The New Brockton Gamecocks (1-1, 1-1) earned the first Class 3A win in school history on Sept. 11, while the Daleville Warhawks (0-4, 0-2) remained winless.
New Brockton’s 47-8 win in Enterprise’s Bates Memorial Stadium also gave the Gamecocks their first Class 3A, Region 2 win and put Daleville at 0-2 in region play.
While a feisty Gamecock defense gave the Warhawks trouble all night, both sides saw fireworks to open the game.
Daleville senior Speedy Wiley returned the opening kickoff 36 yards into New Brockton territory, but after the Warhawks moved into the New Brockton red-zone linebacker Traywick Boland jumped on a Daleville fumble to snuff out that scoring drive.
New Brockton quarterback Kaden Cupp then made Daleville pay as he found a streaking Colton Marsh wide open for an 80-yard touchdown pass with 7:32 remaining in the opening period to put New Brockton ahead 7-0.
The fireworks continued, however, as Wiley took a sweep 74 yards for a Warhawk touchdown with 6:30 left in the first quarter. Cam Giles cashed in the two-point conversion and gave Daleville its first lead of the entire season.
“I feel like early in the game we played very well,” Daleville coach Desmond Lett said. “That first drive we were driving the ball pretty good and then turned it over. That’s something we’ve been preaching about to try and eliminate those turnovers.
“They capitalized on that turnover but we responded to that adversity by taking the ball down the field and scoring on the next drive.”
The Warhawk defense then seemed like it had New Brockton stuffed with a three-and-out on the next possession, but a roughing the punter penalty gave New Brockton new life.
“We get what we think is a big three-and-out and then they don’t kick the ball very well and we just run into the kicker,” Lett continued. “It just felt like we kind of shot ourselves in the foot all night long.”
New Brockton marched inside the Daleville 20-yard line, but Wiley made yet another big play as he intercepted a tipped pass along the sideline that was a bit controversial.
Daleville was unable to cash in on the turnover, however, and Cupp connected with Enterprise transfer Jordan Tacey on a pop pass for an 8-yard touchdown with just 1:41 left in the opening quarter. The PAT gave New Brockton the lead again 14-8 and the Gamecocks would never look back.
In the second quarter, Cupp connected with a wide-open Julian Noble on a third-and-long play to extend the Gamecock lead to 21-8 with 10:02 left in the half.
After a Daleville three-and-out, New Brockton marched down the field again with Tacey scoring on a 6-yard touchdown run with 7:12 remaining in the half. New Brockton’s lead ballooned to 28-8.
After yet another Daleville three-and-out, New Brockton marched down the field on a 9-play, 60-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from Cupp with just 46 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The PAT extended New Brockton’s lead to 35-8.
Daleville turned the ball over on a fumble on the next offensive play and New Brockton drove back into Daleville territory before the Warhawks managed to force a turnover on downs just as time expired in the half.
“I think (the game) went a lot better than the Opp game,” New Brockton coach Zack Holmes said. “I think we came out with pretty good intensity and played hard. We made a few mistakes early but then settled in and found our rhythm.
“We’re trying to be more explosive on offense and I think we accomplished that. I think the kids understand the level of intensity that is needed to play, so that was better.”
The two sides exchanged punts and then exchanged turnovers in the third quarter. Cupp was intercepted by Wiley again late in the quarter and another Daleville fumble was recovered by Noble.
The Gamecocks got back on the scoreboard with a 1-yard scoring plunge from Cupp with 10:30 left in the game to extend the lead to 41-8 following a missed PAT. That touchdown capped off a 12-play, 74-yard drive.
The Warhawks fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and running back Jahari Brown finished off the win with a 5-yard touchdown run to secure the 47-8 win after another failed PAT.
The New Brockton offense rolled up 478 yards of offense, while holding Daleville to just 129 total yards. The Gamecock defense also forced five turnovers.
“Late in the game we get tired and we don’t think much when we get tired,” Lett said. “That’s something – even though we’re four games in – we’re still battling with conditioning after the lack of summer conditioning.”
After a frustrating first game, Cupp had a big night against Daleville with 124 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 14 carries. He also completed 7-of-18 pass attempts for 225 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I thought that was good. He’s a competitor so he wants to be great,” Holmes said of his quarterback. “He still forced a couple of balls he shouldn’t have but that’s just him trying to make plays. Me and him have already been looking at the tape and working on getting those things fixed.
“The offense will run through him and it’s nice to have a quarterback that can throw it and run it.”
Tacey also had a big night with 55 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushing attempts along with four catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. Brown added 11 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown along with seven tackles on defense.
“Towards the end there having a bigger back (like Brown) come in and finish out the game is nice,” Holmes said. “JaMarcus and Tacey really compliment each other really well and are a great mix up because they have two very different running styles.”
Noble led the Gamecock defense with five tackles, one tackle-for-loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. He also caught one pass for 50 yards and a touchdown. Michael Siniard recorded five tackles and a tackle-for-loss, as well. Boland also recorded five tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Wiley had a big night for Daleville recording 91 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, while also recording four tackles and two interceptions on defense. He also returned three kickoffs for 41 yards.
“Speedy played very well on offense, defense and special teams,” Lett said. “He had a couple of big turnovers, too, but right after those plays he also made something good happen. Good things happen to a kid that plays hard, trains hard and works hard. Good things are bound to happen for kids like that.”
Sincere McKenzie rushed for 45 yards on nine carries and also returned three kickoffs for 91 yards. McKenzie totaled six tackles on defense.
Linebacker Myles Parris also had nine tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and a sack for the Warhawk defense, while Cam Giles added 11 tackles. Giles also had 11 yards rushing on seven carries.