Spanish Fort Toros rally for gutsy, 18-15 win over rival Daphne Trojans

Toro defense supplied stops on all six third downs faced in the second half, home fans supply noise to help final stop

By Cole McNanna
Sports Editor
cole@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 9/23/22

SPANISH FORT – It was a tale of two halves where the Spanish Fort Toros erased a 15-0 halftime deficit with 18 second-half points and stellar defense to earn a non-region, rivalry win over the …

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Spanish Fort Toros rally for gutsy, 18-15 win over rival Daphne Trojans

Toro defense supplied stops on all six third downs faced in the second half, home fans supply noise to help final stop

Posted

SPANISH FORT – It was a tale of two halves where the Spanish Fort Toros erased a 15-0 halftime deficit with 18 second-half points and stellar defense to earn a non-region, rivalry win over the Daphne Trojans Friday night by an 18-15 final score.

Jacob Godfrey caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Brayden Walker at the end of the third before Sawyer Wilson’s 5-yard rush put the Toros ahead for good with only 2:57 left. Lucas Breaux knocked through a 36-yard field goal to get Spanish Fort on the board in the third quarter.

“Guts. Just pure old-fashioned guts; grit and guts,” Toro head coach Chase Smith said of what he saw in the second half. “The resiliency of the defense – and the whole team. We’ve been in this mess a couple of games and we found a way to get it done.”

After a slow start, Daphne got out the gates with two second-quarter touchdowns from Stephon Blackshear, a 12-yard rush and an 11-yard catch from quarterback Gabe Reynolds, while Spanish Fort’s offense only crossed midfield once in the first half.

The Trojans also missed a 38-yard field goal with only seconds to play before halftime but there was no sugar coating how the Toros felt at that time.

“We had to get together as a team. We walked into the locker room at halftime and everybody seemed down but it was only two plays, it only takes two good plays to get us up where they were,” Wilson said. “We felt that and got right back on track after that.”

“What I’m taking away from tonight is that we’ve gotta fall back on your team, fall back on your family because that’s what kept us through,” Godfrey said. “That locker room at halftime, we found what we needed and we knew we could fall on each other; family first.”

UAB commit Godfrey scores with college coach looking on

With the UAB Blazers on a bye week, interim head coach – and former Spanish Fort head coach – Bryant Vincent paid a visit to his old stomping grounds to take another up-close look at Godfrey, who committed to the program earlier this summer.

On Godfrey’s third-quarter touchdown, the receiver made a leaping catch on the sideline behind the defense and was tackled into the west end zone, where Vincent was taking in the game under the goalposts.

“It means the world to me that Coach came to support,” Godfrey said. “I just can’t wait to get to that next level, I can’t wait to get started at UAB so I’m super blessed and super grateful.”

Toro defense goes 6-for-6 on second-half third downs

While the hosts' offense got the job done, so too did the defense behind one of their leaders, senior safety Josiah “JoJo” Hixon. The Spanish Fort defense came up with stops on all six third downs it faced in the second half to seal the victory down the stretch.

It was the calmness of Hixon at the helm that helped tell the Toro defense it was fine.

“When we were down at halftime, I had to stay calm. You have to keep your composure in these types of games; even when we were down, we still had a whole other half to go,” Hixon said. “That second half was our half, I called it. And that’s how you come out and win it with your family and brothers, just like that.”

Spanish Fort faithful bring the noise on final drive

Then the Toros' home crowd threw its support behind the team and brought the noise that helped elicit a false start on Daphne’s final drive.

“That’s Friday night lights, baby,” Hixon said of the volume. “I felt it hearing the whole fans, they turned me up and I felt the energy come through me.”

Up next

Spanish Fort, which improved to 3-3 overall with the win, travels to face the St. Paul’s Episcopal Saints next week in region play. Daphne, which fell to 3-3 overall in the loss, will resume region play next week after a bye when it hosts the Fairhope Pirates Oct. 7.

Money quotes

“Just ready to go get some Waffle House,” Wilson said.

“Ready to go home, sleep, and the next morning feel like another man,” Hixon said.

Other Baldwin County final scores

Alma-Bryant 41, Robertsdale 20

Gulf Shores 35, Murphy 14

McGill-Toolen 27, St. Michael 7

MGM 42, Baldwin County 7 (Thursday, Sept. 22)

Orange Beach 42, McIntosh 14

Saraland 49, Foley 21

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