SODDY-DAISY — The Blue Raiders got the win. More precisely, the Blue Raiders' defense made sure Cleveland High School got the win.
SODDY-DAISY — The Blue Raiders got the win.
More precisely, the Blue Raiders' defense made sure Cleveland High School got the win.
After building a 21-0 lead in the third quarter, it was the Cleveland defense that stood tall, stopping Soddy-Daisy on successive fourth-down plays deep inside Raiders territory with less than a minute to play, preserving a 21-14 victory over the Trojans.
“I'm really proud of our defense, the way they fought at the end,” said first-year Blue Raiders head coach Marty Wheeler. “They stopped them on the goal line and then again when they had to go back out there after we made a mistake.
"They bounced back and got another stop. I'm really proud of those guys for standing up right there and making sure we get a win.”
Cleveland missed a pair of chances to close out the win after back-to-back fumbles set the Trojans up to at least send the game into overtime.
The first fumble gave Soddy-Daisy (2-2) the ball at the Cleveland (2-2) 45. Five plays later, the Trojans were looking at third-and-goal at the Raiders' 2-yard line. Two huge plays for negative yardage gave the ball back to Cleveland with 0:47.6 seconds left in the game.
Seconds later, another Raiders fumble put the Trojans in business at the Cleveland 34-yard line. Soddy was able to move to the 14 as the clock ticked down to 0:3.2. A final desperation throw to the back of the end was batted down, and the Raiders walked off with their second win of the season.
“When you are trying to learn to be the kind of football team you want to be, you can't let up. You can't ever let up, and we let up a little bit,” said a relieved Wheeler. “Football is a game of momentum, and as long as we had momentum we had them on the ropes. We started making mistakes and gave them momentum. When you lose momentum, it's hard to get it back.”
Momentum was all Blue Raiders in the first half as Robert Flowers broke free for 72 yards on a fourth-and-1 and the first Cleveland touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
An interception and return to the Trojans' 7-yard line by Leo Palelei on Soddy's next possession set up a quick two-play drive capped a Tetoe Boyd 3-yard TD run that made it a 14-0 game.
Boyd carried the load for the Raiders on the ground rushing for 108 yards on 20 carries. Flowers carried three times for 89 yards and had 45 yards in catches. Jeffrey Perez gained 37 yards on nine carries, and Devarius Bowman notched 18 yards on four touches.
“Tetoe ran the ball hard. He runs the ball hard every week; he's that kind of kid. We got (Jeffery) some tonight for really the first time. He's really gotten the flow of the game. He ran the ball really well at times,” said Wheeler.
The Blue Raiders opened a 21-0 lead on their first touch of the second half, driving 73 yards to the Trojan's 1-yard line where Boyd finished up the drive with his second TD.
Soddy-Daisy fought back with a four play drive to make it 21-7 and scored again with just under nine minutes left to play, to cut the margin to 21-14.
“It's good to go on the road and be able to get a win. We are fighting a lot of things right now,” Wheeler acknowledged. “I thought in the first half we played really well. We executed on both sides of the ball. We came out in the third quarter and drove the ball down the field and got points — exactly what you want to happen.
“We did a lot of things well on offense, but we've got to get out of our own way. We've got to learn to quit making mistakes. We were about to beat ourselves again. We weren't about to get beat, we were about to beat ourselves,” said Wheeler.
The Blue Raiders will host Heritage Friday before hitting the road for three straight weeks.
Friday, Sept. 13
Cleveland 0 14 7 0 — 21
Soddy-Daisy 0 0 7 7 — 14
C — Robert Flowers 72 run (Lawson Dale kick), 9:58
C — Tetoe Boyd 3 run (Dale kick), 9:05
C — Boyd 1 run (Dale kick), 8:23
SD — KeSean Eubanks 6 pass from Isaac Barnes (Cooper Hamilton kick), 5:58
SD — Hayden Maynor 5 run (Hamilton kick), 8:54
First downs 15 13
Rushes-Yards 37-254 23-115
Passing 114 175
Total yards 368 290
Comp-Att-Int 12-25-0 11-23-1
Punts-Avg. 4-33 3-36.6
Fumbles 2-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 12-87 5-35
Rushing: Boyd 20-108 TD, Flowers 4-89 TD, Devarius Bowman 4-18, Jeffrey Perez 9-37, (C); Maynor 13-76 TD, Eubanks 2-45 (SD).
Passing: Gage Kinsey 12-25-0 114 (C); Barnes 12-26-1 175 (SD).
Receiving: Flowers 3-45, Kit Hart 1-21 (C); Ackerman 6-110, Eubanks 4-50 TD (SD).
Records: Cleveland 2-2; Soddy-Daisy 2-2.
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