Travonte Jackson was all the Douglas Astros needed in their 34 point victory over the Pepperell Dragons at Lakewood Stadium Friday.
It was the first round of the GHSA playoffs and the Astros were among the favorites coming into this game against the Dragons. For the Dragons, they knew if they wanted to pull off the upset, they needed to stop or contain the East Carolina University (ECU) commit Juan Powell.
Instead, the Dragons got a taste of Jackson early as he broke loose on a 55 yard rushing touchdown on the Astros first offensive possession.
This gave the Astros early momentum but the Dragons defense contained the Astros running game until the late in the second quarter. This time Jackson capped of their 80 yard drive with a 12 yard rushing touchdown to increase their lead to 13.
The Dragons managed to move the ball downfield but ultimately ended in a missed 33 yard field goal by Ramiro Alanis to go into halftime down 13-0.
“We made the necessary adjustments coming out of halftime because we knew if we fixed some things, we were good to go,” said Astros coach Rodney Cofield.
The Astros adjustments proved to be effective as the defense kept the Dragons from scoring and the offense kept igniting.
Although Powell had no rushing touchdowns, big runs to extend drives proved to be costly for the Dragons.This time, Powell connected with Jackson from 37 yards to go up 20 to begin the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing Dragons possession, safety Keyon Coley picked off quarterback Gage Moses pass for a pick six to increase their lead to 27. This cemented the Astros victory for the game as momentum was all on their side and the fans were excited to move on to their next opponent.
A late rushing touchdown by D’Andre Watson completed the Astros shutout victory over the Dragons.
“I’m so proud of this team! They played hard and as a team and settled in to make this possible,” said a humble but ecstatic Cofield after the game.
The Astros are the only school within the Atlanta Public School (APS) remaining in the playoffs and will go on the road to face the Heard County Braves Friday November 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.