CLINTON — Whether it was Marquiz Simpkins or Donivien Brown, the Clinton offense couldn't be stopped on Friday night.
The running back tandem combined to rush for 416 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries to lead the Red Tornadoes in a 39-6 rout of Heritage Hall at the Tornado Bowl.
“Both those guys give us a lot of speed back there,” Clinton coach Mike Lee said. “It's nice to have more than one guy that can go the distance. I thought Donivien played really well tonight.”
For Simpkins, who is considered one of the top running backs in the state, 20 carries for 206 yards and a touchdown was a typical performance. But it was a career night for Brown.
“We need to have more players step up instead of just counting on (Simpkins) all the time,” Brown said. “It felt really good to have a game like that. I feel like I can give us a 1-2 punch instead of just having to rely on Marquiz for everything.”
Brown rushed for four touchdowns with a career-high 210 yards on 12 carries. Three of his touchdowns came on runs of at least 28 yards.
“He hasn't played a whole lot of running back, but he's had to now out of necessity,” Lee said. “He's always been quick, maybe not as fast as Marquiz, but he obviously can get loose and go the distance.”
Heritage Hall (1-1), No. 4 in Class 3A, was led by quarterback Connor McGinnis. The junior connected on 19-of-44 pass attempts for 223 yards and added 51 yards rushing.
McGinnis found go-to receiver Domonique James twice in the first half for gains of 44 and 33 yards. But the two would not hook up in the second half with Simpkins, a cornerback on defense, shutting down James.
The Chargers were without starting receiver Garrett McLaughlin and starting running back Tank Love.
McLaughlin had his appendix removed on Thursday, and Love was out after suffering a concussion during a Week 1 win over Casady.
“For being sort of patched together, I thought we did a pretty good job most of the night,” said Chargers coach Andy Bogert. “We were without McLaughlin and Tank, plus four offensive linemen. They just wore us down and we took a licking.”
After a 31-13 loss at Lawton MacArthur in Week 1, Clinton (1-1) fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in Class 4A this week.
“What we saw offensively tonight wasn't much different than what we saw last week,” Lee said. “Both those teams can go up-tempo and move the ball. The difference tonight was Heritage Hall had everyone going both ways like we do, whereas Mac only had a couple of players doing that.”