CHS Trojans Prevail Over Zion Christian in Nail-Biter

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   Some recaps simply write themselves and do not need any “fluff” or “sizzle.” This recap will hopefully capture the excitement everyone in attendance felt Friday night, allowing us to relive it once again. The story begins with the Trojans traveling to Zion Christian hoping to continue their offensive dominance of opponents. However, Zion Christian had a brilliant game plan and executed it well. Their game plan was simply, “If the Trojan offense and 3 headed monster in their backfield stayed on their sideline, then they wouldn’t be able to score.” Zion Christian dominated every offensive statistic because they had 67 offensive plays, compared to Collinwood’s 28. Zion held the ball for 33 of the 48 total minutes. The game plan was effective, but the Men in Green prevailed, regardless. Collinwood got off to the best possible start of the game as Freshman Blake Whitten took the opening kickoff 84 yards up the visitor sideline to the end zone. Joe Houston Thompson plunged in from 2 yards out to put the Trojans on top 8-0. Zion answered on a slow, methodical drive down the field, ending with a 17 yard pitch and catch for their first of 4 touchdown passes. Another toss into the end zone tied the game 8-8. Dayton Scott got in on his own version of an aerial attack by throwing a touchdown dart to Alex Haddock from 6 yards out. He then followed suit, with another pass on the two point conversion; a 2 yard pitch and catch to Joe Houston Thompson. Trojans up 16-8. Zion Christian responded with a 48 yard strike through the air on their next possession, but missed the 2 point conversion. Trojans still lead 16-14. After a punt by the Trojans, Zion ate up the remainder of the clock and was close to scoring, when Joe Houston Thompson picked off a pass intended for a slot receiver cutting across the middle, setting up the first instance of a déjà vu moment that will happen a little later in this nail-biter. Zion came out in the 3rd quarter with the same game plan and effective execution. Their 3rd touchdown pass of the night came in the 3rd quarter after a time consuming drive from 28 yards out. The 2 point conversion was no good, but Zion now leads 20-16.  The Trojans went 3 and out on their only possession of the 3rd quarter, giving the ball back to the Eagles.  After eating up the remaining time in the 3rd quarter and part of the 4th, the Eagle offense stalled, forcing them to attempt a 28 yard field goal. The attempt was short and the Trojans took over on their own 20. In the Trojans’ 4th offensive play in the first 14 minutes of the second half, Dayton Scott again went to the air, throwing a 50/50 ball deep to Joe Houston Thompson. Thompson jumped and snagged the ball at its apex as if he was pulling a rebound, but instead of dribbling afterward, Thompson scampered the remaining 40 yards for an 80 yard touchdown connection. Peyton Ward plunged in for the 2 point conversion. Trojans retake the lead 24-20. The Trojan defense, riding the momentum from the missed field goal and quick score capitalized when Peyton Ward smashed the Eagle ball carrier, causing him to fumble. Lige Craig jumped on the pig skin, giving the Trojans excellent field position. Ward was rewarded for the debilitating hit a few plays later when Dayton Scott hit him from 9 yards out for another touchdown through the air. Ward liked being in the end zone so much that he took the ball on the 2 point conversion play and made a repeat visit. Trojans rolling 32-20. However, Zion Christian was not finished their own version of an air war. This quarterback/receiver connection covered 48 yards, bringing the score to 32-26, Trojans. Zion’s defense stepped up, holding Collinwood to a 3 and out deep in their own territory, forcing a punt. Zion got the ball and needed to only travel half the field to potentially tie or win the ballgame. After using all of their timeouts and driving to the 20 yard line, Zion was down to their last 6 seconds. So, here we are, leading by 6, one last play from the 20 for Zion Christian, who has already passed for 216 yards and 4 touchdowns. At this point, everyone in the stands had paid for their entire seat, but was only sitting on the edge. The quarterback drops back, pump fakes, then throws deep to the corner of the home team’s end zone. A Trojan and an Eagle jump for the ball, and it falls incomplete as time expires. Trojans Win! Trojans Win! Trojans W…..  wait a minute, is that a flag on the field? Pass interference, Collinwood. The Eagles live to fight another play with no time on the clock. This time, the Eagles line up on the 6 yard line. They snap the ball, the quarterback looks to the middle of the field and at this point, I have a strange instance of déjà vu as mentioned at the end of the first half. A slot receiver appears open running across the middle of the end zone. The quarterback fires a bullet, and just as it appears that the game is going to be tied, Joe Houston Thompson jumps in front of the receiver, but instead of intercepting the pass as he did before halftime, this time he slams the ball to the turf, sealing the Trojan Victory!

   Offensively, Dayton Scott went 6-9 for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns. Scott’s “dimes” were cashed in by each member of the group formerly known as Earth, Wind, and Fire. Alex Haddock led all rushers with 70 yards on 9 carries. Peyton Ward had 15 yards on 3 carries, 2 of which being 2 point conversions. 

   Defensively, the Trojans weathered 70 offensive plays. Joe Houston Thompson and Peyton Ward both had huge nights with 15 and 14 tackles each. Two of Thompson’s tackles were for a loss, along with 1 of Ward’s. Ward also had 2 sacks on this busy night. Lane Makara added 12 tackles and Joe Hensley had 9 tackles on the night.

   The Trojans travel to Huntington this Friday night. “Come on with it!”—Submitted

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