Devildogs Rally To Trounce Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge jumped to a 14-0 first quarter lead in the annual backyard brawl for "The Jug" but Travelers Rest refused to lose and came charging back to take the 33-28 victory last Friday night at Chico Bolin Stadium in downtown Travelers Rest.
The homestanding Devildogs used a total team effort in earning their first region victory of the season and ending a three game losing streak. Their victory lifted them to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in Peach Blossom Region play. Blue Ridge slipped to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the region.
Blue Ridge has had trouble holding leads this season. The Tigers held a strong lead over Eastside in their region opener several weeks ago only to end up on the losing side of that one. Against Berea the Tigers held a commanding lead at the half only to see that lead melt away. Blue Ridge had to rally in overtime to pull out a narrow victory. And one week earlier the Tigers held an early lead against Emerald only to see the Vikings come from behind to take a big win.
On Friday the Tigers took a 7-0 lead in the first uarter when Tamaje Green caught a 16 yard scoring pass from quarterback Jake Smith. Later in the quarter Smith hooked up with Sonny Stevens for a seventy yard touchdown pass play and a 14-0 Tiger lead.
Travelers Rest came rolling back in a strong way.
The Devildogs scored on two Xavier Terry touchdown runs to tie the game at 14-14.
After a penalty backed Travelers Rest into the "coffin corner" on the Devildogs' next offensive series, Blue Ridge managed to block a punt in the endzone for a 21-14 lead with fifty seconds left to play in the first half.
Momentum quickly shifted to Travelers Rest when the Devildogs mounted a drive and a spectacular pass to Jason Dillworth gave the Devildogs a first and goal at the Blue Ridge two yard line. Terry scored from there with only two second left in the half to tie the game at 21-21.
In the third quarter, on their second offensive series of the half, TR found the endzone once again when quarterback Chris Goma connected with Blake Young for a 22 yard touchdown pass play. Blue Ridge managed to block the extra point kick and TR led 27-21.
The Devildogs closed the third quarter driving into Tiger territory. Early in the fourth quarter Dillworth scored on an exciting reverse run covering fifteen yards for a 33-21 Devildog lead.
Blue Ridge would not go down easily and the Tigers added a touchdown off of a Smith run to cut the gap to 33-28.
The Tigers drove again inside the TR redzone but the Devildog defense denied the effort and took over on downs.
The game ended with TR's offense knocking on the door within touchdown range but turned to the victory formation to run out the clock after Blue Ridge had called their final timeout.
Travelers Rest hosts Emerald on Friday while Blue Ridge will battle Southside.