STJ (1) 6:55 Craft 1
(kick failed) 6 -
STJ (1) 1:36 Thomas 34 pass from Craft (pass failed) 12 - 0
ACA (2) 10:07 Parsons 36 interception return (Parsons kick) 12 - 7
STJ (2) 7:59 Yates 63 run (Baxter pass from Craft) 20 - 7
ACA (4) 9:48 Russell 1 run (Parsons kick) 20 - 14
STJ (4) 7:06 Thomas 34 run (pass failed) 26 - 14
STJ (4) 4:15 Craft 20 run (Darneille kick) 33 - 14
September 28, 2001. Alabama Christian Field. Game Conditions: Clear, negligible wind Game Temperature: 69
St. James overcame 4 turnovers, three within a five minute period of the second half, and scored two late touchdowns to pull away from a determined bunch of Eagles to begin their challenge for a record fifth straight Capital City Conference championship as they defeated Alabama Christian 33-14.
The first half, with the exception of one play, was dominated by the Trojans. The first drive of the night totalled 60 yards, highlighted by a 30 yard pass from Alan Craft to Josh Thomas pass and a 9 yard Thomas run. Alan Craft ran wide for the final yard for the touchdown. The extra point was wide left, but the Trojans had a 6-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
The Eagles punted after a three and out, and a Craft interception was negated by a defensive holding penalty. Craft then finished off the drive with a nice 34 yard touchdown pass to Thomas who split several potential tacklers inside the 20 and dashed into the endzone. A two point pass attempt was incomplete, but St. James had a 12-0 lead with 1:36 to go in the opening quarter.
ACA managed a first down on their next drive but had to punt again, thus keeping St. James' streak of allowing no opponent to score in the first quarter this season. On the third play of the ensuing Trojan drive, a Craft pass was picked off by Davey Parsons, and after eluding several players early, he dashed down the sidelines with a 56 yard interception return for a touchdown. For good measure he added the extra point, and the Eagles were within 5 at 12-7 early in the second quarter.
Four plays later however, St. James was in the endzone again. Three runs by Ted Brewer netted 16 yards, and then Nathan Yates took a misdirection play up the middle, broke two tackles 10 yards downfield, and held off tacklers for 63 yards and another Trojan touchdown. This time, the two point conversion pass from Craft to Coe Baxter converted, and the St. James lead was boosted to 20-7 with just under 8 minutes to play in the first half.
The Eagles did manage a late drive, but turned the ball over on downs at the Trojan 19. A punt gave the Eagles the ball once more at their own 33, but one of five sacks of Eagle QB Hamp Russell stopped any chance for ACA to score at the end of the first half.
Midway through the third quarter, ACA was threatening, but a Russell pass was intercepted by Daniel Winn and his return of 54 yards had the Trojans in business again. St. James then started the turnover game themselves. A Craft pass was intercepted by Clay Meadows at the Eagle 20, but another Trojan sack forced another ACA punt. A fumbled snap on the first play gave the ball right back to Alabama Christian at the Trojan 26. However, the Trojan defense stiffened and the Eagles failed on a fourth and 6 at the Trojan 10. The Trojans quickly returned the favor by fumbling once more on the next play, and ACA had the ball on the St. James 12. A nice pass from Russell to Parsons put the ball on the 1, and Russell dove over left tackle on the next play for the touchdown. The extra point brought the Eagles to within 6, at 20-14, with 8:23 left in the game and momentum on the ACA side.
The Trojans took over their own 39, and regained the momentum almost immediately. Consecutive 21 yard and 6 yard runs by Yates, and the final 34 by Thomas pushed the lead to 26-14. A holding penalty on the conversion pushed the ball back and the ensuing long conversion pass attempt failed.
The fifth sack of Russell on the next Eagle possession forced another punt, and the Trojans again took only three plays to score, this time from midfield. A 21 yard carry by Yates, a 9 yarder by Brewer, and the final 20 yards on a well-executed quarterback sweep by Craft. Marshall Darneille added the extra point for the final margin of 33-14, as both teams inserted younger players for the remainder of the game.
GAME FIVE SIDELINE STATISTICS:
ST. JAMES RUSHING 47 attempts 282 yards 4 TDs (6.00 yards per carry)
9 / 116 (1 TD) 7
Thomas 10 / 74 (1
TD) 42 Brewer 15
17 Debardelaben 2 / 15 10 Craft 7 / 12 (2 TDs)
51 Drennen 2 / 10 4 Thrasher 2 / 2
PASSING 3 completions 6 attempts 2 INTs 81 yards 1 TD (1 sack of, - 8 yards)
10 Craft 3 - 6 - 2 81 yards 1 TD (1 sack, - 8)
7 Thomas 2 / 64 (1 TD) 11 Howell 1 / 17
TOTAL YARDS: 363
KICKS: XP 1 / 3
FG 0 / 0
2 POINT CONVERSIONS: 1 / 2
KICKOFFS: 6 (52,46,45,38,43,50) PUNTS: 2 (31, 9)
KO RETURNS: 3 (25,8,15) PUNT RETURNS: 1 (0)
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: 1 (54)
FIRST DOWNS: 17 (12 rushing, 3 passing, 2 penalty)
FUMBLES: 3, lost 2
TURNOVER MARGIN: - 3
PENALTIES: 4 / 40 yards
TIME OF POSSESSION: 26:12
RUSHING 23 attempts minus 1 yard 1 TD
PASSING 11 attempts 26 attempts 1 INT 111 yards 0 TDs (5 sacks of, - 45 yards)
TOTAL YARDS: 110
KICKS: XP 2 /
FG 0 / 0
2 POINT CONVERSIONS: 0 / 0
KICKOFFS: 3 (45,47,36) PUNTS: 6 (39,17,22,25,24,35)
KO RETURNS: 6 (13,7,16,25,23,26) PUNT RETURNS: 0
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: 2 (56TD, 15)
FIRST DOWNS: 10 (3 rushing, 6 passing, 1 penalty)
PENALTIES: 4 / 25 yards
TIME OF POSSESSION: 21:48
RETURN TO THE STJ 2001 FOOTBALL HOMEPAGE