the second half. Following a Clinton punt Coppins raced 80-yards for the Birds followed on the next their next possession by another Hawkins touchdown this time 69-yards. Stuttgart now led 43-6 with 6:33 left in the third quarter. The only score for Clinton came in the fourth quarter. The Yellowjackets drove 51-yards for the score with Sophomore Dylan Jones scoring the second varsity touchdown of his career on a 14-yard run. Sophomore Billy Standlee ran in the two-point conversion to make the final score 43-14.

Clinton is now 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in conference play. Clinton returns home to Jim Tumlison Field Friday night hosting the Bald Knob Bulldogs. A win by the Yellowjackets would clinch a spot in the playoffs for the sixth straight season extending a school record for playoff appearances. The Junior and 7th grade Jackets travel to Bald Knob Thursday. The Junior Jackets are looking for their third straight win after defeating Stuttgart last week 30-20.

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