Foley 29, Robertsdale 12

Lions prevail after light failure forces Saturday reboot of rivalry

Patrick Herring, GCM Sports
Posted 8/27/17

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. — During Foley's opening drive of the second half at JD Sellars Stadium in Robertsdale Friday, a set of stadium lights on the visitor's side near the scoreboard went out. After a …

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Foley 29, Robertsdale 12

Lions prevail after light failure forces Saturday reboot of rivalry

Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. — During Foley's opening drive of the second half at JD Sellars Stadium in Robertsdale Friday, a set of stadium lights on the visitor's side near the scoreboard went out. After a delay of over an hour, it was decided the game would resume Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

The game clock was reset the following morning with 11 minutes, two seconds remaining in the third quarter with the visitors leading 12-6.

Foley also had possession at midfield when play resumed and advanced to the RHS 5-yard line before settling for a 23-yard Dalton Taylor field goal to make it 15-6 with 9:06 left in the quarter.

The Bears trimmed the lead to three points when Broderick Wilson capped a 28-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. The drive was sparked by Robert Barnett’s fumble recovery.

But the Lions scored again with 55 seconds left in the third on a 19-yard run by Chris Armstrong who added his third TD of the game later with a 22-yard run and what would be the final score 29-12 with 5:32 to go.

Foley coach Tad Niblett said his team showed the ability to stay focused through the unusual circumstances that turned the once-a-week sport into a two-day series.

“I told them it’s a lesson in the fact that we can only control what’s in our ability to control and not dwell on what’s outside us. And I told them things like this affect both sides. I thought Robertsdale did a great job of handling the situation and it’s a credit to coach (Brian) Campbell and his staff and kids.

“Of course I’m proud of how we handled things on the field, but I saw way too many things we have to correct. Little things and especially big things like turnovers and penalties that we need to have worked out by next week.

“Our goal every summer is to go 1-0 in the first game and carry that momentum into the region schedule. And we have a big one with Fairhope so we have our work cut out for us for sure.”

Robertsdale head coach Brian Campbell said he liked his players’ effort and fighting spirit, but that fewer early-season mistakes and penalties could have meant the difference and must be addressed.

“We have a great group of kids and I’m proud that they never gave up and that’s what kept us close until the last few minutes,” he said. “But cutting down on penalties and errors is clearly a goal we need to get to right away, especially with the level of competition we face in our region.”

On Friday, the Golden Bear offense seemed to be in a rhythm early on, marching right down the field on their opening drive behind a 17-yard pass from Tristian Stevens to Noah Cincotta and another 17-yard gain on the ground from Deandre Prim. Once they inched deeper into Lion territory, the drive stalled and they turned the ball over on downs.

After the Lions managed nothing on their first drive, Mayo kept the momentum going with a 49-yard strike to Travis McGowin to take the ball into the red zone. Once again it was all for naught as penalties derailed the drive and the Bears gave Foley the ball back at their own 20.

On the very next play, Mayo tossed a bomb over the top of the defense to Christian Blackwell, who had beaten his man and took the reception 80 yards to the house. After a missed extra point, the Lions led 6-0.

Midway through the second quarter, Golden Bear running back Broderick Wilson busted past the Line of scrimmage and pulled a zlion defender with him past the sticks. Buy before he went down, a defender stripped the ball out and Foley's Logan Madison recovered. A long return was negated by a block in the back, but the Lions were back in business.

A few plays later, running back Chris Armstrong busted through a couple of Robertsdale arm tackles for a 15-yard touchdown. The Lions failed on a two-point attempt for a 12-0 lead.

On the Lions ensuing drive, Mayo made an ill-advised throw into double coverage and was picked off by Robert Barnett. His long return was also wiped out by an illegal block, but the Golden Bears were back in business.

On fourth down, the Lions jumped offside to extend what should've been the Bears final drive of the half. On the very next play, a Foley defensive back tripped up a receiver, which put the home team inside the red zone once again. The offense ran two run plays and appeared to have squandered a prime scoring opportunity as the clock ticked under 16 seconds and them with no timeouts.

But Campbell apparently knew what he was doing as Stevens found Shelton Deen wide open on a post route for an 18-yard touchdown. Robertsdale failed the two-point attempt, but still closed the gap to 12-6 going into the half.

— Tony Whitehead contributed to this GCM Sports story