Trojans hand Tigers 1st loss of season

Published 12:27 am Saturday, September 6, 2014

But for a fumble and an interception, Straughn’s Tigers would have beaten a bigger Trojan team by at least two touchdowns Friday night.

“They just outplayed us,” SHS head football coach Trent Taylor said. “They out-coached us. Their players had a great plan.”

Taylor said the Tigers had some opportunities to score, but couldn’t convert. However, he said, defensively, the team did well.

“They stacked the ball on us and kept us from running the football,” the coach said.

St. James successfully controlled the clock in the first period, taking almost the first seven minutes of the game to march deliberately down field in a drive that landed the Trojans at the Straughn seven-yard-line.

St. James went for the field goal on fourth and third, and took a 3-0 lead with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

The slight lead was one the Trojans would hold until the second half, when Straughn scored on a 60-yard opening drive.

Senior running back Daryl George rushed in for the score at 8:49 left in the third. C.J. Philpott’s kick was good, and the Tigers were up 7-3.

Straughn was poised to score again in the fourth quarter, but failed to convert on fourth and third from the 20 with 7:58 left. St. James took over on downs and ticked four-and-a-half minutes off the clock in their approximately 65-yard march to the end zone. The Trojans’ quarterback scored on third and goal from just inches out to take the lead with 3:30 left. The kick was good, and St. James led 10-7.

Straughn moved to centerfield on its next possession, but couldn’t convert. The Trojans took possession with 1:46 left, and managed to hold the ball until the end.

“Tip your hat to them,” Taylor said. “They had their kids prepared. They had a plan, and they executed it to perfection.”

Straughn, now 2-1, hosts Headland next week to continue in Class 4A, Region 2 play.