Douglass Defense Stifles Elbert County, Astros On To 2nd Round of Playoffs with 28-7 Win
Eight years have passed since the Fredrick Douglass Astros last reached the playoffs. On Saturday, the Astros hosted the Elbert County Blue Devils in a Class 2A first round match-up of Georgia High School State Playoffs. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Blue Devils struck first as they marched down the field behind the legs of Jr. half back #21 Jasquiz Rucker. Rucker capped Elbert County's drive with a 5-yd touchdown run to put the Blue Devils on the board first as they took a 7-0 lead with 2:53 into the game.
On their first possession of the game, the Astros had trouble getting their offense started, fumbling and turning the ball over to the Blue Devils on the third play of the drive. On the ensuing Elbert County possession, the Douglass defense came up big on 4th and 2, stuffing the Blue Devils run inside the Astros 25-yd line, forcing the turnover on downs. With the ball back in the hands of their offense, Douglass drove the ball 76-yds down the field, highlighted by a couple of big run plays by So. running back #1 Juan Powell, and completed the drive with a keeper by from Sr. quarterback #3 Jonathan Ford for a 1-yd TD as the Astros tied the contest 7-7 with 1:04 left in the opening period.
Neither Douglass or Elbert County got much from their offenses in the 2nd quarter but both defenses made big plays during the period. It started when Elbert County found themselves pinned deep inside their own 10-yd line, the Astros defense forced a three and out, as the Blue Devils punted away to the Astros with 5:00 min left in the first half. As the Astros looked to capitalize off momentum, the Blue Devils defense returned the favor with a turnover of their own when they intercepted Douglass' Ford with 3:49 left in the half. Back on the field, the Douglass defense was not to be out down and Sr. cornerback #7 Deshun Cade made sure of that when he picked off Elbert County's Sr. quarterback #3 Turner Banks and returned the ball 35-yds for the score. With the Astros up 14-7 and 2:33 left left in the second quarter, the Douglass defense forced another three and and out by the Blue Devils and took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
As the second half got underway, the Astros received the ball and completed the possession with a touchdown courtesy of So. running back #21 Oscar Wyatt's 5-yd run 2:56 into the second half giving the Astros a 21-7 lead. That score by Douglass would be the biggest play of the period as neither team's offense was able to muster up scoring production until the 10:34 mark of the fourth quarter when the Astros found the end zone behind a 77-yd touchdown run by Powell as the Astros went up 28-7. Up by 21 points, the Douglass defense kept their foot on the gas not allowing Elbert county to score the remainder of the game as the Astros picked up the win.
Final score, 28-7. After the game Douglass Head Coach, Rodney Cofield noted the play of the Astros' defense, "I tell you what man, the defense shut the lights out! They kept us in the game, made some good plays, they executed, and they all played with a lot of great effort! They deserve to win this game!" The Astros will travel to Screven County to face the 10-1 Gamecocks on Friday, November 18.