CHESTER — Daryll Foster was always in the right spot at the right time for the Chester Cyclones on Friday night.
Foster, the starting linebacker who is the team leader in tackles, got his hands on the ball twice, and both times resulted in touchdowns in the Cyclone 32-12 victory over Clinton in a key Region 3-AAA contest at Chester Stadium.
With Chester leading 9-0 early in the second quarter, Foster drifted into deep coverage as Red Devil quarterback Landon Allison dropped back to pass. Under a heavy rush, Allison fired a 21-yard pass toward midfield.
However, Foster read the pass perfected and stepped in for the interception. He then used his blockers to streak down the sidelines for a 47-yard score.
“He had no choice,” Foster, a junior, said about Allison’s attempt. “The defensive line was there, closing in on him with a heavy pass rush. I jumped it (pass route) and knew I had it when it left his hand.”
Clinton, noted for their methodic rushing attack, did generate momentum midway through the second quarter. They found a rhythm on the ground and marched 69-yards in 10 plays, capped by a 1-yard run from Lavadrick Glenn.
Following a Chester turnover early in the third, Clinton’s offensive momentum continued with Glenn running 5-yards into the end zone. All of a sudden, the Red Devils were back in the game with a 4-point deficit, 16-12.
However, Foster quickly put the Cyclones back in the driver’s seat. On an attempted onside kickoff attempt, he scooped up the ground ball and suddenly, broke through group of Red Devil defenders.
“We were expecting them to maybe try something like that to get the ball back,” Foster said. “I was going to fall on it, but the ball just bounced up to me. Then, I noticed that the (Clinton) players had run passed me; so I just took off.”
The result was a 51-yard touchdown return and 23-12 lead, which Chester continued to build until solidifying the 20-point victory.
Running back Lorenzo White ran 20 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns, sparking the Cyclone offense.
With the victory, Chester, 5-4 and 2-1 in Region 3-AAA, secures a state playoff bid with a chance to potentially clinch the league title with a road victory next week against Union. That, however, will depend on the results of Chapman and Woodruff, who entered Friday night with a three-game tie for first place.
Chester can finish anywhere from first-to-third, pending the outcome of next week’s games.
“Making the playoffs is big for us,” Cyclone coach Anthony Sterling said, especially after missing the post season last year. “But we have some unfinished business with a game next week against Union.
We will have to go out, play hard, and win and see how everything ends up for us.”
Chester 32, Clinton 12
CHE — Safety with Clinton punter Truett Burns recovering bad snap out end zone
CHE — Lorenzo Wright 14-yard run (Matt Kennedy kick)
CHE — Darryl Foster 47-yard interception return (Kennedy kick)
CLIN — Lavadrick Glenn 1-yard run (run failed)
CLIN — Glenn 3-yard pass to Rambert (kick failed)
CHE — Foster 51-yard kickoff return
CHE — Wright 10-yard run (kick failed)
CHE — Matt Kennedy 30-yard field
RUSHING — Chester: Lorenzo Wright 20-117, Derrell Rambert 6-32, Tommy Sanders 12-(-1), Quan Caldwell 1-7, Jemarcus Moore 1-15. Clinton: Lavadrick Glenn 22-77, Matthias Williams 12-48, Truett Burns 1-(-5), Breshaud Parks 2-1, Lawrence Erokesema 1-2, Landon Allison 2-(-2).
PASSING — Chester: Tommy Sanders 9-18-0-76. Lewisville: Landon Allison 4-10-1-37.
RECEIVING — Chester: Derrell Rambert 2-23, Quan Caldwell 4-27, Lorenzo Wright 2-25, Jemarcus Moore 1-4. Clinton: Lavadrick Glenn 2-23, Montez Boyd 2-14.
RECORDS — Chester 5-4, 3-1 in Region 3-AAA, Clinton 2-7, 1-3.