Great game despite the weather

It was apparent from the opening kickoff which McGill-Toolen RB Derric Burrell returned 60 yards to the Daphne 34, that McGill-Toolen showed up to play with a sense of urgency. That sense of urgency was the difference between a 1-2 region record or a 2-1 region record in 6A-2.

Three plays (and one false start later) Preston Messer hit junior WR Matthew Delaney in dead stride for a 41 yard TD to frenzy a near capacity home crowd that braved typical Mobile Friday night high school football weather.

Not to be outdone, Daphne would take control of the rest of the quarter. Daphne took its first possession and marched the length of the field to tie the game at 7-7. The drive was highlighted by a 12 yard TD run by WR Israel Lamprakes.

The defense forced a 3-and-out on McGill's next possession, and after a short McGill punt, the Daphne offense was in business again, hitting pay dirt on an 8-yard toss from Russ Mosley to Lamprakes.

The Daphne D was stiff again, forcing another McT 3-and-out, and when the opening frame came to a close, Daphne was up 14-7 with control of the football.

The 2nd quarter belonged to the Yellow Jackets. On the first play of quarter number two, McGill-Toolen's Charles Benning hit T.J. Yeldon from behind jarring loose the ball where Jordan Haynes scooped it up and rumbled down to the Daphne 26.

The offense took advantage minutes later as Derric Burrell plunged in from the two-yard line to even the score at 14-14. On the ensuing kickoff, McGill-Toolen's D.J. Bracey recovered a Daphne fumble as the momentum had blown in the direction of the Yellow Jackets.

Tailback Lance Watson concluded the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run in which he broke multiple tackles before slicing through the Daphne secondary. Watson, a junior, had another good night rushing for 82 yards on 18 carriers. He continues to show an ability to make big plays if he can find a seem.

McGill-Toolen got the ball back once again with minutes to go in the half and a chance to put more distance between themselves and Daphne, but it appeared they would squander the opportunity after a busted play had them looking at a third-and-long.

The following play epitomized the type of effort McGill played with of Friday night - on 3rd and 11 with just under a minute and a half to play in the second period, a Preston Messer scramble, which ended in a collision resulting in Messer losing his helmet and a Daphne defensive back helped off the field, was good for a 18 yards and first down to sustain the drive.

Plays later, Messer found E.J. May from 24 yards out to end the half and the scoring at 28-14. Messer finished the night throwing for 119 yards and 2 TDs.

Neither team scored in the second half as both defenses appeared to keep the opposing offenses out of rhythm. To give credit to the McT D, they really stiffened up to a tough Daphne running game led by Yeldon, OT David Fowler and center Joey Galmiche.

It was an impressive nights work after allowing touchdowns on Daphne's first two possessions. At that point, Daphne had scored 14 unanswered and had the ball and all of the momentum.

From that point forward, along with forcing some turnovers, the defense made Daphne work for everything they got. The second half was much of the same for the McGill defense. They got off the field quickly and allowed the McGill offense to eat up the clock for the second win of the season.

OL David Fowler is already committed to Southern Miss. Fowler, who has the frame to add good weight, is an efficient OLD who gets on his blocks quickly.

Sophomore RB T.J. Yeldon, an already powerful ball carrier at 6-1, 200, has really nifty feet while still managing to be a north and south runner.

Junior WR Israel Lamprakes had a nice night with eight receptions for 118 yards and a one TD. He's clearly Daphne's go-to receiver. He's quick and athletic and even at 5-10,160, he's tough to bring down as evidenced by his touchdown run where he was hit and momentarily stopped in the backfield.

Junior MLB Michael Pierce is a manhole cover of a LB. He's very physical at 6', 260 and made a lot of plays up the field. He's more athletic than you would expect and showed some lateral quickness.

Up Next:
Daphne (1-3, 1-1) hosts the (No. 8) Murphy Panthers this Friday at 7 pm at Jubilee Stadium, before heading to Foley the following Friday night for another region clash.

McGill-Toolen Catholic (2-2, 2-1) hosts former region rival (No. 3) Davidson this Friday at 7 pm. The offense will need to keep some momentum going versus a stout Davidson defense that features senior DE Pat McNeil, junior DE Jabrian Niles, sophomore DT Alphonso Taylor (6-5,303), senior ILB Al Fletcher, senior CBs Rickie Lewis and Donel Knight and senior FS Jimmie Ward (no word as to whether senior SS Chris Hughes returns in action).

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