Cordova wins thriller over Hamilton

Blue Devils finish region play 3-3

By JEFFERY WINBORNE, Eagle Sports Correspondent
Posted 10/20/17

CORDOVA — Cordova scored the go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes and sealed the win with an interception as the Blue Devils took down Hamilton 34-28, punching their ticket to the playoffs in the process at Hudson-Kirby Field Friday night.

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Cordova wins thriller over Hamilton

Blue Devils finish region play 3-3

Posted

CORDOVA — Cordova scored the go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes and sealed the win with an interception as the Blue Devils took down Hamilton 34-28, punching their ticket to the playoffs in the process at Hudson-Kirby Field Friday night.

Javion Hill carried the bulk of the load for Cordova's offense, running the ball 24 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

The Aggies controlled the first quarter, having offensive possession for over nine minutes and allowing the Blue Devils to run only three plays during the period. After taking the ball first and starting at their own 40-yard line, Hamilton's drive stalled inside Cordova territory. On fourth & 5 from the 13, the Aggies' attempted field goal went wide left. After forcing the Devils to three and out, Hamilton marched down the field on a 11-play, 67-yard drive that ended when Tristen Stewart ran in from a yard out to put the Aggies up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Kolbi Fuqua returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the 45-yard line. Demetrius Kirk complete a 15-yard pass to Kason Smith followed by a 24-yard quarterback run to set up Cordova in the redzone. Two plays later, Hill ran in from the six-yard line. Fuqua ran in the two-point conversion to go up 8-7.

The Aggies answered quickly when on the second play of their next drive, Hogan Gann caught a high pass over the head of Justin Wallace and ran it the rest of the way for a 52-yard touchdown to retake the lead, 14-8 with 8:39 left in the half.

A touchback put the Devils starting at their own 20 on the next drive. Hill immediately put them at near midfield with a 20-yard run. Six plays later, Fuqua caught a 17-yard pass from Kirk to put Cordova in the redzone.

After being forced to fourth down, Kirk ran 13 yards into the endzone. Fuqua was given the ball for another successful two-point try, giving Cordova a 24-16 halftime lead.

Kirk went 5-of-9 passing for 68 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Blue Devils received the ball to start the second half. Kolbi Fuqua returned the kickoff 89 yards to the Aggies' seven-yard line. A false start on fourth down put Cordova in a fourth and goal situation from the seven. Kirk found Fuqua in the back corner of the endzone to go up 22-14.

“I thought he played hard tonight, he really turned it up,” coach Gay said of Fuqua's special teams effort.

Hamilton converted a fourth down attempt off a fake punt to keep their next drive alive. But three plays after that, Conley Ellis caught a pass from Michael Reed, and was then caught from behind by Kirk who stripped the ball and returned it to the Devils' 35-yard line.

Cordova failed to take advantage of the turnover before committing one of their own. Kirk's pass was tipped and picked off by Ryan Schrimsher. Hamilton went three and out, but on first down from his own five-yard line, Hill fumbled the ball, giving the Aggies possession near the goal line. Stewart ran in to bring the score to 22-20 as the third quarter expired.

Hamilton attempted an onside kick but Cordova fell on it at midfield. Later in the drive, two false starts put the Devils in a first and goal situation from the 17.

From there Fuqua ran in for another score to go up 28-20 with 10:01 left in the game.

During the drive, Kirk was slow to get up after a hard hit on the sideline. Coach Gay praised his quarterback's toughness.

“I was proud of him. He was injured those last few drives, could barely lift his arm up. He sucked it up and played. It speaks volumes about his character, to suck it up and get the job done.”

Cordova's Fuqua punted and pinned the Aggies at their own two-yard line with just under five minutes to go. Two plays later, Stewart weaved through traffic and sprinted downfield for a 91-yard touchdown run.

The two-point conversion was successful, making it 28-28.

Javion Hill ran for two big gains on the next drive; the first for 42 yards, the second for 21 and a touchdown. The two-point try failed, however. Cordova had a 6-point lead with 2:43 remaining.

Jathan Jackson came in at quarterback for Hamilton, completing a first down throw to Stewart for 14 yards. However, from his own 22, Jackson threw downfield into the waiting hands of Cordova's Kason Smith, sealing the win for the Blue Devils.

Cordova wraps up its regular season in two weeks at home against Munford.