Straughn holds off Childersburg 29-28
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 8, 2014
Early scoring, and a stout second half defense helped lift the Straughn Tigers to a 29-28 victory over the Childersburg Tigers in the first round of the state playoffs Friday night.
Childersburg got the scoring started early when Zack Lightsey connected with Tylan Coleman on a 17-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. With the extra point, Childersburg had a 7-0 lead.
Straughn answered back quickly with a score of their own. Rollin Kinsaul threw a perfect pass to Brice Scott, who took it the rest of the way for a 46-yard touchdown. The extra point tied the game at 7.
Childersburg responded with a 12-play, 89-yard drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Lightsey to Coleman. The extra point was no good, and would come back to haunt the visiting Tigers.
Kinsaul and the Tigers struck back two plays later. Kinsaul saw that Scott had his man beat deep, and launched the ball down field where Scott hauled it in for a 43-yard touchdown.
The Straughn defense forced the first punt of the game in the next series. Kinsaul then led the Tigers back down the field again for a touchdown. Juquan Samuel caught a 2-yard pass from Kinsaul to put the Tigers up 20-13. The PAT was good.
On Childersburg’s next series they kept the ball on the ground, scoring in six plays. Frank Wilkerson finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. The two-point attempt failed, and Childersburg trailed 21-19.
The Childersburg defense made their first stop of the game on Straughn’s following drive by forcing a turnover on downs. The teams would exchange punts on the next three series.
Right before the half, Straughn was attempting to put some more points on the board when Kinsaul had a pass picked off by Hunter McCain. McCain returned the ball inside Straughn territory with less than 30 seconds left in the first half.
It appeared that the half would end with Straughn leading, but a roughing the kicker called on a missed 45-yard field goal gave Childersburg another chance, and Noah Smith nailed a 30-yarder to give Childersburg a 22-21 halftime lead.
“Offensively it was a back and forth affair to start with,” said Straughn head coach Trent Taylor. “We couldn’t stop them, and they couldn’t stop us.”
Straughn’s defense really came alive in the second half, forcing three turnovers, two fumbles and an interception.
“This was probably the most complete team that we have played all season, and maybe I didn’t stress that enough this week,” Taylor said.
When it appeared that Childersburg was driving down the field for another score, Straughn’s Lane Sermon went up and made a spectacular one-handed interception on his own 14-yard line to squash the Childersburg drive.
A few drives later Straughn got into the end zone again. This time it was Jarvaris Samuel scoring on an 11-yard run. Kinsaul tacked on the two-point-conversion, and Straughn took back the led 29-22.
With just over 1 minute remaining in the game, Childersburg scored, narrowing the gap to 1. The extra point was no good, but a flag was thrown for roughing the kicker and Childersburg attempted to go for two. A host of Straughn Tigers swarmed the ball carrier on the two-point-conversion, stopping him well short of the end zone, leaving Straughn with a 29-28 lead.
After a failed onside kick attempt, all Straughn had to do to secure the victory was to run out the clock, and that they did.
“There is something different about this group of guys,” Taylor said. “It’s amazing to hear them cheering for each other on the sidelines.”