HENRIETTA — A missed field goal by Brevard early in the game appeared to flip momentum on Monday night as the CHASE Trojans (6-1, 1-1 Mountain Foothills 7 Conference) jumped out to a 27-0 lead early in the third quarter en route to a 43-14 win behind a dominant defense and a balanced offense.
“I thought that was big for us,” said CHASE head coach Chris Cogdill. “I tried to go for it on fourth down because I want to score every time we have the ball, but we had a bad snap. Our defense really bailed us out. They got a goal line stand and when they (Brevard) missed the field goal, it gave us some juice and we went down and scored and kind of took control from the game there.”
Brevard’s (2-4, 0-2 MF7) Kyle Lovett returned the opening kickoff near midfield to open the game, but the Blue Devils were forced to punt. The Trojans picked up a first down, but on fourth-and-one, a bad snap went over the head of Marqies McCombs and the Brevard defense swarmed to the ball, bringing McCombs down at the 20 yard line.
Joe Powell connected with Jaylen Carver on a pass to the seven before Garrett Swicegood pushed the ball to the one with a pair of hard runs. The CHASE defense stood tall on third down and forced a 19-yard field goal attempt, which was missed, allowing the Trojans to take possession.
Using a combination of quick passes and McCombs’ runs, the Trojans marched 80 yards for the score with the touchdown coming off a Taivon Derisma 31-yard reception from quarterback Damian Boykins. The two-point try failed, but CHASE led 6-0.
Brevard would advance the ball across midfield on its next possession, but a bad snap halted the drive.
Once again, the Trojans moved the ball through the air and on the ground on the ensuing drive with McCombs picking up a 28-yard run and a 34-yard touchdown run to put CHASE ahead 13-0.
Brevard was forced to punt on the following drive and CHASE made the Blue Devils pay just before halftime as Derisma out jumped three Brevard defenders for a 43-yard touchdown reception with 35 seconds left until the half to put CHASE ahead 20-0.
The Trojans got the ball first out of the break and moved the ball 60 yards on four plays before McCombs punched it in from a yard out to put CHASE ahead 27-0.
Brevard responded with a 34-yard touchdown run by Nahshon Griffin to pull within 20, 27-7.
CHASE would drive down to the Brevard 6 on the ensuing possession, but the Blue Devils defense held the Trojans to a field goal.
Brevard then put together a strong drive, marching down to the CHASE 24, but a pass down the left seam was picked off by Derisma at the 10 and he raced 90 yards to the end zone for the pick-six, putting the Trojans ahead 37-7.
Griffin would set Brevard up with outstanding possession on the ensuing kickoff, returning the ball to the CHASE 21 and Swicegood would score just two plays later, making the score 37-14.
After a failed onside kick, CHASE’s Boykins would score from two yards out to account for the 43-14 final.
Overall, the CHASE defense held Brevard to under 200 yards of offense on the night.
“I thought in the first half, they (the defense) was as dominant as I’ve ever seen them,” said Cogdill. “I think we have played two awesome halves of football defensively this year and that was the second half against McDowell and the first half tonight. What I’m looking for is for us to do that for four quarters. But they did a great job in the first half and I’m so proud of them.”
Offensively, CHASE garnered over 400 yards of offense with a lot of the damage coming from players not named Marqies McCombs.
“Everybody talks about Marqies McCombs, but we didn’t make plays with our other guys against Hendersonville,” said Cogdill. “We knew we had to take some pressure of Marqies and be able to do some other things and those guys had to make some plays and they did that tonight. Taivon had a great night tonight. Darin (Johnson) had a good night. Isaiah (Dodd) had a good night. And that was really big because the more plays they can make on the outside, the more it is going to open it up for Marqies running the football.”
CHASE will travel to Polk County this Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. On the night, Boykins finished 19-22 for 252 yards with two touchdowns passes and one rushing touchdown. McCombs rushed for 149 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Taivon Derisma finished with eight catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns as well as a pick-six. Darin Johnson also added seven catches for 51 yards.