The Clifton Cubs have been a slow starting football team for the entire 2020 season.
However, on Friday, Oct. 9, the Cubs made amends for a surprising loss the week before by beating the Florence Buffaloes (0-2 in district, 0-6 overall) at Cub Stadium in front of an enthusiastic homecoming crowd.
Clifton dominated Florence 41 to 3 and looked like a team that was not in a good mood and looking for someone on which to take out their frustrations.
Clifton ISD Head Coach Chuck Caniford told the Clifton Record, “We emphasized all week we needed to get off to good start and we did, plus we experienced very few negative plays. After the Rogers game we told the team, the most important thing we have to do is turn the page quickly, it’s critical.”
The coaching staff must have got their point across because the kids responded just like Caniford hoped.
Clifton’s team effort was led by sophomore Joe Taylor’s play on both sides of the ball.
Taylor was very physical in practice all week and it showed in the game. He rushed for over 100 yards and had eight tackles on defense.
Caniford said of Taylor, "it wasn’t just the number of tackles but when a player makes big time tackle, sometimes it gets the entire team fired up and that happened Friday night."
This week Clifton takes on Buffalo Bison, who come into the game undefeted as yet; boasts the best current record in the District 13-3A division II; and has a reputation as one of the toughest 3A districts in the state.
Caniford agrees, saying he doesn’t know of a district tougher than ours. On top of undefeated Buffalo, the District also includes Lexington and Franklin which statewide polls have these two teams ranked as the eighth and ninth best 3A division II teams in the state.
However, Caniford said, “I don’t put much emphasis on rankings because most of the people doing the ranking have never seen the teams they are voting on.”
The rest of the 2020 season will be against challengers who are talented, well coached and have great traditions of playing winning football, so as Caniford points out, “we have to play good for all four quarters if we are going to win.”