The UTV 44 Friday Night Rivals was on the Eastern Shore to wrap up the 2020 regular high school football season. On the line was bragging rights for the eastern shore between neighbors and rivals as the Daphne Trojans traveled across the interstate to take on the Spanish Fort Toros.
The Toros would get the ball first to start the game and they went into the playbook early with a double pass to sophomore Jake Godfrey. Spanish Fort would drive deep into Trojan territory but the Daphne defense would get the stop they needed forcing the Toros into a field goal attempt. Spanish Fort lined up for a 25 yard field goal but Daphne’s junior defensive back Bryson Cleveland got through and blocked the kick.
Both teams would trade possession and end the 1st quarter tied with no score.
Halfway through the 2nd quarter, the Toros defense got a turnover of their own when senior defensive back Micah Gaffney picked off the pass from senior quarterback Trent Battle. Toros would take over possession on their own 35 yard line. Daphne’s defense would return the favor when Spanish Fort’s sophomore quarterback Brendon Byrd was hit and fumbled the ball, Daphne’s sophomore defensive end Johnny Perdue would recover the ball all the way back at the Toro’s 1 yard line. On the next play senior running back Veontai Williams would take the ball into the end zone. The PAT was good and Daphne took the 7-0 lead with under eight minutes left in the 1st half.
On the ensuing drive, the Toros offense was driving on the Daphne defense. Deep in Trojan territory, Spanish Fort looked to tie the game up which they thought they did when junior running back Zack Hixon took the ball into the end zone from 10 yards out but the play was called back due to a holding penalty on the Toros. A few plays later Byrd would find senior Christian Bernal in the end zone for a 16 yard touchdown reception. The PAT was good and the score was tied 7-7 with just under four minutes left in the 1st half. That score would hold going into halftime.
Daphne would get the ball to start the 2nd half and they would start their drive from their own 30 yard line. Senior quarterback Trent Battle would lead them down field 65 yards when from 5 yards out he would take the ball into the end zone himself. The PAT was good and Daphne took back the lead 14-7 with just over seven minutes left in the 3rd quarter. That would be the only score in the quarter for either team.
But early in the 4th quarter, the Trojans looked to extend their lead. Their offense was stopped by Spanish Fort and was now facing a 33 yard field goal. On the attempt the kick was up but would hit the right upright and bounced off as no good. The score remained 14-7.
Late in the game, the Toros got the ball and were deep in their own territory. Bryd attempted a pass to Bernal but the ball would bounce off his foot and right into the arms of senior defensive back Midnight Stewart who would take it all the way back to the end zone for a defensive touchdown on the pick six. The PAT and now Daphne had a 21-7 lead with under five minutes left in the game.
The Trojan defense would get another interception off Byrd with less than two minutes left in the game to seal the 21-7 victory.
Spanish Fort falls 7-3 on the year but will prepare for the 1st round of the state playoffs as the #1 seed as they are the 6A Region 1 Champions.
Daphne improves to 9-1 on the season as they too will prepare for the 1st round of the state playoffs as the #2 seed from 7A Region 1.
Friday Night Rivals will back for the 2021 season.