While the defense did its job, the offense was sparked by quarterback Griffin Brewster, who accounted for 138 of the Tigers’ 321 offensive yards.
The win improves the Tigers to 2-0 — the first time since 2015 Darlington has started the season with two wins — with both victories coming against Floyd County teams.
“I feel like we just won a hard-fought football game against a good football team,” Darlington head coach Tommy Atha said. “They’ve got so many weapons. Every time the ball goes in the air you hold your breath. I’m so proud of our guys defensively. To be able to keep them in check … and to hold those guys like that.”
Brewster extended his team’s lead to 14-6 in the final seconds of the first half when he ran in a score from 1 yard out. Griffin set up the score five plays earlier when he broke away for a 49-yard run to get down to the Eagles’ 15-yard line. Brewster finished 4-for-9 with 84 passing yards. He also accumulated 54 yards on the ground.
The quarterback was shaken up on a play in the third quarter, so Atha, with his team up 14-6, decided to pull him for the remainder of the game.
The result was running backs Demetrius Rogers and Kolin Rogers pounding away at the Eagles’ defense for the remainder of the game. Kolin Rogers broke loose for a 14-yard score with 5:10 left in the game to seal the win for the Tigers.
“They’re a complement to each other,” Atha said. “One of them is going to put his pads down and run through you with a little burst, and the other is going to get in space and shake you and run through a tackle. I just think they’re a great complement to what we’re able to do.”
Darlington took the lead early scoring on their opening play of their first drive when Casey Gunn hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass with 10:32 left in the opening quarter.
Pepperell’s only score of the game came in the second quarter when Gavin Hughes intercepted Brewster around the Darlington 30-yard line and ran it back for a score. Coosa quarterback Logan Pledger was 7-for-17 with 88 passing yards. Kenon Dixon had two catches for 25 yards, and Malaki Martin had two catches for 42 yards.
The game wasn’t a disappointment for Coosa coach Todd Wheeler, who was encouraged by the way his team fought against the Tigers.
“We played better, we played more physical,” Wheeler said. “We fought for 48 minutes tonight. We just came up on the short end of the stick. It was two football teams just battling it out tonight, and slugging it back and forth, and I think Darlington got more breaks than we got, and they capitalized on them.”
The Tigers will play again next Friday against Sonoraville at home, while the Eagles will travel to face Mt. Zion-Carroll.