If Friday night's season opening win over South Point (N.C.) is any indication, Clover will cope just fine without Max Elliot and Tyron Douglas in its stable.
Thanks to their explosive running attack, the Blue Eagles downed the Red Raiders 22-7 in front of a near-capacity crowd at Memorial Stadium.
With only one starter back on offense, coach Jet Turner had a few concerns, but following Friday's impressive win he was all smiles.
"I was real proud, those guys played hard. I just couldn't be more proud," he said.
"They just stepped up and played a great football game. I'm proud of everybody; the coaches had them prepared. It's just a big win for us."
A season ago, Elliot and Douglas led Clover's two-headed Wing-T running game. This year it appears, especially after their performance against South Point, that quarterback Aaron Miller, the lone returning offensive starter, and Derrick Carothers will handle their roles admirably.
The pair combined for 223 yards on the ground on 35 carries. Miller led the way with 133 and Carothers added a pair of touchdowns.
His first came on a sweep to the right with 54 seconds left in the first quarter. After handing the ball off, Miller sprinted to the right end to lead Carothers to pay dirt.
"We have a long way to go on offense, but those two are two we're going to count on heavily and they're going to give you all they've got that's garunteed," Turner said.
South Point, the defending North Carolina AA state champions, answered with what would be its only score on the night with a 9-play, 59- yard drive.
Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Horne punched in the score on a 6-yard carry up the middle with 9:41 left in the second.
Clover's Tre Childress provided a spark on the ensuing kickoff that helped Clover extend its lead to 15-7. The 6-2 junior bobbled the kickoff and collected it on his own 3-yard line and scampered 97-yards straight up the middle after the Clover special teams opened a huge hole.
Carothers added his second score in the waning minutes of the third when he broke free for a 41-yard burst. He shed a pair of Red Raiders on the play and then raced to the corner of the endzone to put Clover ahead 22-7.
Clover did show some signs of its youth as they were flagged eight times for 60 yards. Miller knows that's an area his team needs to clean up going forward.
"It's good to get them out of the way (now), so we know how to correct our mistakes. It's bad because it puts us in a dogfight situation," he said.
The Blue Eagles continue their dominance over Gaston county schools. The win runs their streak to 15 straight -- three over South Point and five each over Ashebrook and Forestview. Clover looks to extend the streak over the next two weeks as they're on the road at the other Gaston county schools.
SOUTH POINT (N.C.) 7
C - Derrick Carothers 8 run (Trey Childress run)
S - Patrick Horne 6 run (Dayton Rogers kick)
C - Childress 97 kickoff return (Aaron Miller kick)
C - Carothers 41 run (Childress kick)
RUSHING -- Quontavious Kennedy 11-45, Aaron Miller 22-133, Derrick Carothers 13-80, Jordan Moore 2-10, BJ Hinton 1-0; Ramon Costner 6-24, Josh Hice 1-70, Patrick Horne 7-34, Tyler Bray 7-25
PASSING -- Miller 2-8-0; Horne 14-18-43-1
RECEIVING -- Hinton 1-9, Justin Cates 1-19; Chase Gibson 1-17, Bray 1-13, Brandon Williamson 1-8, Costner 1-5
RECORDS -- Clover 1-0; South Point (N.C.) 0-1