The effort from both sides was phenomenal Friday as Stratford extended its winning streak with a victory over Summerville.
The Knights (6-0) earned a 28-26 win over the Green Wave (4-2) in a game that featured several momentum shifts and came down to the final play. In football, normally the team that wins the turnover battle comes out on top but that was not the case in this game as Stratford turned the ball over six times to Summerville’s three turnovers and still prevailed.
“What a great game and atmosphere,” Stratford coach Ray Stackley said. “This was just a typical Summerville/Stratford game.”
Stratford, which is ranked as the No. 8 Class AAAA team in the state, got on the scoreboard first with an 80-yard touchdown pass from University of Georgia commit Jacob Park to fellow senior Thad Thompson. The receiver gained approximately 20 of the yards after the catch.
But the rest of the first half belonged largely to the Green Wave, which scored 20 unanswered points to take a 20-7 lead into the half. After Chad Wood picked off a Park pass, Summerville drove 15 yards to score on an 8-yard pass from Sawyer Bridges to tight end Sean Smith. Later in the opening quarter, Kevin Dickinson recovered a Stratford fumble to set up the first of two 23-yard field goals by David Kennedy.
Late in the half, Summerville capped a 70-yard drive with a 14-yard TD pass from Bridges to Johnston McCurry.
But Knights scored 21 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter to take a 28-20 lead.
“We played good but we didn’t do what we had to do to win,” Summerville coach John McKissick said. “Stratford did.”
The Knights started their second drive of the third quarter on their own 1-yard line after being pinned down by a Kennedy punt. But on third-and-long, Summerville was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and the 15-yard penalty gave the Knights a first down.
After another penalty was called on Stratford, Park threw a pass to Thompson and the receiver out jumped a Summerville defender and then dashed to the end zone to complete a scoring play that covered 89 yards.
The Knights then capitalized on two fumble recoveries.
T.J. Deveaux recovered a fumble and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and a 21-20 Stratford lead once Tyler Tekac added the extra-point kick.
On Summerville’s next possession, linebacker Ty’reik Faulks forced a fumble and Deveaux recovered the ball for the Knights. That led to a 16-yard TD run by Tryee Scroggins and an eight-point Stratford lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Knights tried to cushion their lead with a field goal but the snap was bobbled and Summerville defensive back Daniel Smith rushed in and grabbed the ball to return possession to the Green Wave.
Summerville then drove 83 yards to score on 6-yard run by sophomore Chris Felder. Bridges handed off to Felder again on the two-point conversion attempt, but the Stratford D stopped him short of the end zone so the score remained 28-26.
Summerville’s Michael Murray recovered the ensuing on-side kick to give the Wave one last chance. Summerville decided to go with a ground attack in an effort to either break a run or get a more favorable field goal attempt.
The Wave moved the ball to the Stratford 30, but with no time remaining a field goal attempt from the 37 was blocked.
My hat goes off to them,” Stackley said. “They had a great game plan and they are so quick on defense. They got us discombobulated in the first half, but I thought our defense really played hard the whole game. Park didn’t have a great first half, which is very not typical of him, but he played a great second half. He put the ball on the money when we needed him to.”
Park completed 16 of 41 pass attempts for 319 yards and two TDs. Thompson had six receptions for 221 yards, including the two TD catches.
Bridges completed 12 of 43 pass attempts for 190 yards and two TDs. McCurry led the Green Wave receivers with four receptions for 99 yards, including the 37-yard TD catch.
Summerville 10 10 0 6—26
Stratford 7 0 21 0—28
Strat – Thad Thompson 80 pass from Jacob Park (Tyler Tekac kick)
Sum – Sean Smith 8 pass from Sawyer Bridges (David Kennedy kick)
Sum – Kennedy 23 field goal
Sum – Kennedy 23 field goal
Sum – Johnston McCurry 37 pass from Bridges (Kennedy kick)
Strat – Thompson 89 pass from Park (Tekac kick)
Strat – T.J. Deveaux 23 fumble return (Tekac kick)
Strat – Tryee Scroggins 16 run (Tekac kick)
Sum – Chris Felder 6 run (run failed)
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com