The Bruce Trojans improved to 4-1 on the season with a 26-13 win over Ackerman last Friday night at Trojan Field.
“This was a good win over a playoff team in 2A,” Bruce Coach James Ray said. “We missed opportunities and we need to learn how to nail that coffin, but I’m proud of our team in the way they came back from a disappointing loss and beat a really good team.”
The Trojans never trailed in the game, but were tied twice.
Donta Armstrong began the scoring on the Trojans’ first play from scrimmage. He took a hand-off from QB Davis Brown on a speed sweep, turned the corner, split two Ackerman defenders and outraced the rest 58 yards to the end zone.
“I give all the credit to the offensive line,” Armstrong said. “If not for them I wouldn’t have gotten free.”
A missed extra point left the Trojans with a 6-0 lead 19 seconds into the game.
After an exchange of punts by both teams, Ackerman tied the game on the first play of the second quarter. The Indians gained their best field position of the night when they recovered a Zack Cruthirds fumble at the Trojans’ 32 yard line. Six plays later, Indian QB Dakota Brasher snuck into the end zone from 1-yard out. A missed extra point kept the game even at six with 11:55 remaining in the first half.
The Trojans immediately answered with their best drive of the night, marching 88 yards. The touchdown came on a 20-yard pass from Brown to Jay Johnson, who pulled in the ball over his shoulder with the Ackerman defender draped all over him.
“I thought that was a big time catch,” Ray said.
Bush added the extra point for a 13-6 lead. Ackerman responded with a long drive of their own, but on fourth and two and the Bruce 12 yard line, the Trojan defense held to preserve the lead going into the half.
The second half started similar to the first half. The first time the Trojans touched the ball, Donta Armstrong caught an Ackerman punt and weaved his way through the Indians for a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“We practiced hard all week on the wall and they came through,” Armstrong said.
The missed extra point left the Trojans with a 19-6 lead.
The Trojans were looking to expand that lead later in the third quarter when Terrance Jones forced an Ackerman fumble and DeShawn Tillman recovered.
A big pass play from Brown to Rashad Turner had Bruce inside the 10, but the drive faltered their and Bush’s 23-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
Back-to-back sacks by Tillman and Johnson and a 35-yard punt return by Shaq Bush gave the Trojans another opportunity inside the 10-yard line, but Ackerman stopped the drive on 4th and goal from the two.
The Indians then drove 98 yards in 14 plays scoring on a 5-yard pass from Brasher to Javari Triplet to cut the lead to 19-13 with 3:15 to play.
Ackerman would get one last opportunity with just over a minute to play, but Darrian Sullivan put the game away when he intercepted Brasher and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.
“I just read the out pass. They rain it earlier on the goal line. Luckily it bounced off the tips of his fingers and I grabbed it,” Sullivan said.
The Trojans will go on the road next Friday to face unbeaten Houston.