DAPHNE, Ala. – This one should have been on TV. The Jubilee Stadium scoreboard got a thorough work out in week 10 after the Trojans and Saints lit it up. Forty-eight minutes and 95 points later, Daphne stayed in the running to secure their 22nd consecutive playoff appearance with a 53-42 home victory over St. Paul’s Episcopal. Both offenses proved hard to stop, but the Daphne defense forced the St. Paul’s attack to play from behind most of the game.
“I’m proud of all these guys,” said Daphne head coach Kenny King. “But our defense really came out and played at the high level we knew they could and would need to. Both sides of the ball did. They have all been through a lot, but they never quit. They have kept working hard all year.”
The Trojans scored on the first play from scrimmage on their first and second drives, but the Saints came back to tie 14-14. Jordan Ingram broke for a 70-yard touchdown and the Saints recovered a blocked punt into the Daphne endzone for another in the first half.
DHS built another lead (36-14) in the second quarter but the Saints scored with 6.4 seconds left in the first half to make it 36-21 at the break.
The Daphne D’s best performance came late in the third quarter when, leading St. Paul’s 43-21, the Saints reached the Trojans’ four-yard line, but went four-and-out. SPS later pulled closer with an early fourth-quarter score and a successful try for two points to make it 43-29.
With five minutes, 20 seconds left in the fourth period, DHS went 68 yards (all on the ground) to take a 50-29 lead. The Saints answered quickly with a score and recovered the ensuing onside kick and scored again but missed the extra point to make it 50-35 with five minutes left, SPS then closed to 50-42 with less than four minutes to go.
With 2:35 left, Daphne’s Cory Bonner kicked a 25-yard yard field goal for what would be the final score. Including extra points Bonner scored 10 of the Trojans 53. On the Saints’ last drive, Midnight (Autumn) Steward picked off a pass for the Trojans.
DHS quarterback Trent Battle completed five touchdown passes in the win over the No. 10-ranked Saints. Ja’Quan Myles caught three and Darius Johnson two. Tyler Bradley scored on a TD run of 37 yards and Veontai “V” Williams scored on runs of four and 16 yards for DHS. Saints quarterback J Greene threw for three touchdowns.
The Trojans are now tied for second in the Region 1, 6A standings with Blount, Spanish Fort and St. Paul’s behind undefeated Saraland. Only four teams will make the playoffs.
Daphne has won four in a row. The victory puts the Trojans in position to make the playoffs for a 22nd straight year. Next, the Trojans hosts Blount (8-1) to close out the regular season. The Saints travel to 1-8 Robertsdale.