In the regional final, (1) Clinton was propelled to victory over (2) Northeastern by Amaris Williams’ four touchdowns.

The Clinton Dark Horses secured a spot in the 2A state championship match after defeating Northeastern 36-22 in Friday’s 2A East regional final.

The number one-ranked Dark Horses have been missing their standout running back, Josiah McLaurin, due to a foot injury sustained in the second round. As a result, Clinton’s junior running back, Josiah Robinson, and senior 4-star defensive lineman prospect, Amaris Williams, have been shouldering the majority of carries in the backfield while McLaurin is sidelined.

Williams, an Florida recruit, has shown to be incredibly difficult to defend with his 6-foot-3, 265-pound frame plowing through opposing defenses. In the game against Northeastern, Williams scored four touchdowns on the ground.

Clinton, with a perfect record of 15 wins and 0 losses overall and 5 wins and 0 losses in the Southeastern 2A, will face off against Reidsville in the 2A state championship game on Saturday. Reidsville holds the top seed in the West. Northeastern finished their season with a record of 14 wins and 1 loss overall, and a perfect 7-0 record in the Northeastern Coastal 2A/3A Conference.

Northeastern took a 6-0 lead in the ball game after Clinton muffed the opening kickoff and junior quarterback Trevaris Jones hit junior Tyell Saunders for a 15-yard touchdown.

Clinton responded with a lengthy 10-play series, which concluded with a six-yard touchdown run by Williams.

The score was even at six points each at the end of the first quarter.

Following a punt from Northeastern, Williams ran for a five-yard touchdown, and then added a two-point conversion, bringing the score to 14-6.

During Northeastern’s subsequent possession, the Eagles’ punt was blocked and ended up in the end zone. Devaughan Bell of the Eagles recovered it, resulting in a safety.

On the initial play following Northeastern’s safety kick, Josiah Robinson successfully scored from a distance of 50 yards. The Eagles, led by Clinton, had a 22-6 lead with 8:06 remaining in the first half.

Northeastern cut into the lead by three points with a 27-yard field goal by sophomore Peyton Paris.

At the end of the first half, Clinton was ahead with a score of 22-9.

In the second half, the Eagles narrowed the score gap with a successful drive and a touchdown from senior running back Tyselle Spencer, from a distance of five yards.

After both teams made fumbling mistakes, Amaris Williams dealt a crushing blow to Northeastern with a 12-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-two play. Williams also successfully completed a two-point conversion, giving Clinton a 30-15 advantage with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter.

The next time Northeastern had possession, they failed to convert and turned the ball over on downs.

Clinton extended their lead to 36-15 with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter as Williams capitalized on Northeastern’s turnover, scoring an 11-yard rushing touchdown.

Spencer scored the only touchdown for the Eagles in the fourth quarter, rushing for one yard after receiving a pitch on fourth-and-goal. However, Northeastern struggled to generate much offense due to the tough defense of Clinton’s Jymiek Sampson and Josiah Dwyer on the line.