When Coach Scotty Hannah came to Collinwood six seasons ago, he made a progressive list of accomplishments for his team to attain. The next item to be checked off of the list heading into Friday night was to host a playoff game, check! Currently, the next item is to win a home playoff game, which the Trojans will get their chance this Friday night at Pat Brewer Stadium. The game itself was really a tale of two halves, with the first half being dominated by the Men in Green. However, the Wildcats regrouped, made adjustments and almost matched the Trojans’ offensive output in the 3rd and 4th quarters, but it was too little, too late as Collinwood tasted the sweet taste of victory, 44-20. Offensively, the Trojans were a model of efficiency, with their only punt of the night coming late in the 2nd half. The Trojans scored on every other offensive possession. Defensively, not to be outdone, Collinwood held Waynesboro to only 4 total yards in the first half, which would have been -9 yards, if not for a nice 9 yard run on the last play of the 1st half, with the Trojans in a prevent defense. The Trojan defense ended up giving up just 149 yards on the night total and posted an impressive 400 total yards of their own offensively.
As mentioned earlier, Collinwood scored early and often. On their opening drive, Dayton Scott threw his first of 4 touchdown passes on the night, connecting with Alex Haddock from 25 yards out. Scott would find Joe Houston Thompson on the last play of the 1st quarter from 23 yards out. Peyton Ward thought he might try his hand at the aerial assault next after lining up in wildcat, no pun intended, formation halfway through the 2nd quarter. This offensive wrinkle saw Ward running a traditional option play in previous possessions perfectly pitching the ball to a galloping Joe Houston Thompson, just before getting hit; spring Thompson for long gain after long gain. On this possession, Ward stepped to the outside like earlier, but then stood tall in the pocket and launched a 34 yard touchdown pass to #7 Nick Sanderson. Just before halftime, Dayton Scott reclaimed the quarterback position by finding Sanderson on a slant pattern from 7 yards out. Trojans lead at halftime 24-0. The discussion in the press box at halftime revolved around how the Wildcats would respond in the 2nd half after being thumped for the first 24 minutes. Waynesboro took the 2nd half kickoff and marched down the field using an overloaded quick pitch repeatedly that the Trojans couldn’t stop. Cade Crews eventually punched the ball over the goal line from 1 yard out for the first score with 5:29 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Collinwood responded in kind, but through the air once again as Dayton Scott found Nick Sanderson for the 3rd time in the end zone. This connection was from 6 yards out. Trojans still rolling 30-6. With 41 seconds remaining before the end of the 3rd, Crews punched in another short score from 2 yards out and Hunter Staggs added the 2 point conversion, making the score 30-14. On the next Wildcat possession, Alex Haddock made a momentum ending interception and ran it back inside the Wildcat 30 yard line. Haddock was rewarded a few plays later when he sprinted into the end zone from 8 yards out and added the 2 point conversion, bringing the lead to 38-14. The following kickoff was returned 81 yards by the Wildcats, resulting in the score change to 38-20. Peyton Ward put an exclamation point on the game with a score from 2 yards out with 3:19 remaining. He then ended any hope for another score, as he blitzed from his linebacker position on a Wildcat 4th and 3, tackling the ball carrier 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage, before he could turn the corner and get outside on the pitch. One area that normally determines the outcome of a ballgame is turnovers. Collinwood has won that battle on all of their wins this season and this one was no different, as the interception by the Trojans put the ‘Cats on the ropes, just before being KO’ed. Both teams were missing key starters in the game, with Collinwood having to use the “Next Man Up” mentality at the center position. Fletcher Hale stepped in and did not miss a snap, being perfect in the quarterback/center exchange, all the while with the Wildcats blitzing the A gap all night. He along with the offensive line gave Scott plenty of time to pick apart the ‘Cats’ secondary and provide running lanes for Earth Wind and Fire!
Dayton Scott was 9 of 16 on the night for 128 yards and 4 touchdowns. Joe Houston Thompson led all rushers with 114 yards on 20 carries. Peyton Ward had 70 yards on 15 carries and Alex Haddock added 56 yards on 14 carries as the three-headed monster gobbled up yardage on the ground. Nick Sanderson had 5 receptions for 89 yards, with one of the grabs happening in the end zone.
Defensively, Joe Houston Thompson led all tacklers with 7. He was assisted by a host of Trojans, all notching 6 solo tackles on the night: his kid brother Fletcher Thompson, Blake Whitten, Lane Makara, and Joe Hensley. Peyton Ward and Garrett Miller had 5 tackles each and Lige Craig added 4.
The Trojans host the first round of the playoffs this Friday. Come on out and support our Men in Green as they “Come on with it!”—Submitted