Straughn by a field goal

Published 12:36 am Saturday, September 29, 2012

Straughn’s Chase Short kicked a 12-yard field goal to seal his team’s win. | Josh Dutton/Star-News

ELBA – Straughn’s Chase Short kicked a 17-yard field goal and his team’s defense held Elba late in a thrilling 29-26 victory last night at EHS.

Elba took an early lead when Straughn’s Short mishandled a snap. Elba’s Rajah Caldwell scooped up the fumble and took it 85 yards for the TD. The PAT was blocked, giving Elba a 6-0 lead.

Straughn put their first points on the board on a 26-yard run from Devin Scott. Short added the PAT, giving Straughn a 7-6 lead.

Straughn appeared to be heading for the end zone again as they got the ball down to the 3-yard line, but an illegal procedure penalty on fourth and goal backed them up and Short missed the field goal attempt.

The Straughn defense followed the turnover on downs by causing a turnover itself. Pressure caused Elba quarterback Austin Johnson to hurry his throw and Straughn’s Daryl George was there for the interception. He returned it to Elba’s 10-yard line, which set up Short for a 10-yard scamper in the end zone for the TD. The PAT was good to give Straughn a 13-6 lead.

Elba answered on its following possession as Johnson led the Tigers of Elba down the field, where Darrean Brooks got a TD on a 12-yard run to even the score at 13, with just under two minutes left in the first half.

That was just enough time for Short, who threw a 28-yard TD pass to Justin McCormick. McCormick made a great catch in the corner of the end zone with just five seconds left on the clock, giving Straughn a 20-13 halftime lead.

Elba evened the score back up in the third quarter as Johnson found Shannon Jones open in the end zone on a 20-yard TD pass.

Johnson was able to throw another TD pass, this time hitting Reid Rials, who made the grab, made a few Straughn players miss and then used his speed to race 62 yards for the score and the lead. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good.

Straughn followed that up with a TD of their own as Scott scored from 12 yards for his second of the game. Short missed the PAT attempt leaving, the game tied at 26 with five plus minutes remaining in the game.

Straughn’s defense really stepped up in a big way when junior Nick Stepp picked off Johnson’s pass giving Straughn the ball on Elba’s 35-yard line.

Scott had a great 17-yard run and added with a personal foul facemask penalty put the ball first and goal from the 10-yard line. Elba was able to keep them out of the end zone but not off the scoreboard as Short banged in a 17-yard field goal with 2:30 left to go in the game to give Straughn a 29-26 lead, and eventually the win.

The Straughn defense stepped up big once more in the clutch this time by junior Johnny Owens, who picked off a Johnson pass attempt with 1:56 left, which allowed the SHS offense to just run out the remainder of the clock for the win.

After the game Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said his team moved the ball well all night, “We did it mainly with the veer,” Taylor said. “I’m glad to get the W. That’s a good football team over there.”