The Yellow Jackets (5-2, 3-0) managed to do so, but needed a 21-point fourth quarter to escape with a 36-22 victory over the Indians (3-4, 1-2).
Quarterback runs hampered Trousdale defense for the second straight week, as East sophomore Cameron Swift carried the ball 47 times for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Their line was the big difference,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “They were a lot bigger than us up front and did what they had to do to try to win the game.
“The first half, we didn’t do a good job of stopping them. The second half, we did better besides that first drive; got a couple of big turnovers.”
Trousdale took an early lead as fullback Braison Raney scored the first of his three touchdowns with 9:46 left in the first quarter.
East Robertson methodically drove down the field, relying almost solely on Swift, who tied the game at 7 with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
Swift would add a second TD in the second quarter before Trousdale responded with Raney’s second scoring run. The senior added a 2-point conversion run to give the Yellow Jackets a 15-14 halftime lead.
East Robertson dominated the third quarter with a scoring drive that lasted 9½ minutes and was capped by Johnny Lyons’ scoring run as the Indians took a 22-15 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Yellow Jackets started to turn things around in the fourth quarter, driving for Raney’s third score, which cut the deficit to 22-21. The drive was helped by a 21-yard catch by senior Isiah Harper on a fourth-and-14 play. Harper had missed the prior five games with a toe injury.
“(Raney’s) athletic, he made some big plays for us,” Waggoner said. “Isiah made a big play. It helps getting some of these guys back from injuries.”
Trousdale attempted to go for two, but the snap was fumbled and the attempt failed.
On East’s next possession, junior Houston Stafford pried the ball from Swift to set Trousdale up at the Indians’ 24-yard line.
“It gave us our energy back,” Waggoner said of the turnover, “and we scored right after that.”
That go-ahead score came on a 21-yard scamper by Trousdale quarterback Keyvont Baines with 3:59 left.
Trousdale got the ball back on downs in the final minutes and Baines added a 3-yard score to secure the win.
“Trying to win a region championship, you’re going to win ugly games like that,” Waggoner said. “Luckily our defense came up with some big turnovers and saved us.”
Trousdale County will travel to Whitwell (6-0) next week for a non-region matchup.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trousdale Co. 36, East Robertson 22
ER 7 7 8 0 - 22
TC 7 8 0 21 - 36
TC-Braison Raney 4 run (Keyvont Baines kick), 9:36.
ER-Cameron Swift 6 run (Justin Russell kick), :32.
ER-Swift 4 run (Russell kick), 6:12.
TC-Raney 5 run (Raney run), 3:42.
ER-Johnny Lyons 2 run (Swift run), 2:33.
TC-Raney 6 run (run failed), 8:03.
TC-Baines 21 run (Baines run), 3:59.
TC-Baines 3 run (Baines kick), :50.
Rushes-yds 55-192 24-136
C-A-I 0-5-2 1-3-0
Pass yds 0 21
Total yards 192 157
Fumbles-lost 1-0 4-2
Penalties 5-41 4-30
Possession 14:24 33:36
RUSHING-East, Cameron Swift 47-172, Justin Blakemore 3-16, Johnny Lyons 3-6, Jaden Crouch 2-(minus-2). Trousdale, Kobe Ford 6-44, Keyvont Baines 7-34, Isiah Harper 6-31, Braison Raney 4-19, Dyson Satterfield 1-7, Houston Stafford 1-1.
PASSING-East, Swift 0-5-2-0. Trousdale, Baines 1-3-0-21.
RECEIVING-East, None. Trousdale, Harper 1-21.