Straughn edges Trojans
The Straughn Tigers were able to come away with a narrow 30-27 victory over the St. James Trojans Friday night.
Defense was the story of the first half without either team really able to make many sustained drives.
The Tigers struck with the first points of the game off a six-yard scamper by senior quarterback Josh Dewrell.
Dewrell led the Tigers down the field on their first possession of the second quarter, completing a 23-yard pass to senior Austin Pickrel before capping a 93-yard drive with a touchdown run.
St. James’ following possession saw them lose the ball on a fumble down around the Tigers’ goal line, but three short plays later, Straughn’s Chris Huggins was hit hard, jarring the ball loose where it was recovered by St. James’s Nicholas Ostrye in the end zone for a touchdown.
With the score tied 7-7, the Tigers used another long drive that included four first downs to set up a 36-yard field goal that Dewrell drilled home to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead going in to the half.
On the opening possession of the second half, the Tigers came out with another good drive lead by Dewrell and running back Chase Short, but came up short of any points.
St. James quarterback C. J. Duncan opened up their first drive of the second half with a few quarterback keepers before finding a wide open John Slayton, Jr. for 65-yard touchdown pass and catch to give St. James a 14-10 lead with 5:39 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Not to be outdone, on the very next possession, Dewrell hit a streaking Pickrel for a 25-yard touchdown, but failed to convert on the extra point, leaving the score 16-14 with 2:31 left in the 3rd.
The third quarter ended with both teams having punts on their next possession.
St. James started the 4th quarter on the Straughn 41 yard line.
St. James’ Duncan was able to make some shifty moves, running the ball with the Trojans driving the ball down to the 8-yard line before Duncan found his man, William Olsey, in the endzone for Duncan’s second touchdown pass of the game.
The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the score 20-16 with a little more than 8 minutes left in the contest.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to answer.
On the very next play from scrimmage, senior Colton Lewis raced 54 yards for the touchdown. Lewis showed both speed and quickness, weaving in and out of defenders, then winning the race down the sideline and giving the Tigers a lead that they would not give back.
Dewrell’s extra point was good, leaving the score 23- 20 with 8 minutes to play.
The Tigers’ defense came up huge on the next series when Nick Allen was able to get into the backfield and knock the ball away from the quarterback and immediately pounced on the loose ball to give the Tigers a chance to put the game away.
The Tigers were able to use a lot of clock on their ensuing drive before Lewis finished off the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run, giving the Tigers a 1- point lead with a little over 3 minutes to play.
With the score 30-20, St. James was able to make things a little closer by using much of the remaining time to put another touchdown on the board.
With only 40 seconds left on the clock, Duncan was able to throw a fade into the corner of the endzone where Slayton was able to make a great jumping catch and somehow was able to keep a foot in bounds for the touchdown.
The extra point was good leaving the score 30- 27.
St. James was unable to secure the onside kick as it rolled out of bounds, allowing Straughn to just take two knees from Dewrell and walk away with a 30- 27 victory.
Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said he was very proud of the way his players keep fighting and were able to come out on top.
“ I think it shows a lot of class and character from our players. We fell behind three times and we were able to overcome it.” Taylor said.
Straughn ended the game with 51 rushes for 333 yards. Chase Short ended with 23 carries and 106 yards and one touchdown, Josh Dewrell was 3 for 6 passing for 63 yards and one touchdown as well as 15 carries for 96 yards and one touchdown.
St. James had 37 rushes for 161 yards and 10 for 16 passing for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
With the win Straughn improves to 2-0 and St. James falls to 1-1
Straughn will be back in action next week as they travel to Montgomery to face Alabama Christian Academy.