Home » Trojans Exterminate Hornets, Host McEwen in First Round of Playoffs

Trojans Exterminate Hornets, Host McEwen in First Round of Playoffs

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The Collinwood Trojans returned to their winning ways on Thursday night with a stingy defense and strong running game to finish the regular season with an 18-0 victory over the Huntland Hornets. The win secures a second-place finish in Region 5-1A and locked up a first-round home game in the playoffs this Friday. The Trojans will host the Warriors of McEwen High School at Pat Brewer Stadium on November 3 at 7:00 pm.

Collinwood kicked off to start the game and saw a Huntland team that came ready to play as they moved the ball deep into Trojan territory. But a fumble that was recovered by Body Holt ended the drive at 8:52 to play in the 1st quarter. Unable to move the ball, Collinwood had a short punt, and the Hornets began at the Trojans 32-yard line. Huntland would miss on a field goal attempt as Collinwood dodged another bullet. Taking the ball at their own 20 with 3:40 left in the first, the Trojans began moving the ball down the field as the quarter ended still scoreless.

With 10:23 left in the half, Collinwood finished off a 12-play 80-yard drive when Tyler Jackson took the ball in from three yards out for a 6-0. Although he is the team’s 2nd leading rusher, it was Jackson’s first rushing touchdown of the season. Huntland went three and out as the Trojans defense began to stiffen and had the ball at mid-field after a punt. It took only four plays to hit paydirt again when Nick Sanderson took a handoff on a reverse and raced 32-yards for the score with 6:46 to play in the half and a 12-0 lead. That’s how the first half would end. Collinwood Coach Boyce Dixon was happy with the lead, but said, “We need to play better defense than we started, although we did get better after the slow start. The offense picked up and we need to keep that going in the 2nd half too.”

After Collinwood punted on their first possession of the 2nd half, Huntland once again drove deep into Trojan territory before turning the ball over on downs at the 11. Collinwood moved the ball some but had to punt again just before the end of the quarter with the score still 12-0.

Collinwood got another turnover as Alex Daniel picked off a Hornet pass, his 3rd interception of the season. Blake Whitten would score the final TD of the night from 25 yards out with 9:46 to play, and the Trojans went on to claim the victory by an 18-0 final. Coach Dixon was pleased with not turning the ball over any after having five last week. The victory was the 50th career win for Dixon, which puts him in second place all time among Collinwood football coaching victories. Michael Statom had 97 victories in 14 seasons. It seems fitting for coach Dixon to pick up win number 50 in the 50th season of Collinwood football.

Collinwood rolled up 249 yards of offense. Whitten had 78 yards and Jackson 68 to lead a rushing attack that piled up 223 yards. Wyatt Smith completed one pass to Sanderson for 26 yards. The defense gave up 156 yards in pitching the shutout, with 95 rushing and 61 passing. Collinwood had four quarterback sacks and forced two turnovers.

The Trojans will now turn their attention to the playoffs as they finish the regular season at 6-3 with a 4-2 region record, good enough for 2nd place. It will be the first time in the playoffs after missing the past two seasons. Collinwood has not won a playoff game since 2012 when they defeated Jo Byrns at home.

A familiar face will be welcomed back to Collinwood as former Waynesboro coach Rick Rice will be leading the Warriors of McEwen. Coach Dixon said that it will be good to see an old friend again, “but we will have to be at our best because he is a really good coach and will have his team ready to play.” Everyone needs to get out and support the Trojans as they keep this 50th season of CHS football going. GO BIG GREEN!!—Submitted

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