SHS forces 4 turnovers in 35-10 victory

Published 1:42 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

Straughn’s defense forced four turnovers and junior quarterback Josh Dewrell ran for three touchdowns as the Tigers defeated Cottage Hill Christian Academy, 35-10, Friday night at Straughn High School.

Straughn (2-1, 2-0 in Class 3A, Region 1) scored all five of its touchdowns on the ground — Dewrell had three and Shawn O’Neal and Kaleb Greene each scored one. Straughn also out-gained Cottage Hill on offense, 393 yards to 173 yards.

“We’re still trying to find our offensive identity, but I think we took a big step tonight,” Straughn coach Trent Taylor said. “(The coaches) always tell the team, there are two things you can control — your attitude and your effort. Our attitude has been great all year, but we haven’t always had the best effort. Tonight, we had both.”

The Warriors (0-3, 0-2) did not score their first offensive touchdown until the fourth quarter, and the Tigers sacked Cottage Hill quarterback Daulton Jackson five times.

Each of Straughn’s first two touchdown drives began with the Tigers recovering a fumble. Riley Watson recovered a fumble with 10:05 left in the first quarter, setting Straughn up at the Cottage Hill 30-yard-line. Dewrell scored from 7 yards out with 7:13 left in the first to put Straughn up 7-0.

Cottage Hill scored on a safety when Straughn recovered a bad snap in its own end zone, as the visitors cut the lead to 7-2 after one quarter.

The Tigers responded with two more touchdowns in the second quarter. Dakota Hall recovered a fumble with 8:34 left, giving Straughn the ball on its own 43-yard-line. The Tigers eventually scored when Dewrell ran for an 11-yard touchdown with 6:24 left.

O’Neal scored on a 33-yard run to put Straughn up 21-2 with 3:44 left in the second quarter.

“The offensive line did a great job blocking tonight for our running backs,” Taylor said.

It only took Straughn two plays and 20 seconds to score its first touchdown of the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Dewrell hit C.J. Christopher on a crossing route and the senior receiver took it 73 yards down to the Cottage Hill 7. Green ran for the touchdown on the next play.

“(Cottage Hill) had been playing man-to-man defense the whole first half,” Taylor said. “We tried to run the little crossing route, because that’s difficult to cover against a man defense. Our line blocked well, Josh made a good throw, and C.J. made a good play.”

Dewrell scored on a 20-yard run with 5:35 left in the third quarter to put the Tigers up 35-2. Cottage Hill finally found the end zone when Jackson scored on a 6-yard-run with 2:37 left in the game. The Warriors went for the 2-point-conversion and it was successful when Jackson hit Michael Howell with a short pass.

Dewrell finished with 11 carries for 117 yards and three touchdowns, and was 2-of-6 for 77 passing yards. Cottage Hill’s D’Ambro Chatman had 12 carries for 119 yards, including a 60-yard run.

Straughn will travel to Daphne to play Bayside Academy next Friday.