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Class 4A football: Clinton counting on its three playmakers in title game

Clinton will face Anadarko on Saturday in Stillwater for the Class 4A title. Clinton has been led offensively this season by sophomore running back Marquiz Simpkins.
by Ed Godfrey Published: November 30, 2012
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photo - Clinton's Marquiz Simpkins tries to get by a Ada defender during the high school playoff game between Ada and Clinton at Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Clinton's Marquiz Simpkins tries to get by a Ada defender during the high school playoff game between Ada and Clinton at Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Clinton will need big plays from its three playmakers Saturday if the Red Tornadoes are going to win a 16th state football championship.

The Red Tornadoes meet Anadarko at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater for the Class 4A title.

Clinton has been led offensively this season by sophomore running back Marquiz Simpkins, who has rushed for 1,871 yards and 27 touchdowns this season.

“He's probably as good as any sophomore that I have ever been around,” Clinton coach Mike Lee said. “He's a powerful dude. He breaks a lot of tackles.”

Simpkins was held to fewer than 100 yards rushing in only two games this season, and those were Clinton's only two losses.

The first was in the season opener against Lawton MacArthur when Simpkins didn't start at tailback.

The second was at Anadarko on Oct. 5, a game the Red Tornadoes lost 28-21. Simpkins rushed for 88 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns in the game.

“He has just gotten better and better all year long,” Lee said. “He runs hard. He is not afraid. He has been that way ever since I have known him.”

The Red Tornadoes can't rely on Simpkins alone to beat Anadarko, which is seeking to win the Class 4A state championship after capturing the 3A title last year.

Clinton also will need production in the passing game from senior quarterback Garrison Mendoza and junior wide receiver Devon Mitchell to beat Anadarko, which has a 28-game winning streak.

“He (Simpkins) has had a really big year, but if you want to win big games, you have to be diverse,” Mendoza said. “We will have to make some big plays downfield. We are not just going to run over them.”

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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