Indians win ‘Backyard Brawl’

Published 10:22 am Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Southampton Indians celebrate after the 36-32 defeat of the rival Franklin Broncos. -- MURRAY THOMPSON  | THE TIDEWATER NEWS

The Southampton Indians celebrate after the 36-32 defeat of the rival Franklin Broncos. — MURRAY THOMPSON | THE TIDEWATER NEWS

The stands were full on both sides of the field at Southampton High School Friday night as spectators for both teams were out in large numbers to witness the bragging rights game of the year for football in the “Backyard Brawl.” Both teams had started the year off slow, but both had recorded wins in the past two weeks. As the final critical seconds ticked off the clock, the Indians held on by a hair to win 36-32.

At first, it seemed like it was going to be a runaway game for the Indians. Coby Williams had a good night as he ran at will through the Broncos line and led all rushers with 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. With 5:22 left in the third quarter they were up 36-6. But as it is in sports the momentum can turn, and it did turn for the Broncos as Corey Porter picked off a Russell Balance pass and raced 98 yards for a touchdown. Bronco quarterback Darrien Duck failed on the two-point conversion as the Broncos closed the score to 36-18.

Tightening up on defense and forcing a punt, the Broncos back on offense scored with 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a Duck to Natron Lee 25-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed but the Broncos were able to narrow the Indian lead to 36-18.

The Broncos on kick-off tried an onside kick that failed. The Indians back on offense were slowing down on moving the ball and gambled on a fourth and long situation and failed. Giving the Broncos good field position with 10:59 remaining to be played, another long pass from Duck to Natron Lee set up another touchdown for the Broncos on a Davyn Everette run. The two-point attempt failed and the Broncos moved closer to the Indians with the score off 36-24.

With 6:11 remaining in the game, the Broncos forced the Indians to punt. After a very good punt by Russell Ballance, the Broncos started their drive on their 13-yard line. Advancing the ball slowly as time was closing down, Javonte Baker broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run with 3:31 remaining to be played. Tyree Jones added the two-point conversion and the Indians lead dropped to four points.

Southampton back on offense needed a good drive to seal the win. After a Bronco penalty and a Coby Williams run the ball advanced to the Bronco 28-yard line. A series of penalties by both teams moved the ball forward and backward. With 19.3 seconds and the ball back around the 27-yard line, the Indians were faced with a fourth and long. After failing to get a first down, the Broncos got the ball back with only a few seconds. With time for only one play, Duck failed to get a pass off and the game ended.

“We knew it was going to be a hard-fought contest, and they fought like they generally do,” said Southampton Head Coach Willie Gillus. “We held them. They did bust out and had a few runs and we made a few adjustments. But in the end, our kids played very tough.“

The Broncos were led in rushing by Javonte Baker with 89 yards and the team had a total of 282 rushing yards. For the Indians, quarterback Russell Ballance had a good night as he completed 3-of-6 passes for a total of 164 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Broncos were led in tackles by Aaron Sumblin with 6 tackles, and for the Indians Delonta Boone had 6 tackles.

Southampton improves to 4-6 and Franklin falls to 3-7.