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Thursday afternoon at Jardine Stadium, the Coffee Trojans JV squad overcame a three-touchdown deficit and scored 31 unanswered points to defeat the Lowndes Vikings for the second year in a row. KJ DeBruce scored three touchdowns while Zean Preston and Timothy Burch scored one touchdown apiece. Kicker Aidan Gonzalez added a 31-yard field goal as well.
The Vikings jumped out to a 21-0 lead early. Coffee got on the board with 9:30 remaining in the second quarter when DeBruce picked up a fumbled snap, reversed the field, and raced 75 yards for a score on the busted play. The extra point made it 21-7 Lowndes. The Vikings added another score in the second quarter, giving them what many thought was an insurmountable 28-7 advantage.
It’s a good thing no one bothered to tell the Trojans.
Over the next two and half periods, Coffee scored 31 unanswered points to shock the visiting Vikings with what amounted to a pretty savage beatdown. Lowndes did make two costly mistakes — a bad snap on a punt and a muffed punt — that the Trojans turned into 15 points.
With 4:28 remaining in the first half, Gonzalez drilled a 31-yard field goal to make the score 28-10. With a little over a minute left in the half, a Micale Smith punt hit a Viking on the way down. The Trojans recovered the ball and quickly found the end zone. Eldridge hit Burch for a 30-yard touchdown that, along with the point-after, narrowed Lowndes’s advantage to 28-17.
In the third quarter, Coffee scored quickly when a snap sailed over the Viking punter’s head. He fell on the ball at the Lowndes one-yard line. It didn’t take long for DeBruce to get into the end zone for another Trojan touchdown. Coffee opted to go for two and Eldridge connected with Preston for the conversion. With 8:16 left in the third quarter, Coffee trailed 28-25. Near the end of the period, DeBruce scored again to put the Trojans ahead for the first time all game. Coffee held a slim 32-28 lead.
While the offense was racking up points, the Trojan defense was brutalizing Lowndes. In particular, Marty Hall, Tony Holmes, and Kelvin Wooten delivered big hit after big hit all game long. Wooten, who is all of 5’3” and 145 pounds, played like a man twice his size and terrorized the Viking ballcarriers.
Neither team scored again until late in the fourth quarter. Preston took a handoff from Eldridge and got around the edge for a 37-yard score. The point-after missed its mark but the Trojans were up 38-28 with 4:23 remaining in the game.
Lowndes took the ensuing kick and began marching downfield with a purpose. The Vikings were chewing up yards when a big penalty backed them up into Coffee territory. Lowndes went for a deep ball with 33 seconds left that found Trojan defender Jordan Phillips instead of the intended receiver. Phillips’s interception — the first of his career — sealed the win for Coffee.