Straughn gets ‘revenge’

Published 1:39 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

A sign along the Straughn stadium fence Friday night listed simply one word — “Revenge.” The Tigers certainly got their revenge, defeating Bayside Academy 14-0 to advance to the third round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The Admirals defeated Straughn 21-0 in Mobile during the regular season. Friday’s win was the Tigers’ third shutout of the year, and the first at home.

“It’s hard to keep a team like that off the scoreboard,” Straughn coach Trent Taylor said. “They have a lot of things they do well on offense and they have a lot of guys who can hurt you.”’

The Tigers will host their third straight playoff game next Friday when they host Cordova, who defeated Daleville 36-33.

Straughn (9-3) set the tone early Friday with a 15-play, 70-yard scoring drive that took up the first nine minutes, 13 seconds of the game. Eric Samuel scored on a 4-yard touchdown run and Josh Dewrell added the extra point.

Straughn’s second touchdown didn’t come until the first play of the fourth quarter, when Josh Dewrell converted a fourth-and-1 play into a 51-yard touchdown run.

Bayside Academy (7-5) had several long drives in the second half, but could not break into the end zone. In the middle of the third quarter, the Admirals faced a fourth-and-1 from the Straughn 30, but the Tigers’ defense tackled Thomas Buchanon in the backfield.

Also, the Admirals had a fourth-and-4 from the Straughn 20 in the fourth quarter, but Edward Campbell was sacked for an 8-yard loss.

“It’s important to get in the backfield against that offense,” said Straughn senior linebacker Caleb Cochran, who had two sacks. “They have guys who are dangerous in the open field, especially (Buchanon).

“Our defense played strong tonight, and we had a lot of guys who really stepped up. Drew Jones and Dale Johnson each had great games.”

When the Admirals moved the ball, they did so primarily through the air. Campbell was 9-of-14 for 77 yards, but did throw an interception. Dewrell was 1-of-3 for 17 yards and an interception.

“We were able to take advantage of our passing tonight, even though that’s not really our game,” Bayside Academy coach Phil Lazenby said. “Straughn has some big guys on defense, and they were pressuring our quarterback all night long.”

The Admirals twice ran successful punt fakes, but were unable to take advantage on the scoreboard. Christopher Ives ran for one and Buchanon, the punter, threw to Daniel Beebe for the other.

After the game, Lazenby had nothing but good things to say about both teams.

“I’m proud of my guys,” he said. “They got a lot further than a lot of people thought they would. This was our first year to win a playoff game, and although we’re proud of that, we want to do even better in the future.

“Straughn’s got an awesome football team with good coaches, but they’re not just good coaches they’re also good people. I’ve known Trent Taylor for a long time, and it’s hard to find a better guy than him.”

Taylor had similar compliments about Lazenby.

“I’ve known coach Lazenby for about five years now, and he’s as classy as they come,” he said.

“They’ve got a well-coached football team that plays hard, and that’s a testament to the job their coach does down there.”

Dewrell finished the game with 23 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown, and Samuel had 21 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Buchanon finished with seven rushes for 24 yards to lead the Admirals, who had just 1 rushing yard in the first half.