Once again, the story of Saturday night’s Coffee Trojan football game was senior linebacker/running back Jameon Gaskin. Known primarily as an elite defensive player, Gaskin has dominated on the offensive side of the ball in the young 2017 season. Against the Brunswick High Pirates, Gaskin led the Trojans to a 30-13 win with 173 yards on 26 carries. He scored three more touchdowns to bring his total on the year to six.
The game took place on Saturday evening after a late-afternoon thunderstorm postponed the contest Friday. Brunswick had to go back to the coast then return again less than 24 hours later. When they did, they found a Coffee team ready for the challenge.
The Trojans took the opening kick and marched downfield. The drive stalled, however, and ended with a 30-yard field goal off the foot of Pancho Rivas. The Pirates took over trailing 3-0 and launched an impressive drive of their own. After completing a long pass that would have put Brunswick inside the Coffee 10-yard line, the Pirates fumbled and Coffee’s Wes Lott recovered. The Trojans were unable to do anything with the gift and ended up punting. The punt was bad – really bad – and Brunswick took over at the Coffee 18. The Pirates took advantage of the short field and quickly scored. With 1:45 left to go in the first quarter, Brunswick led 7-3.
It would the Pirates’ only lead of the evening.
The Trojans answered with a 68-yard drive that saw Gaskin score his first touchdown of the night on a 13-yard run. The score put Coffee on top 10-7. Brunswick wasn’t about to give up; the Pirates went nearly 70 yards on their ensuing possession and threatened to score. However, a Brunswick pass lobbed into the corner of the south end zone landed in the hands of the Trojans’ Dalrone Donaldson. He ran the interception across midfield and gave his offense the ball at the Pirates’ 48. Gaskin scored his second touchdown on a two-yard dive and gave Coffee a 17-7 lead with 56 seconds left in the half. The clock would run out and the teams would head into halftime with the Trojans up by 10. Gaskin finished the first half with 125 yards on 15 carries.
The Pirates opened the third quarter with another turnover, their third of the game. Azi Johnson recovered and Coffee got the ball on Brunswick’s 37. The Trojans were unable to finish the drive and turned the ball over on downs. Brunswick didn’t do much before fumbling again. This time, R.J. Ringold recovered. And again, the Trojans were unable to get any points out of the miscue. Coffee attempted another field goal that missed the uprights. Brunswick followed the Trojans’ template on its next possession and missed a field goal of their own.
Coffee took over on their own 20 and went 80 yards. Gaskin added another score on an eight-yard run that put the Trojans up 24-7 with 9:27 left in the game. The Pirates turned the ball over again when Ringold intercepted a Pirate pass. It was Coffee’s fifth takeaway of the night. Milton Jackson scored his first touchdown of the year on a two-yard run off a direct snap. The Pirates blocked Rivas’s point-after attempt; with 3:05 remaining, the Trojans led 30-7. Brunswick scored again late but missed the extra point. The clock zeroed out with Coffee up 30-13.
The Trojans are 2-0 on the season. Next Friday, the Ware County Gators come to town for a 7:30 kick-off.
Gaskin ended up with his 173 yards and three scores. Antonio Dawson had 26 yards on five carries and Marquavious Jefferson added 20 yards on eight carries. Dalrone Donaldson had a couple of big catches in addition to the touchdown-saving interception.
Brunswick turned the ball over five times; Coffee converted two into points.
The Pirates haven’t won a game at Jardine Stadium since 1979.
Jarquavious Jefferson didn’t dress out this week, either. He hasn’t played since getting hurt in the preseason scrimmage at Colquitt.
Defensive lineman Derrick Newton nearly found the end zone on the Trojans’ final scoring drive. He caught a short pass and had a wide open path to paydirt. However, he had to stretch a bit for the pass and ended up falling down. “He’s got good hands,” said head coach Robby Pruitt after the game. “If you put it close, he’ll catch it. I wanted to see him score there.”