by Mark Brock, DeKalb County Athletics
Austin Smith scored on a 17-yard quarterback draw straight up the middle to complete the Cedar Grove Saints rally to a 34-30 victory against Hewitt-Trussville (AL) in a nationally televised game on ESPN on Saturday.
The game winning 28-yard drive was set up by Rashad Jordan’s play on special teams. The Alabama Class 7A Huskies were forced to punt with under four minutes to play from their own 14-yard line.
A low snap slowed down the punt attempt and Jones came flying in from the left side to get his hands on the punt which went just 14 yards and gave the Saints the ball with under two minutes to play.
A five-yard pass from Smith to Jadon Haselwood gave the Saints a first down at the 18 and two plays later Smith took the snap on the way to the game-winning score with 1:15 to play. A two-point try just missed as Haselwood hauled in a Smith pass, but came down on the out of bounds line in the end zone.
Trailing by four the Huskies’ Paul Tyson who had thrown for 400 yards in the game completed four complete passes as he moved the team out to the Cedar Grove 49 as the clock was running down.
The Saints defense stiffened once again with a big play for a loss of five on second down. Tyson was forced to face the charge of the Cedar Grove defensive front on third and fourth down. Facing a fourth down Tyson dropped back and with the rush closing in his fourth down pass was high ending a 20-game regular season win streak for the Huskies.
Tyson and the Huskies opened the game with a long drive to take a 7-0 lead with 5:46 left in the first quarter on a 34-yard pass play from Tyson to Dazalin Worsham.
Haselwood, the No. 1 ranked wide receiver in the country, made his presence felt with a 48-yard kickoff return to help the Saints start an answering touchdown drive. He then hauled in a pass from Kendal Boney for a 19- yard play.
Freshman running back Rashod Dubinion has a 16-yard carry and Boney scrambled for an 18-yard touchdown and Oral Ashe’s extra point tied the game at 7-7 with 4:27 left in the first quarter.
Tyson gave the Huskies back the lead as he connected on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Jackson to make it 14-7 with 2:06 left in the first.
Haselwood returned the kickoff 35-yards and two plays later he hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Smith to knot the game at 14-14 with 9:27 left in the first half.
Dubinion got loose on a 24-yard touchdown run to put Cedar Grove up for the first time at 21-14 with 4:56 remaining in the first half.
The Huskies rallied for a 24-21 lead at the half with another Tyson touchdown pass and a field goal just before the half ended.
Robert Jones III broke off a 70-yard touchdown run on the first Cedar Grove possession of the second half as the Saints regained the lead at 28-24 with 11:15 left in the third quarter.
Tyson completed a 15-yard TD pass to Worsham as the Huskies regained the lead at 30-28, but Haselwood made another big special teams play by blocking the extra point try.
The Saints kept the game close with another big special team block of a Husky field goal attempt and a big fourth down stop at their own four as Hewitt-Trussville looked to put the game away.
The Class 3A No. 2 ranked Cedar Grove Saints are now 2-0 on the season with both wins coming outside the state of Georgia. They defeated Summerville, South Carolina 21-7 in their season opening road trip.