Two of the best 3A teams in Tennessee had a head-on collision in Dyersburg Friday in the state quarterfinals.
When the scene was finally cleared, the Trojans (12-0) came out on top 21-20 in overtime vs. Covington (10-3), ending the 2021 season for the Chargers.
“It’s a tough loss to take,” Covington head coach J.R. Kirby said Saturday. “I had a hard time dealing with it yesterday. I got up about 4 this morning and looked at the film. We just did not do enough to win. There were too many mistakes. They made one more play than we did.”
Jalen Fayne scored on a one-yard run on the first possession of overtime, but the extra point was blocked, leaving Covington with a 20-14 lead. Dyersburg running back Darius Harris scored from two yards out to tie the score and the made extra point propelled Dyersburg into the state semifinals.
Covington came out of the gate like gangbusters, driving the ball to the Trojan five-yard line, but a 15-yard penalty for a chop block blew up the opportunity. Neither team threatened further in a scoreless first period. All the fireworks came in the last six minutes of the second quarter.
Tanner Stewart was hit as he attempted a pass. Dyersburg intercepted and returned it for a TD at the 5:54 mark for a 7-0 lead.
At the 5:38 mark the game was tied by virtue of a 95-yard kickoff return by Jalen Fayne. The ensuing kickoff was fumbled and recovered at the Trojan 31 by Skylan Smith. The Chargers took advantage and took a 14-7 lead on Eumorrion Flowers’ three-yard run at the 2:48 mark. It took 15 seconds for Dyersburg to tie the game. On the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff, Dyersburg’s fullback broke free in the secondary and caught a 65-yard scoring pass that ended any scoring until the overtime.
“We dominated the stats in every category but the most important,” Kirby said. “Two lost fumbles, the interception and kicking game issues were too much to overcome.”
The Chargers rushed 62 times for 223 yards and two TDs. Jamarion Dowell had 17 carries for 92 yards and Flowers added 17 rushes for 55. Stewart had 12 carries for 59 yards.
“I am proud of the players and the staff. We played hard and did not quit”, said Kirby. “We ran into a really good team that starts all seniors but one on both sides of the ball. We have no reason to hang our heads. We will fix what needs fixing in the offseason and come back stronger next year. And last but not least, our thanks to our great fans. The crowd Friday was incredible and has been all season. Charger Nation is the best.”