As mentioned in last week’s article, when Collinwood and Waynesboro are in competition against one another, records really do not matter. Both teams, whether you are the favorite or the underdog, will play at times during the game like the former or the latter. Both teams played well enough on Friday night to take a victory, and both teams made enough mistakes to lose the game. It was a game of momentum swings that ended with Collinwood winning 26-20, ending a far too long drought against the Wildcats.
Scoring began in the 2nd quarter when #4 Dayton Scott pumped faked on #7 Noah Sanderson’s curl route, then threw it deep on the go, after his initial stop hitting him for the 27-yard touchdown. #10 Gaby Ubieta added the point after to put the Trojans ahead 7-0. Waynesboro threatened on the last play of the 1st half with a punt return that came up 5 yards or so short of the goal line as time expired.
The 2nd half scoring made up for the slow start by both offenses in the first half. #18 Alex Haddock plunged into the end zone from 3 yards out with 6:33 remaining in the 3rd. A false start pushed the extra point attempt back 5 yards, but Ubieta wasn’t fazed. Trojans 14, Cats 0. It only took Waynesboro 11 seconds to make their first score of the night, following Haddock’s rushing TD. A 54-yard pitch and catch got the Wildcats on the board, with the same QB/WR connection adding the 2-point conversion. Trojans 14, Cats 8. On the next Trojan possession, with only a minute and a half removed from the game clock, the Wildcat defense picked off a Dayton Scott pass and ran it back for another score. The 2-point conversion failed. Tie ballgame! Collinwood rallied back behind the earlier combination of Scott and Sanderson. #4 hit #7 at the goal line from 33 yards out. Touchdown Trojans! On the point after, a non-call for a neutral zone violation left the Trojan kicking team frozen, which allowed the Wildcats to block the kick with little resistance. Trojans 20, ‘Cats 14. The Wildcats took their next possession and showed they still had some fight left in them, pushing down the field until they scored on a short 2 yard run. The 2-point conversion to go ahead was stuffed before the goal line was reached. Tie ballgame 20-20! Collinwood took their last possession and slowly made their way to midfield, playing against the Wildcats and the clock at this point. An end around reverse to Noah Sanderson caught Waynesboro taking a catnap, resulting in a long run inside the 10 yard line. The Wildcat defense did not go easily into the cold dark night, as they defended their end zone from the go-ahead score on the ground. The Trojans saw that a land victory was not theirs to be had, so they called in reinforcements from the air. This time Scott threw a quick out to the left, #2 Dalton Chastain welcomed the pigskin with open arms while distancing himself from the defender. Trojans 26, Wildcats 20. The ‘Cats attempt to regain the win through the air came up nil. The Trojan offense ended the losing streak against the ‘Cats in the Victory Formation, running out the play clock. Trojans win, 26-20.
The Trojan offense out-produced the Wildcats in every category: total offense, passing, rushing, first downs, time of possession, and 3rd and 4th down conversions. Dayton Scott finished the night with 6 of 9 completions for 103 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, (so, 4 touchdowns, technically). Noah Sanderson caught 3 of those passes for 71 yards and 2 scored. Joe Houston Thompson added 32 yards receiving. Dalton Chastain only had 6 yards receiving, but the one reception was the winning score, clinching victory for the Trojans. Joe Houston Thompson added 75 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Alex Haddock contributed 66 yards on 19 carries and 1 touchdown. Noah Sanderson had 3 rushing attempts for 43 yards.
Defensively, Collinwood held the Waynesboro’s passing attack to only 2 completions on 14 attempts. The defensive unit also only gave up 89 yards on the ground. Joe Houston Thompson once again led all tacklers with 13, 1 of those being for a loss. Noah Sanderson matched Thompson’s production with 13 tackles of his own. Rouge Holt added 11 tackles, 1 being for a loss. Joe Hensley had 9 solo tackles on the night.
The Trojans travel this week for the first round of the playoffs. At press time, their opponent was yet to be determined by the TSSAA.—-Submitted