The UTV 44 Friday Night Rivals kicked off week two of the 2018 high school football season with an Eastern Shore rivalry of the Daphne Trojans and the Spanish Fort Toros. The Toros hold the overall record against Daphne with a 5-1 record against the Trojans.
Spanish Fort would get the ball first to start the game but the Trojan defense came out strong forcing punts on the Toros first two possessions. Daphne’s offense could not do any better as the Toros defense got the same results.
Late in the 1st quarter, Toros junior running back Xavier Love got Spanish Fort into Trojan territory when he ripped off a 62 yard rush. The Trojan defense would recover following that forcing Spanish Fort to attempt a 30 yard field goal with senior kicker Matthew Quinn converted. Spanish Fort took the 3-0 lead with just over three minutes left in the 1st quarter.
Daphne would get the ball following the Spanish Fort score, but would not keep it for long. Senior running back Jay Pogue would end up fumbling the ball and Toros senior free safety Luke DeWeese would recover the fumble on the Daphne 43 yard line. Five plays later, Xavier Love found the end zone from 37 yards out. The PAT was good and the Toros extended their lead 10-0 with just over a minute left in the 1st quarter.
Half through the second quarter the Toros found help again from Love. The Toros started an offensive possession on their own 25 yard line, on the second play of the drive Love ran 73 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The PAT was good and Spanish Fort now had a 17-0 lead with just over six minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Love would end up with 17 carries for 166 yards.
With less than a minute left in the 1st half, Daphne got the ball back following a turnover led by defensive back Christian Williams. The Trojans started the drive on the Toros 42 yard line, and five plays and :32 seconds later Williams got the Trojans on the board when he hauled in a 10 yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Trent Battle. The PAT was good and Daphne had cut the lead 17-7 going into halftime.
Almost midway through the 3rd quarter, Spanish Fort had the ball in their own territory when junior quarterback Jackson Burhkhalter fumbled the ball and senior Trojan linebacker Ronnie Cleveland recovered the ball on the Spanish Fort 21 yard line. Five plays later, Battle cut the lead again when he found senior receiver C.J. Young for a 9 yard touchdown catch. The PAT was missed but the Trojans now trailed Spanish Fort 17-13 with just over five minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
At the start of the 4th quarter Daphne offense had the ball and the turnover bug stuck once again, this time Battle threw an interception to DJ James. The Toros were able to convert that turnover into points when five plays later Quinn kicked a 46 yard field goal and extended their lead over Daphne 20-13.
Late in the game Daphne was looking to get into the end zone to try and even the score up but could only get to midfield before having to punt the ball away. But as the Toros were looking to run the clock out they didn’t help themselves when Burkhalter fumbled the ball only for senior Marion Collins to recover the fumble on the Spanish Fort 21 yard line. That set the Trojans up for an opportunity to get into the end zone but D.J. James would come up with his second interception of the game when he picked off Battle in the end zone.
The Trojan defense stepped up again forcing the Toros to punt away after three plays, but the ball bounced in Spanish Fort’s favor as it rolled for a 67 yard punt. The Trojan offense were held up by the Spanish Fort defense and would have to punt away one last time allowing the Toros to take the 20-13 victory.
The Trojans fall to 1-1 and 0-1 in the region but will have to look to rebound quickly as they are set to host the 2-0; 1-0 Saraland Spartans who are coming off a 50-0 win over B.C. Rain.
Spanish Fort also evens up their record at 1-1 and are 1-0 in the region. The Toros will step out of region play this week as they will host the Moss Point Tigers from Mississippi at the Hill.
Tune in this Friday for the UTV44 Friday Night Rivals as we head to Ladd Stadium to showcase two 7A region 1 teams as the Baker Hornets take on the Davidson Warriors, kick off will be 7PM on UTV44.