Both Stratford and Tattnall had some tricks up their sleeves as each tried to gain an advantage in the first half of their 46th matchup.
Stratford outlasted Tattnall 14-13, but only after both went deep into their offensive playbook in the first half.
Stratford got things rolling on their first possession. Quarterback John Mitchell flipped the ball to Conner Corbitt and the tailback rolled to his right and launched the ball to Jonathan Hefner for a 49-yard touchdown.
William Ham’s extra point gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 3:17 left in the first. Stratford head coach Mark Farriba said the atypical score wasn’t necessarily the plan.
“You just wanna take a shot every now and then,” Farriba said. “Jonathan made a great catch. It was a tremendous throw too. It’s nice to score first, very nice to score first.”
Tattnall quickly responded in similar fashion.
Three plays into the next possession, the Trojans ran a double reverse and Aubrien Kemp caught the ball on the move to his right. Kemp tossed it to Ahmad Barron around the Stratford 40 who danced around defenders to get the ball to the 5 for a 73-yard gain.
Lane Watson scored three plays later on a 4-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game 7-7 with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Stratford’s next possession continued the trend of trick plays. On 4th-and-11 on their own 47, Ham faked like the snap went over his head. Instead it went to Corbitt, who ran right and gained nine yards, just two shy of a first down.
The Trojans got the ball on their 44 and turned it into a drive that included a fourth-and-1 conversion but ended on an interception by Stratford’s Morgan Sowell.
Tattnall head coach Clint Morgan said the interception hurt in the one-point loss.
“When you lose, you know that you needed that one,” Morgan said. “It’s been a big play all year, we’ve run it two times, and they did a good job. Their guy hung in there and made a big play to intercept the ball.”
Tattnall returned to the trickery late in the fourth quarter, with Kemp tossing the ball 29 yards to Jake Allen who fought off two defenders to snag it. The Trojans ran the play again, with Jonathan Ward catching a sweep and passing to Allen for an 8-yard touchdown.