Goal-line stand leads to Coosa Valley win

Published 2:01 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HARPERSVILLE – Leading 22-17 with the final seconds ticking off the clock, Coosa Valley had four yards of field to defend against Pickens Academy on Friday, Aug. 24, as the Rebels looked to keep the Pirates out of the end zone to pick up their first win of the 2018 season.

After losing their season opener 28-8 to Hooper Academy under first-year head coach Jamie Scruggs, it was an important four yards for the Rebels, who didn’t want to let the team or their coach down again.

With Pickens facing first-and-goal with just a few seconds left in the game, the snap was taken with the Pirates looking to spoil Coosa Valley’s home opener, but instead, the Rebels rose to the occasion and stood strong to prevent a touchdown as the final seconds ticked off the clock to preserve the 22-17 win.

One of the big reasons for the win, however, came long before that goal-line stand, as Coosa Valley established a brutal ground game throughout the game that ended up being the difference maker.

Cody Eades and Kaleb Allen both had dominant games on both sides of the ball, but it started on the offensive side with their rushing attack. Eades led the team with 161 yards, while Allen added 101 yards, as the two combined for 262 yards on the ground during the game.

While that exhausting effort on offense could have led to less energy and dominance on the defensive side of the ball, it didn’t, as both were the team’s leading tacklers as well.

Eades finished the night with a team-high 15 tackles, while Allen added 13 tackles.

The first quarter of the game, those tackles were key, as the two teams battled in a tightly contested game that saw the Rebels up just 8-7 at the end of the quarter thanks to a converted 2-point conversion.

With 7:04 left in the second quarter, the Rebels did the exact same thing with another touchdown and 2-point conversion that put them on top 16-7, which ended up being the halftime score.

Pickens came right back within the first five minutes of the second half starting, however, and answered with a touchdown and 2-point conversion of its own to cut Coosa Valley’s lead to 16-15.

It took about four minutes on the dot for the Rebels to come back with another score, but this time, the Rebels opted for the PAT to make it a 7-point game.

That decision, however, became a little nerve-racking later in the fourth quarter when a safety led to two points for Pickens which made the deficit just five points with 3:40 remaining in the game.

Coosa Valley was forced to give the ball right back to the Pirates due to the safety as well, which led to that almost game-winning drive, but instead the Rebels faced adversity in the face and won.

Aside from Eades and Allen, Cole Davis added 11 tackles on defense. Offensively, Brayson Edwards had a solid game at quarterback and completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Tripp Allen at one point.

Coosa Valley now sits at 1-1 on the season and will travel to take on a hot 2-0 Kingwood team, who has won its first two games by a combined 62-6, on Aug. 31

See all the pictures from the game here.