The UTV 44 Game of the Week was on the Eastern Shore for the Battle of the Eastern Shore between the no. 8 ranked Fairhope Pirates from 7A and the no. 8 ranked Daphne Trojans from 6A. This non-region matchup has bragging rights on the line that last until next season and neither team wants to lose this game.
Neither offense could get anything going to start the game off as both teams traded punts on each of their first two possessions. Though it would be the Daphne defense that would put the first points on the board, Fairhope’s junior running back had just gained 42 yards on a long run but shortly after that run junior quarterback Devin Mitchell fumbled the ball which was recovered by junior linebacker Marion Collins who would return the recover back for a touchdown. The PAT was good and Daphne had a 7-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Early in the 2nd quarter, the Fairhope defense would get their first turnover of the night. Senior quarterback Chance Newman dropped back for a pass which was tipped by his receiver and was picked off by senior defensive back Gibbs Sherrell. Following the turnover the offense would get some help when senior receiver C.J. Edwards hauled in a 34 yard reception. Mitchell would get the Pirates on the board when he capped the 91 yard drive with an 18 yard touchdown run. The PAT was good and the score was tied at 7-7 with just under seven minutes left in the 1st half.
That score would hold going into halftime as again neither offense could get anything going and continued to trade punts.
Midway through the 3rd quarter, Daphne would get the ball following a Fairhope punt that pinned the Trojans on their own 4 yard line. Looking as if the drive would stall the Fairhope defense committed a personal foul penalty that gave the Trojans a first down and giving the offense new life on the drive. Junior running back Mike Franklin took advantage and ripped off a 23 yard run to get the Trojans past mid field. A few plays later sophomore receiver Ja Quan Myles caught a 20 yard reception to put the Trojans inside the Fairhope 10 yard line. After three attempts to get in, Daphne was facing a 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. Head Coach Kenny King decided to go for it and Newman handed the ball off to junior running back Jay Pogue who was able to get into the end zone. The scoring drive was 15 plays for 96 yards and took 7:21 off the clock. The PAT was good and Daphne regained the lead 14-7 with just under two minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Midway through the 4th quarter the Daphne offense was once again stopped by the Pirates defense and facing a fourth down with one yard to go. King again decided to go for it and again handed the ball off to Pogue who picked up the 1st down and more. After that the Pirates shut down the Daphne drive and this time King called on kicker Diego Guajardo to attempt the 41 yard field goal, which the attempt was no good and the score remained 14-7 with just over six minutes left in the game.
Head Coach Tim Carter and his offense was still looking to get the game tied up and had been shut down by the Daphne defense most of the night. The offense found a late spark from freshman receiver Ramone Bradley who hauled in a 32 yard reception to get to the Trojan 38 yard line. Shortly after that, Mitchell found C.J. Edwards for a 14 yard catch to get to the Trojans 25 yard line. Inside the red zone Carter put in a wildcat formation with defensive back Gibbs Sherrell in the backfield, he took the direct snap and ran for 7 yards to pick up another Fairhope first down. Staying with Sherrell, they gave the ball to him again and from two yards out he got into the end zone. The Pirates drove 80 yards on nine plays, and with the PAT good the score was tied at 14-14 with just under three minutes left in the game.
Daphne would get the ball one last time and looked to try and win the game. With less than a minute left, Newman found senior receiver Conner Phillips for an 18 yard reception to get to the Fairhope 35 yard line. Looking to pass again, Newman would get picked off by senior linebacker Peter Ford and the game ended regulation tied at 14-14.
Daphne would get the ball first to start the overtime period, and the Fairhope defense came up big keeping the Trojans out of the end zone. Guajardo would come in a kick a 23 yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead.
Fairhope offense had a chance to win the game, if not they could kick a field goal to keep the score tied and go into another overtime period. The Pirates were looking for the win and Mitchell gave them just that. He found junior receiver Jackson Turner in the end zone from 10 yards out for the touchdown. Mitchell was 15 out of 21 for 225 yards and the one touchdown, and he also had the one rushing touchdown. The Pirates took the 20-17 overtime victory over Daphne.
The Trojans fall to 3-2 on the season and will have an off week for Week #6 before they head to B.C. Rain for week #7.
Fairhope improves to 4-1 on the season and will also have an off week for week #6; they will begin preparing for their week #7 matchup at Baker.
Tune in this Friday for the UTV44 High School Game of the Week, kick off will be 7PM on UTV44.