Clifton Evans does more than his share of heavy lifting for the Sterling Raiders football team.
A recent 44-13 homecoming victory over District 24-5A rival Milby provided a classic example of what Evans can do for Sterling head coach Kanavis McGhee.
The senior two-way standout opened the scoring on the fourth play of Sterling’s first offensive possession of the game by bursting through the right side of the line and galloping 55 yards untouched for a touchdown.
“I just want to be on the field and help my brothers [teammates] in any way that I can,” Evans said. “We need to win out to make the playoffs and I’ll do whatever the coaches ask me to do.”
Evans would finish the game with 121 rushing yards on 12 carries along with a pair of two-point conversion runs.
That’s just half of the Evans story. From his middle linebacker position on defense Evans recorded three quarterback sacks that generated more than minus 20 yards in losses. For the game Sterling’s defense limited Milby to negative five yards on 38 carries.
“We put a lot on Clifton’s plate,” McGhee said. “I worry about the workload we give him at times. But he’s always able to answer the bell. He’s a warrior.”
Evans is no stranger to adversity. His sophomore season ended with a knee injury. He hurt the same knee during his junior campaign. Nevertheless, the running back/linebacker is producing at a high level as Sterling improves to 2-2 in league play with remaining games against Furr, Austin, Davis and Lee.
“We came into the season with our sights set on making the playoffs,” Evans said. “We’ve got some good players on our team. We just have to do what the coaches are telling us to do.”
Sterling’s 31-point victory over Milby was definitely a team effort.
Raiders’ quarterback Darius Weathers completed 14-of-26 passes for 305 yards and touchdowns to Derek McCoy (56), Christian Jenkins (70) and Jacory Hall (26). Weathers added a one-yard TD run and a two-point conversion run.
Jenkins had five catches for 144 yards. McCoy finished with five receptions for 112 yards. Frank Brown contributed an eight-yard TD run.
In addition to Evans’ game-changing plays on both sides of the ball, Sterling’s defense was aided by interceptions from Alex Joseph, Roland Posey and Terrance Brown.
“We ask a lot from our players, but none more than Clifton Evans,” McGhee said. “This is my second season here and he’s been a team leader from day one. He’s a guy that we lean on.”
It’s no coincidence that Evans has been a workhorse for the Raiders. Off the field he spends his spare time with horses and other livestock. In college he plans to major in veterinary science so that he can become a veterinarian.
A Libra whose favorite meal is hot wings with a salad, Evans would like to attend a nearby college or university.
“I want to be close so that I can help out my family,” he said.
One team’s workhorse could turn into another team’s thoroughbred.