Dauphin Junior High School defeated community rival Coppinville Junior High, 37-14, Thursday night in historic R.L. Bates Memorial Stadium to win the City Championship and in the process, advanced to the South Alabama Football League’s first Championship Game.
The league consists of Greenville, Charles Henderson, Andalusia, Dauphin and Coppinville.
The Fins (6-0) will host Andalusia in the title game Tuesday in Wildcat Stadium at 6 p.m.
The undefeated Fins were tested early in Thursday’s rivalry game.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Dauphin took advantage of excellent field position, at the Coppinville 31-yard line, early in the second period.
In three plays, Dauphin led, 6-0, when Julio Jones scored the game’s first touchdown on a 9-yard run, with 6:48 to play in the second quarter.
The Fins stingy defense, that allowed Coppinville only 145 total yards of offense, surrendered one first down on Coppinville’s next possession, got the ball back on downs and gave the DJHS offense good field position at Dauphin’s 35-yard line.
Five plays Later, the Fins doubled their score when Jones blasted into the end zone from the 10-yard line.
Jones ran for the 2-point conversion putting Dauphin ahead, 14-0, with 1:33 to play in the first half.
Coppinville was forced to punt after three plays in its final series before intermission, leaving Dauphin with 11 seconds to drum up another score.
Coppinville’s Zavion Williams intercepted a Dauphin pass to end the half.
The Eagles were also stingy on defense, allowing Dauphin only 165 total yards in the game, but most of the breaks went Dauphin’s way.
After forcing a Dauphin punt to open the third quarter, Coppinville’s defense had little time to rest; Dauphin’s Keondre Mathews intercepted a Coppinville pass on first down, providing Dauphin’s offense another short field.
Scrimmaging from Coppinville’s 39, with 4:12 left in the third quarter, Dauphin needed five plays to score; the touchdown came on a 22-yard run by Jones, who also ran for the 2-point conversion putting Dauphin ahead, 22-0, with 1:40 remaining in the third period.
Then, a track meet broke out.
Coppinville quickly move from its 38 to Dauphin’s 3-yard line; Keion Dunlap powered in from there on fourth-and-goal and when he also ran for the 2-point conversion, Dauphin’s lead was trimmed to, 22-8,with 4:56 left in the game.
After Coppinville’s kickoff, Dauphin went to work from its 45-yard line.
After an incomplete pass, Amare Griffin got the ball on three consecutive running plays; Griffin gained 35 yards and 14 yards on his first two carries, to Coppinville’s 6-yard line.
The third carry went for 6 yards and a TD with 3:57 left to play; Xander Pohlman added the PAT for a 29-8 DJHS lead.
Dauphin’s defense was unyielding on Coppinville’s next possession and on fourth down deep in Coppinville’s territory, Dauphin’s Marzavious Reed blocked a punt recovered at Coppinville’s 5-yard line.
Jones scored from there on first down and added the 2-point conversion putting the Fins ahead, 37-8, with 1:35 to play.
Coppinville used every second left in the game and it paid off when Dylan Baldwin galloped 59 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play, 37-14.
Raymond McGoley and Eric Winters also ran the ball for Coppinville.
Wyatt Darlington and Johntvious Hooten had rushes for Dauphin.