A costly last minute interception proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back Monday night as Cleveland’s junior varsity football team fell to a tough Soddy-Daisy squad 20–12.
Led by a power running game, the Trojans of Soddy-Daisy struck first early in the first quarter.
After a number of missed opportunities, including a botched snap on a fourth down attempt resulting in a turnover, the Blue Raiders were able to get on the board at the 1-minute mark.
The score came off of a read option look as quarterback Michael May faked the halfback handoff and took the ball himself into the end zone for a 40-yard run.
The Trojans answered less than a minute later sparked by a long return of the kickoff to Cleveland’s 42-yard line. Soddy-Daisy’s quarterback and wide receiver promptly connected deep in the end zone for a 42-yard pass.
The Blue Raiders’ defense showed up in the ensuing second quarter as Cleveland, led by stellar run defense by freshman linemen Eddie Shalchik, was able to render the Trojans scoreless throughout the period.
On offense, the Blue Raiders evened the score at the five-minute mark coming off of a fourth-and-4 screen pass to junior Raekwon Bunion taken 36 yards up the sideline and into the end zone.
Both teams missed their extra point opportunities, making the score 12–12 heading into halftime.
From the onset of the third quarter it was clear that Cleveland’s defense had come to play.
The Blue Raider defense held the Trojans to a number of three-and-outs, but their crowning moment came on a fourth-and-goal stand. The Trojans tried to sneak their QB through the line of scrimmage from the 3-yard line only to be met by a gang of Blue Raiders forcing the turnover on downs.
As Cleveland’s defense came through, the offense struggled in the third quarter. The Blue Raiders could not muster any significant drives and struggled to move the ball, resulting in Cleveland not registering a single first down.
Early in the fourth quarter, Cleveland’s offensive woes continued, opening the door for the Trojans of Soddy-Daisy.
After a Blue Raiders’ punt the Trojans promptly marched the ball 43 yards down the field and scored after a third-and-goal touchdown pass. The Trojans converted the two-point try, making the score 20–12.
Cleveland went three and out on its next possession and did not get the ball back until 1:45 left in the game.
The Blue Raiders started their drive on their own 38-yard line. At the onset of the drive QB Michael May connected with senior WR Brandon Williams for a big 15-yard pass bringing the ball to Soddy-Daisy’s 47-yard line.
May promptly found sophomore TJ Constant for a 7-yard pickup on the next play to the Soddy-Daisy 40.
On the next play, May dropped back deep in the pocket with 36 seconds left and threw a bomb into the end zone that was picked off by the Trojans’ secondary and brought out to the 3-yard line.
The Trojans ran out the clock to make the final score 20–12.
The Blue Raiders will look to improve on Monday’s last second loss with a short road trip to Ooltewah to take on the Owls Monday night.