Trousdale County remains unbeaten after stopping late Tiger rally
By Kris Freeman for 615 Preps
HARTSVILLE – With six minutes to play on the Creek Bank at Trousdale County Friday night, the host Yellow Jackets appeared to be well in control with an 18-point lead.
Rival Gordonsville provided a few minutes of fireworks to close the gap, but a sack on the final play of the game sealed a 28-24 win for Trousdale County. In the 73rd matchup of the rivalry history, the Yellow Jackets improved to 57-14-2 and won for the 28th time in 30 meetings.
Senior tailback Bryson Claiborne rushed 14 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore Cole Gregory eclipsed the century mark with 18 carries for 102, yet Coach Blake Satterfield’s team had to fight to the final horn.
“Hats off to Gordonsville. Coach Clemons had his guys prepared to come in here on the Creek Bank and win,” Satterfield said. “This was the best football team we have played all year long, and I always tell our guys that good teams find a way to win. We didn’t play our best ball, however we found a way to win and hats off to our guys for it.”
Matthew Albritton led the rally for the Tigers in the fourth quarter, after Claiborne broke off a 60-yard run to put the Yellow Jackets up 28-10.
The junior quarterback completed 18-of-30 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown, and nearly another when a strike to a sliding Landon Baker was ruled out of bounds with six minutes to go in the back of the endzone. Canaan Musgrove rushed for just 14 yards in the game but punched it in from one yard out with 5:46 to go, and then caught the out route for a two-point conversion and a 28-18 score.
A quick onside kick recovery and Gordonsville made it 28-24 with 3:13 left on a 15-yard corner ball to Bryson Greer. The extra point bounced off a lineman to keep it a four-point game.
Trousdale County was running out the clock with 49 seconds left when Gordonsville forced a fumble and took over at their own 25. Despite a brilliant fourth-down toss of 18 yards to a sliding Peyton Climer at midfield, the Tigers could not stop the clock with 21 seconds left and the final play was rushed and resulted in a sack.
“It’s a tough place to win and they got a great football team and they are ranked for a reason, because they are good,” Gordonsville coach Scott Clemons said. “I thought our effort was great. I am proud of our young men.
“The clock ticked away there and we had a chance, and we got a turnover at the end of the game but with no timeouts I knew it was going to be tough to go the length of the field. But our kids played hard.”
Gordonsville marched on the opening drive of the game to take a 3-0 lead on a 22-yard field goal by Tanner Pierson with 7:39 to play in the first quarter.
Senior Keenan Burnley gave Trousdale County its first lead of the game with an 11-yard score to the left sideline with Colton Key making it 7-3 with 4:57 left.
With 27 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Tigers blitzed sophomore Trousdale County quarterback Kobyn Calhoun and he fumbled on the sack. Senior Treyson Davis scooped up the ball for a 13-yard defensive touchdown. It would be the final Gordonsville lead of the night at 10-7.
Claiborne picked up his first touchdown with 5:03 left in the first half to give Trousdale County a 14-10 advantage. The Tigers threatened again, and the Yellow Jackets won the cat and mouse game on fourth down.
The Tigers faced 4th-and-inches just inside Trousdale County territory with a couple of minutes to play, but after a measurement, the teams traded a series of timeouts. Albritton handed to Musgrove, and Garrett Rieger helped lead the defensive charge to swarm the backfield. Burnley emphatically pointed to the sky after the big stop.
“Obviously those timeouts paid off for us,” Satterfield explained. “Our defense stepped up and made a big play. It’s kind of like a chess match. I had a really good one and we lined up to it well and then they called timeout, so that’s just the way it works. Hats off to our kids for making the play.”
Trousdale drove the ball into Gordonsville territory and lined up for a long field goal, but sophomore Kyle Adams and junior Will Dudney came off the left edge to block Key’s attempt as time expired.
Claiborne added a third-quarter run of 25 yards for a score before the 60-yard gallop down the home sideline in the fourth to set up the wild ending.
Trousdale County rushed 45 times for 306 yards and never attempted a pass. Calhoun left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. Burnley finished the game at quarterback.
The Tigers had 242 yards in the air and just 38 on the ground.
While time of possession and first downs were nearly even, the Yellow Jackets converted 6-of-13 on third down and 2-of-2 on fourth down, while Gordonsville was 4-of-10 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth.
Albritton was the leading rusher for the Tigers with 24 yards on 17 carries, but Brian Banks added eight carries for 61 yards for the Jackets. Burnley rushed for just nine yards, but did have the touchdown, and added a 48-yard kick return in the game.
Musgrove caught six passes for 77 yards and Baker caught five for 94, with Kyle Adams pulling in three for 16.
Trousdale County improved to 7-0 and travels to Whites Creek, then takes a week off before finishing with Watertown at home. Gordonsville fell to 7-1, with a trip to Red Boiling Springs after a week off next week, then a season-ending home tilt with undefeated Clay County.
Trousdale County leads 57-14-2 in the series and has won five straight. Gordonsville last won in 2016 and 2012, and Trousdale County has won 28 of the past 30 meetings.