Eagles lose Sexton, fall to Clinton

Aug. 31, 2013 @ 01:10 AM

The hopeful Seymour Eagles had a nightmare of a night in a 27-7 loss to Clinton at Householder Field on Friday night.

Nothing went right for the Eagles (1-1) in their Week 1 home opener, as the Dragons (1-1) ran out to a 21-0 halftime lead en route to the 20-point victory.

The night broke bad early for Seymour, as starting senior quarterback Nick Sexton (290 passing yards, five TD throws in a 35-32 Week Zero win against Sullivan North) suffered a left foot injury on Seymour’s opening possession and kept the star out of the game the rest of the night.

“That was huge (losing Sexton),” said Seymour coach Jim Moore. “It changed everything.”

The Dragons drew first blood with 5:58 in the first, after a bad Seymour punt snap gave Clinton excellent field position near midfield.

After converting a 4th-and-inches, Clinton sophomore quarterback Tyler Thackerson found senior Drake Powell in the right flat, and Powell broke one tackle before scampering down the right sideline untouched for a 40-yard score. Senior kicker Wes Campbell made it 7-0 Dragons with the kick.

Moments later, another bad Seymour punt snap gave Clinton possession at the Eagle 7.

Two snaps later, the Dragons made it 14-0 when junior running back Shane Hooks pounded two yards through the 2-hole to paydirt with 1:50 in the opening frame.

But Seymour’s backup senior quarterback Brandon Gann soon had the Eagles poised to cut into the Clinton lead, driving Seymour 50 yards for a first down at the Clinton 15.

But Gann was intercepted inside the 10 by Hooks, ending the Seymour drive with 10:32 in the half.

It would be a constant theme throughout the night for the Eagles: promising drives ending in turnovers.

Fifteen snaps later, Clinton capped a long scoring drive when Thackerson scrambled through the middle for a 10-yard TD and a 21-0 lead with 6:04 until intermission.

The Eagles appeared to catch their first break of the night when they finally got a punt off with 5:06 in the half.

Clinton fumbled the kick, and Seymour junior Luke Sharpe recovered to give the Eagles possession at the Clinton 32.

But Seymour returned the favor immediately with a fumble on the ensuing snap, giving the Dragons possession at their 35 with five minutes until the break after senior Cody Jones recovered the loose ball for Clinton.

Seymour again saw another promising drive cut short in the second half when senior RB Tanner Sise fumbled away possession at the Clinton 22 with 3:44 in the third.

The Dragons upped it to 27-0 with 2:30 in the third when Thackerson connected with junior Aaron Watson for a five-yard aerial TD over the middle. Campbell was short on the PAT kick for the first time all night, limiting Clinton to six points on the drive.

Another turnover killed another promising Seymour drive with 1:12 in the fourth.

With a first down at the Clinton 26, Gann’s errant lateral pass to junior running back Cameron Sullivan was bobbled, kicked around and eventually recovered by the Dragons at the Eagle 45.

Seymour junior Braxton Dockery limited the damage on the ensuing snap, however, when a greedy Thackerson was picked by the Eagle defender deep down the middle at the Seymour 14 with 59 seconds left in the third.

After a 57-yard pass from Gann to junior Blaise Rooney gave the Eagles a first down at the Clinton 15, Seymour finally got onto the scoreboard when Sise took a handoff right for a 15-yard TD with 7:41 left. Junior kicker J.J. Jerman cut it to 27-7 — the eventual final — with the PAT.

The Eagles next travel to Cocke County (0-2) for their first IMAC Conference action of the season, while Clinton travels to Oak Ridge next Friday night.