TITUSVILLE — Big plays and long touchdowns provided plenty of highlights in Titusville’s home opener Friday night, but too many turnovers ultimately led to New Smyrna Beach upsetting the Terriers 21-17.
Trailing 14-10 with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter, Titusville pieced together a 75-yard drive resulting in a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Yusuf DeReese to take a 17-14 lead with just minutes on the clock.
But, like they had done all night, New Smyrna Beach (2-1) immediately answered Titusville on their next drive, streaking down the field on a series of plays and scoring the game-winning touchdown on a pass in the corner of the end zone.
“I thought we had an opportunity to win it at the end,” Titusville head coach Wayne Lawrence said. “But they made a couple of big plays and got some large chunks of yardage to put themselves in a position to win the game.
With a little over a minute still left on the clock, Titusville (1-2) proceeded to nearly create some late-game magic of their own, crossing midfield before ultimately fumbling the ball and sealing the game.
“It was a tough loss,” Lawrence said. “It’s one that hurt.”
Titusville bolted out of the gate to start the night when DeReese went deep to Tommy Mack on the third play of the game and converted on 60-yard touchdown pass to take an early 7-0 lead.
Mack finished the night with four catches for 156 yards.
The Terriers watched that lead quickly evaporate however as Barracuda running back Darrynton Evans took the ensuing kickoff right through the heart of Titusville’s return team for a 90-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
DeReese connected once again with Mack on a spectacular one-handed grab in coverage on the Terriers’ next drive, but threw the first of what would be three first-half interceptions on his next attempt to stop the drive in its tracks.
We had a problem holding on to the ball,” Lawrence said.” Anytime you turn the ball over you give the other team extra possessions and increase their chances of winning.”
A long drive and a 25-yard field goal by kicker Tyler Cottrell gave Titusville back the lead in the second quarter, but it was New Smyrna Beach who led at the half following a 60-yard catch and run by Evans.
“New Smyrna made plays when they had to,” Lawrence said. “Hats off to them. We have to go back to the drawing board and get better.”
Titusville will stay at Al Werneke Field and open up Class 5A, District 14 next week against Satellite
“We have to secure the ball,” Lawrence said. “That’s the theme that I want to make sure is echoed throughout my team.”
Next up Titusville will stay at Al Werneke Field and open up Class 5A, District 14 play against Satellite. New Smyrna Beach will return home to face Deltona.
New Smyrna Beach 21, Titusville 17
Titusville 7 3 0 7 — xx17
New Smyrna Beach 7 7 0 7 — 21
HOW THEY SCORED
T — Yusuf DeReese 61 pass to Tommy Mack (Tyler Cottrell kick); 10:28.
NSB — Darrynton Evans 90 kick return (Riker Casey kick); 10:15.
T — Tyler Cottrell 25 field goal; 6:38.
NSB — TJ Goodknecht 60 pass to Darrynton Evans (Casey kick); 5:14.
T — Yusuf DeReese 2 run (Cottrell kick); 3:31.
NSB — TJ Goodknecht 10 pass to Isiah Green (Casey kick); 1:09.
Rushing: T — Jaleel Davis 26-110, Jacob Farris 2-3, Yusuf DeReese 9-73, TD, Travious Williams 2-5; NSB — Darrynton Evans 17-107, Daylen Wood 1-5. Passing: T — Yusyf DeReese 11-25-3, 188, TD, Davis 1-1-0, 30; NSB — TJ goodknecht 12-20-0, 178, 2 TD. Receiving: T — Tommy Mack 4-156, Rashean Lynn 2-4, Javion Turner 5-46, 1-12; NSB — Daylen Wood 6-79, Darrynton Evans 1-60, TD, Andrew Musgrove 5-55, Isiah Green 1-10, TD.
Records: Titusville 1-2, New Smyrna Beach 2-1.