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High School Football Updates

By - Roger Jewell

The first half of the local high school football season was officially completed on Friday (September 15) and the Travelers Rest Devildogs are still looking for their second win of the season. Two of the last three games were nailbiters such as a 20-19 home loss to Palmetto and Friday night's 21-15 loss to Eastside in Taylors. In the middle of those two "thrillers" was a 28-0 blowout loss to Woodmont's Wildcats. So far TR has been defeated four times and all of those losses came against class AAAAA, AAAA and AAA schools. In those first five games TR, a class AAA school, has faced three AAAAA schools, (Riverside, Wade Hampton, and Woodmont); one AAAA school (Eastside) and one AAA school (Palmetto). On paper, bigger schools should beat smaller schools because the larger schools have larger student enrollments and therefore more student athletes selection pools are larger. TR is 1-4 overall and that breaks down to 1-2 against class AAAAA schools, 0-1 against AAAA and 0-1 against AAA. There is one non-region game left on the schedule and that is against Berea (class AAAA) on Friday. That will be followed by the Region 3 AAA contests which should be dominated by Broome and Chapman while TR victories against Carolina and Blue Ridge have become traditional.

TR's visit to Eastside started out as a possible Devildog victory. Eastside won the opening coin toss and elected to receive the kickoff. TR stunned the Eagles will an onsides kick which the Devildogs recovered at the Eastside 49 yard line.

What followed, continued as the Devildogs kept shooting theirselves in the foot with offside penalties. TR's first play from scrimmage resulted in an offises penalty before the first snap from center. The second play was a 26 yard pass completion and TR was knocking on the doorway to the Eagle endzone. The advancement to the Eastside 22 was followed by another offsides penalty. An eventual screen pass to the Eastside 20 was pushed back by officials by way of a TR holding penalty. That was followed by an eleven yard loss as Eastside defensive linemen took up residence in TR's backfield.

After that loss, the two teams exchanged punts. TR's second drive started from the Devildogs' 37 yard line. TR's second threat to score ended at the Eastside 21 yard line where TR turned the ball over on downs. Eastside responded with a 79 yard touchdown romp. With 2:40 left in the first quarter Eastside led 7-0 and TR had visited Eagle redzone territory twice without an endzone visit.

TR took the ensuing kickoff and returned to the Devildog 27 yard line. An offensive line cave in resulted in a seven yard loss which was followed by a pass interception and Eastside had the football back at the TR 45. Eastside rushed to the TR 18 and the first quarter ended with the Eagles in a second down and two at the TR 2 yard line. From there, the Eagles used a minute and a half off the clock to move to a fourth down and goal at the TR one. The ensuing one yard score gave Eastside a 14-0 lead with 10:31 left in the first half.

TR pit paydirt with a long touchdown pass and a two point conversion to make it a 14-8 game with 9:05 left in the first half.

Eastside consumed the remainder of the first half by driving downfield to the TR one foot line but with 1:48 left in the second quarter TR stopped the Eagle threat and the Devildogs took over the football on downs at their own one yard line. TR quickly drove to Eastside terriroty and threatened to score with a first down at the Eagle 35 yard line and 16 seconds left in the half. TR could not stand up to the pressure and after a quarterback sack the threat ended due to the passage of time. Eastside led 14-8 at the half.

TR threatened again early in the third quarter but two more penalties pushed the Devildogs back to a 3rd down and 26 situation which was followed by another intercepted pass which the Eagles returned to the TR 25. The Eagles went on to score on a two yard touchdown run to make it a 21-8 score with 7:15 left in the third quarter.

TR mounted another threat to score in the fourth quarter by driving to the Eastside four yard line with 7:25 left in the game. TR went on to score on a one yard touchdown quarterback keeper. The score and a two point conversion made it a 21-15 score with 6:10 left in the game. Neither team managed to score through the remainder of the fourth quarter and Eastside killed the clock to preserve the 21-8 victory.


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