Straughn tops Ashford, 28-13

Published 11:37 am Monday, October 13, 2014

ASHFORD — Straughn fought through some early adversity, took a 14-0 lead in the first half and went on to roll over Ashford 28-13 on Friday night at W.H. Brown Stadium.

Tigers senior quarterback Rollin Kinsaul accounted for three touchdowns on the night as he went 7-of-10 for 133 yards and two scores in the air, and rushed for 93 yards on 20 carries and a score to help lead his team the victory.

What helped Kinsaul in his assault over the Yellow Jackets were his senior teammates and the rest of the SHS team.

“We came in with a game plan that our offense liked — it’s what we’ve been doing all year,” Kinsaul said. “Nothing changed for us.”

Early in the first quarter, both teams traded possessions and the Tigers’ defense stepped up for the first time of many with a key three and out to help set up Straughn’s first score of the night.

Kinsaul found a wide open Marshall Farley for a 60-yard, trick play pass with 2:04 left in the first. With the extra point, the Tigers led 7-0.

“That was a trick play we put in this week,” the SHS quarterback said. “it was the same trick play coach (Trent Taylor) ran in the North-South Game. It was the first play of that game, and the first touchdown in ours. It turned out well on us.”

After the first touchdown, the Tigers’ defense got in a groove, forcing another AHS three and out on the Jackets’ next offensive possession to end the first quarter.

Straughn then went on to complete a 10-play, 56-yard march down the grass that was eclipsed by a 14-yard strike from Kinsaul to senior wide receiver Brice Scott. Later in the game, Scott got a hard hit on him and didn’t return to action.

The Tigers led 14-0 with 7:30 left in the first half after the successful PAT from C.J. Philpott.

One issue that SHS has been and will continue to work on are turnovers.

SHS senior running back Daryl George lost the ball with 5:19 left in the second quarter, and the Yellow Jackets took advantage to cut the game in half with a 9-play, 53-yard drive where Devon Murry took it in from 2 yards with 1:36 to make it 14-7.

At the break, the Tigers led 14-7.

With this win, fourth-ranked Straughn improves to 6-1 overall, and 4-1 in Class 4A, Region 2 play.

Taylor said the defense did well in a game where AHS was a lot bigger than them.

“Like most people, they were so much bigger up front and took advantage of that,” Taylor said. “Our kids just made plays when they needed to make plays.”

Four possessions into the third quarter, AHS made it a 1-point ball game when Beonta Thomas scored on a 12-yard rush with 2:09 left. The PAT was tipped and no good and SHS led 14-13.

Straughn drove out the rest of the third on offense, and scored with 10:36 left in the fourth when Kinsaul used his feet to weave his way in from 19 yards. The Tigers led 21-13.

Even at that moment, Kinsaul said he wasn’t surprised to see his team battle through the tough stages in the game.

“I can’t tell you enough about this team,” he said. “They were battling adversity. It seems like it’s second nature for us. We don’t ball up in a shell. We fight back and find a way to win. That’s what I love about this team. This is the most unselfish team I’ve ever been a part of.”

To put a big red cherry on top, SHS freshman Ethan Wilson ran back a punt return for a TD with 9:02 left to essentially seal the deal. Wilson caught the punt in the air and ran it in from short yardage.

The Yellow Jackets didn’t back down on offense as they threatened late, but the Tigers defensive front stuck low, tackled close to the ground and made big plays in the secondary to tighten the noose.

“I was telling (Kinsaul) that I’m proud of all of our seniors,” Taylor said. “They’ve played with a chip on their holders after losing 20 something seniors and moving up to 4A. Everybody’s been like, ‘oh, well.’ I think ti’s been a motivation for these guys. You can just tell with them. They’re playing with a lot of cheek.”

Straughn visits Bullock County next week.