MCS Trojans make playoffs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 6, 2004

Times-Journal Sports Writer

Rob Gordon lived his dream Friday night and the Meadowview Christian Trojans realized their dream because of it.

The freshman right defensive end recorded three quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery in the Trojans’ dominating 27-6 victory over the visiting Coosa Valley Rebels.

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The win put Meadowview Christian in the AISA playoffs for the first time since 1996. The Trojans, who dropped to Class 2A this season, will open the first round of the playoffs next week at Clarke Prep.

“This was the best game I ever played,” said a jubilant Gordon, who strode the sidelines in the final seconds of Friday night’s game. “This was a dream come true for me.”

The Trojans’ defense made it a nightmare for the Rebels’ quarterback, who was sacked a total of six times. The Trojans also had four fumble recoveries and an interception.

“That’s what it’s all about,” MCS coach Rick Jackson said, pointing to his players, jumping in a huddle at midfield following the victory. “Just a bunch of kids who made a goal in June and worked to make it happen. A lot of people laughed at us, but we did what we set out to accomplish.”

The execution may not always have been a thing of beauty, but the Trojans came up with the big play when they needed it. Coosa Valley applied pressure to MCS quarterback Chris Sewell, forcing the signal-caller to scramble to his left. Sewell, however, was able to outrun the Rebels’ linebackers for a 16-yard gain to the Coosa Valley 37.

Five plays later, Sewell faked the handoff to Dustin Lee and ran around the right end for a 14-yard scoring run. The extra-point try failed, but the Trojans led 6-0 with 5:24 remaining in the opening period.

The Meadowview defense came up with its first big play on the ensuing drive, when senior inside linebacker Ryan King stopped the Coosa Valley fullback for no gain on third-and-two, forcing the Rebels to punt.

The Trojans came up with their first turnover when the Rebels’ halfback dropped the ball on a reverse and linebacker Lee came in from his linebacker spot to recover the loose ball. The MCS offense capitalized two plays later when Landon Mehan went off left tackle for a 1-yard touchdown run that put the Trojans up 12-0 with 8:43 left in the second period.

Mehan’s score was set up one play earlier on a screen from Sewell to Austin Dennis, who found daylight down the MCS sideline to the Rebels’ 1.

On the ensuing drive, the Meadowview defense once again came up big when the Coosa Valley tailback again dropped the football. Jason Longcrier scooped up the ball at the Trojans’ 40-yard line and rumbled down the Meadowview sideline to the Coosa Valley 14.

The Trojans took a resounding 20-0 lead three plays later on a 7-yard touchdown run by Mehan through the middle of the Rebels’ defense. Sewell found Tyler Wendell in the front of the end zone for the two-point conversion toss with 5:17 to go in the first half.

Meadowview could do little wrong in the first half. Lee came up with another turnover when he intercepted a pass at the Coosa Valley 44.

In fact, the Rebels’ lone score of the night was disputed by Jackson when Sewell’s attempted pass toward the sideline fell to the ground, but was picked up by the Rebels at midfield and returned for the touchdown on the final play of the first half to make it 20-6. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Jackson argued unsuccessfully with officials that the toss was a forward pass, but officials judged it to be a lateral and, subsequently, a live football.

The call made little difference, however, as the Trojans’ defense took matters into its own hands. The Rebels once again fumbled the football on an attempted reverse and King fell on the ball at the Coosa Valley 49.

The MCS offense coughed up the football on its next drive, but the defense answered the call again when Gordon drove through the middle of the Rebels’ offensive line to halt the Rebels’ running back for a four-yard loss on fourth-and-four.

Wendell came up with the Trojans’ fourth fumble recovery when he knocked the ball out of the hands of a Rebels’ running back and recovered the turnover at the Coosa Valley 48.

A 12-yard run by Mehan and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Coosa Valley put the ball at the Rebels’ 21. After Lee followed with a 19-yard dash to the 2, Sewell ran the ball up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown with 8:49 remaining. Wendell added the PAT.

The Trojans shut down the Coosa Valley offense on the final drive, with Gordon and King recording quarterback sacks.