2008-09-05 / Sports

Capitals survive turnovers, flatten Falcons

By Michael Orr

Photos by Morgen Orr Columbia's Chris Payne (#4) is clobbered by Flora defenders Reggie Stephens (#23, on head) and Will Thomas (#15). Photos by Morgen Orr Columbia's Chris Payne (#4) is clobbered by Flora defenders Reggie Stephens (#23, on head) and Will Thomas (#15). Columbia High survived five fumbles and only scoring one offensive touchdown to defeat A.C. Flora 22- 3 at Memorial Stadium on August 29. Damario Jeffrey ran for an 80-yard touchdown in the third quarter sandwiching two interception returns for touchdowns for the Capitals. Columbia 22 A.C. Flora 3

Kicking on side to open the game, Columbia got great field position right from the start. But on the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Antonio Marshall severely injured his left leg. The Capitals rotated freshman Kynicholas Tyler and Jeffrey at the quarterback position for the rest of the game.

A.C. Flora had a snap sail over the head of its punter in its first possession, resulting in a safety and a 2- 0 lead for Columbia, who immediately fumbled the ball back to the Falcons on their first play. Flora drove successfully down the field twice in the first quarter with passes from quarterback Jordan Thomas to Carlos McCoy, but each possession ended with a missed field goal.

Columbia quarterback and USC recruit Damario Jeffrey rolls out looking to pass. Columbia quarterback and USC recruit Damario Jeffrey rolls out looking to pass. Early in the second quarter, the Falcons got on the board when Grant Clayton's 53- yard field goal put Flora ahead 3- 2. The Capitals then fumbled a snap on their punt attempt giving Flora great field position late in the half. Columbia linebacker Lorenzo Boyles then took over the rest of the half, first with a sack, taking Flora out of field goal range, and then intercepting Thomas' pass and returning it 65 yards for the game's first touchdown. Chris Payne's two- point conversion gave the Capitals a 10- 3 half time lead.

On their first possession of the second half, the Columbia coaching staff called Jeffrey's number for a run straight up the middle. Eighty yards later, Jeffrey pranced into the end zone having given his team a 16- 3 lead just minutes into the third quarter.

After an injury to Thomas, Flora inserted last year's starter Drew Desmond into the quarterback position. Desmond found McCoy on a 42- yard pass play down the left sideline, putting Flora within 20 yards of its first touchdown. But an interception on the next play killed the home team's chance at shrinking the deficit.

Runs by Demitri Cuerton and passes to Julian Swygert put the Capitals within scoring range at the very end of the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, however, Payne fumbled into the end zone resulting in a touchback for Flora. On the very next play though, Jamel Hilton intercepted the Falcons' pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown and a 22- 3 margin for the visitors.

Terry Cherry took off on a 43- yard run early in the fourth, setting up the Falcons inside the ten- yard line of the Capitals. Jeffrey then returned a fumble 90 yards for a touchdown that was called back due to a block- in- the- back penalty.

Late in the fourth, Desmond was hurt for A.C. Flora and freshman States Clawson was called on to play quarterback for the Falcons, their third of the game. Ultimately neither team was able to put much together in the last few minutes of the game and the Capitals emerged with a 19- point victory.

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