Travelers Rest closed out its season Friday night with an effort that bodes well for its future.
The Devildogs outlasted archrival Berea 28-22 in a Peach Blossom AAA game at Chico Bolin Stadium.
“This was a big win for us,” Travelers Rest coach Rob Searfoss said. “We are trying to build a program here. This is the first back-to-back wins at home since the new school was built.
“Our varsity team is making progress and our JV, C-team, and D-teams are winning. I think the future looks bright for TR football.”
Not that winning was easy Friday night.
The Devildogs (2-8, including 1-6 in Peach Blossom games) took a 20-15 lead late in the third quarter on Zay Terry’s 65-yard touchdown run, but the Bulldogs came right back, completing a 37-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-seven play only to have the score negated by a penalty for having an ineligible receiver downfield. Berea then punted.
Travelers Rest had a chance to pad its lead, driving to the Bulldogs 2-yard line before losing a fumble. The Devildogs finally seemed to put the game out of reach with 2:46 remaining on Jamarious Ware’s 1-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
Berea (1-9, 0-7) did not give up. The Bulldogs went on a six-play drive and cut TR’s lead to 29-22 with :38 second left. The Bulldogs needed to recover an onside kick to have a chance but the Devildogs pounced on the kick to seal the game.
Berea got off to the quicker start. Running back D.J. Brooks took a handoff and outran the Devildogs defense for a 41-yard touchdown on the fourth play from scrimmage.
An interception by linebacker Cameron Kee gave the Devildogs the ball at the Berea 26 late in the quarter. Running back Denzel Dennis scored on a 5-yard run.
Travelers Rest got things rolling again after taking possession with 4:15 left in the first half. The Devildogs went on an 11-play, 65-yard drive, all rushes, and took a 14-7 lead on wingback Keith Clemente’s 1-yard run.