Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

November 10, 2012

Trojans' clock control tactics result in victory

Hinesville — Remember the old  “Beat the Clock” television game show in which contestants had only seconds to complete a specific task of assorted difficulties?

Well, Fullington Academy turned in its version of it Friday night when in winning the time of possession battle in the 48-minute game by about a 3-1 margin, it held to beat First Presbyterian Christian 46-35.

“We knew going in that in order to have a chance of winning we’d have to keep the ball out of the hands of the explosive offense First Presbyterian has,” Trojans coach Jerry Breeden said afterwards.

“As it turned out, we were able to do just that as by rushing for somewhere around 400 yards and seldomly throwing so that we could keep the clock moving we held on to the football for 36 minutes or so.

“That definitely was the key to our success as with them scoring as quickly as they did on a couple of kickoff returns and a long pass down the sidelines it was crucial that we limit their number of touches.”

Fullington found itself in 15-6 arrears after a quarter when the host Highlanders got touchdowns on a 65-yard touchdown run and a 60-yard klckoff return.

The home team’s latter score came right after Beau West’s 8-yard lug capped a 12-play, 70-yard Trojans drive during which Braden Shealy had an 18-yard scamper.

Fullington would soon take the lead for good, though, by firing a four-touchdown, second-period salvo. The first six-pointer came on Gavin Reed’s 6-yard step-off that capped an 80-yard, 13-snap march during which Shealy had a 15-yard run.

The next time the Trojans touched the pigskin they traveled 60 yards in six plays for a score registered on Tyler Montgomery’s 8-yard carry set up by a 30-yard dash by Reed who made successful two-point conversion runs after both scores in the quarter.

First Presbyterian used a 5-yard scoring pass to close within 22-21 midway the period only to see its guest tack two more six-pointers on to its total before intermission.

Reed accounted for both, first hitting paydirt from 8 yards out to end a five-hike, 51-yard drive during which Shealy had a 30-yard gain and then scoring from the nine to end a 54-yard, six-snap thrust in which Shealy had a 20-yard lug.

When First Presbyterian answered Reed’s latter TD with a 65-yard return of the ensuing kickoff for a score, it made it a 38-27 game. Fullington ran out of time before it could score from the Highlanders’ 12 as time expired at intermission.

“We told the guys at halftime that we needed to go back out, take the second half kickoff and get the ball back into the end zone and when hey responded by doing so it was a huge key to our win,” Breeden said.

In answering that challenge, they went 70 yards in 12 plays and ate six crucial minutes off the clock. Reed’s fifth successful two-point conversion run made it 46-27 at that point.

The Highlanders would later offset that score and conversion with eight points of their own. They came in the fourth quarter on a 60-yard pass play and two-point conversion toss.

When Cal Willard, who had ended one FPCA scoring threat late in the third period with an interception, got a second pick near mid-field with 2 1/2 minutes to go, Fullington was able to run out the clock.

“I was really proud of the way our offense rose to the challenge as well as some big stops made by our defense throughout,” Breeden said. “Having lost our four previous games, that combination enabled us to end things  on a good note and finish with a 4-6 record.

“As for the season overall, it was a little disappointing in that we failed to make the playoffs. From the start, though, we had figured five wins would make this a good year for us.

“As it turned out, probably the big thing that kept us from achieving that goal was our injury situation — especially at running back where we lost Dane Bailey and Ty Tyndal for several games.

“I do want to thank The Dispatch for the game write-ups and Bonnie Hauesler for all the photos she took as that coverage meant a lot to our kids and our program.”

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