MELBOURNE – Titusville High proved Friday night at Palm Bay that it’s back.
Tommy Mack pulled down a Yusuf DeReese pass in the final minute and ran the rest of the 80 yards into the end zone for a 25-20 win as the Terriers upset third-ranked Palm Bay on its home field.
“Huge, huge win for our program,” head coach Wayne Lawrence said. “I can’t even say how monumental it is.”
Titusville improved to 2-0 in Class 5A, District 12, both wins on the road. The Terriers are 4-1 overall, the only loss 31-17 at Cocoa. Palm Bay fell to 4-1 and 1-1.
The Pirates had scored to take the lead on a 2-yard Twonnie Pollard run with 5:30 to play, and the teams had traded punts from there.
Palm Bay faced a fourth-and-1 at the Terriers’ 38 just seconds before the winning touchdown drive. The Pirates appeared to be trying to draw Titusville’s defense offsides, but just before a Terriers end jumped, Palm Bay called time out and had to punt it back.
On a third-and-2 late in the third quarter, Jaleel Davis broke through the Palm Bay line and ran 61 yards for a go-ahead touchdown at 3:40.
“The biggest moment in the game was that touchdown run by Jaleel,” Mack said. “It got the whole team jumping up. Everyone was hyped and ready to go back out there.”
The Pirates had to convert a fourth-and-1 on the next drive, which quarterback Matt Wilson did with a keeper. Then, he faked a handoff to Sekai Lindsay and hit Pollard for a 49-yard touchdown pass to put the Pirates ahead, 14-12.
Titusville had scored the game’s first touchdown on a 3-yard Davis run midway through the first.
Palm Bay turned the momentum quickly after halftime, led by the running of Lindsay He ripped off runs of 5, 12 and 5 yards to get his team moving. He also finished off the drive, scoring from the 15. He was hit just beyond the line of scrimmage but fought his way out of the pile and ran into the end zone for a 7-6 lead.
Lindsay ran for 147 yards on 22 carries. Davis finished with 121 on 14 attempts.
Titusville moved quickly down the field by virtue of 20 and 18-yard passes from DeReese to Davis. That put the Terriers at the 3, and when the Pirates shut down the pass there, Davis went the final three on the ground.
Titusville began its possession at the Pirates’ 44, but DeReese was intercepted at the 6 by Amari Raines.
To turn his quarterback’s mood, Lawrence told him of his premonition.
“I told him, ‘You are going to throw the winning touchdown pass,’ and it came just as I saw it,” Lawrence said.
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