After a long week of much anticipation the Dyer County Choctaws and the Dyersburg Trojans finally met Friday night at J.C. Sawyer Stadium. It was the first time in 11 years that the two teams have met so the stakes were high. There was even a friendly wager between the two mayors of Dyersburg and Dyer County where the loser had to wear the other team’s school shirt at their next town hall meeting.
The Choctaws were set to return the ball off the opening kick off when a flag was thrown against the Trojans. A five yard penalty was given and the kick off was made. The game of the year had officially started. The clock would not run for long as a second flag was thrown, this time it was holding against the Choctaws.
There was clearly a lot of jitters to start off for both teams, because there was six flags thrown in the first four minutes of action. Early penalties would not stop the orange and white however, the Choctaws managed to score on their first possession, a touchdown pass caught by Seth Sansom.
Unfortunately that was the last time Dyer County would score Friday night and it was all Trojans from there on out.
Dyersburg would get on the scoreboard quick. Dontavis Vaughn ran the ball for a quick first down, followed by Rah’montaye Patton’s first down on the next drive. A hand off to Vaughn led to yet another first down, this time a first and goal. Dyer County had no answers for Vaughn as he run in for the Trojans first touchdown of the game. Dyersburg decided to go for the two-point conversion and was successful going up 8-7 with 4:41 left in the first quarter.
Dyer County received the ball again for their second possession but despite a first down catch from receiver Jax Butler, they were unable to score gain. Quarterback Drae Stafford punted the ball back to begin the Trojans second possession.
Trojans #4 Jones ran the ball for a Dyersburg first down. Two drives later on the second down, Lafe Morgan handed the ball off the Vaughn for the second touchdown of the night. Kicker, Grant Self, came out for the extra point but a false start on the Choctaws forced the Trojans rerun the play, where they decided to go for the 2-point conversion. Dyersburg went up 16-7 with 2:34 left in the opening quarter.
The game really pulled away from the Choctaws in the second quarter, beginning with a Trojan touchdown and yet another 2-point conversion. This put the gold and black up 24-7 with a little under nine minutes left in the first half.
The two teams then exchanged a couple of unsuccessful drives until Vaughn scored his third touchdown of the night and converted the extra two points to make the score 32-7.
Dyer County took another hit when Stafford threw an interception that was ran back by the Trojans for a defensive touchdown. Grant Self scored the PAT to give Dyersburg a 39-7 lead over the Choctaws with 2:30 left in the second quarter.
There seemed to be a glimmer of hope for the orange and white towards the end of the first half, when Mason Patterson ran a punt return all the way down to the 30-yard line. A much needed run for the Choctaws. Stafford rushed the ball on the next play for a gain of seven yards. On the second down Noah Larue caught a pass for a first down. Followed by another first down run from Bralyn Taylor. Dyer County now had a first and goal and looked to score again. Four downs later and they could not capitalize.
The second half began like the first with a couple of penalties but once they were able to get going, Dyersburg’s Darius Harris ran the ball in for a touchdown and completed the 2-point conversion to put the lead 47-7 to go in the third.
Still the Choctaws had no answers on the other end and the Trojans had enough in them for one more touchdown. After two quick first downs, Morgan threw a huge pass to Meshach Jones for the final blow of the game. This time Nick Medlin knocked in the extra point for a final score of 53-7.
Dyersburg takes this first match of what should be a fun annual contest between the two schools but Dyer County plans to put this game behind them and now looks to move on to next week where they will be facing off against the Warriors at Memphis Central High School. Kick off is at 7pm.