The Coyle Bluejackets football season came to an unexpected end last Friday night in Coyle when they lost their first round Class C playoff game to the Sasakwa Vikings 70-60. The Bluejackets finished the season 8-3.
The final score is not indicative of how the game played out, as the Bluejackets jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 1:01 of the game. Senior Damon Caine would score the first of his eight touchdowns 49-seconds into the game on a 54-yard run for an early 6-0 lead. The conversion was not converted and that would unfortunately be a major issue all night for the Bluejackets.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Sasakwa return man let the ball bounce and Coyle Senior Vershon Whiteside scooped it up on the bounce and rumbled into the endzone for a 12-0 lead. Caine converted the PAT and it was 14-0 with 10:59 left in the first period in favor of the home team.
It took the Vikings’ Thomas Rompf one play to get the visitors on the board on a 62-yard scamper at the 10:10 mark and it was 14-6. The teams settled down until Caine then went for 85-yards at the 4:47 mark in the first quarter. The conversion was no good and it was 20-6.
The Coyle pass defense then sprung a leak for the first of many long pass plays Friday night and the Vikings connected on a 56-yard play to make the score 26-12. Caine on a 50-yard run and Rompf on a 36-yard run would close out the first quarter with the Bluejackets leading 26-20.
The second quarter was disastrous for the Coyle defense as the Vikings scored on 50, 26 and 64-yard pass plays to take a 36-26 lead with 3:34 to go before halftime. Caine would score from 39 yards out and get the conversion to narrow the gap to 36-34 at the half.
The teams each scored 20 points in the third quarter as the Vikings held a 56-54 lead on a chilly night going into the final stanza. Caine would score for the final time in his Coyle career in the fourth quarter, but the visitors would score twice to expand to lead to the final 10 point margin.
Caine would score eight touchdowns and two conversions to account for 52 of the Bluejackets 60 points. Trey Henning had the other conversion for the Bluejackets. The home team missed on six of the nine possible conversions which would have accounted for another 12 points had they been successful.
Caine completed a magical senior season with 39 carries for 482 yards Friday night as the Bluejackets ran 53 plays in all for 540 yards. Those will be some big shoes to fill in 2020. For the year Caine ended up with 3,274 yards rushing and 57 touchdowns.
On the defensive side, Whiteside led the way with 17 tackles and Etan Jennings had 16 tackles as the Vikings ran 74 plays to the Bluejackets 53 plays in the game.
“It was a great year. We wanted a quick start Friday night, but we just could not get any breaks late in the game. Our pass defense had been an issue all season. We thought we had a defense designed to stop the pass but when we pulled Caine in to stop the run, they just threw the ball over the top. Their receivers had better speed than our corners and that was not in our favor Friday night,” said Coyle Head Coach Shane Weathers.
The all-district team will be named after all teams in the district are eliminated in the playoffs. Southwest Covenant and Covington-Douglas both won their opening games.