Cole Miller FG wins game --
WATERTOWN – In a game of inches Friday night, Watertown defeated Region 4, 2A rival Trousdale County by a foot.
With the score tied 13-13 and Watertown trying to capitalize on a Yellow Jackets fumble on its first possession in overtime, the Purple Tigers faced fourth and goal at the 4-yard line.
Watertown head coach Gavin Webster put the game on the foot of placekicker Cole Miller, who nailed a 20-yard field goal to win 16-13 – touching off a wild celebration at Robinson Stadium.
“I just told Cole, ‘Man, this is what you live for, no pressure. Go out there and hit it,’ Webster said. “Somebody reminded me, ‘Hey coach, let’s go field goal.’ I was thinking about running the ball. That’s what you’ve got assistant coaches for. You are only as good as your assistant coaches, and I’ve got a great staff.”
Watertown (2-1, 1-0) won the coin toss to start overtime and elected to go on defense first. On the second play, Watertown’s Deramus Carey jumped on a Trousdale County (1-1, 0-1) fumble at the 9-yard line.
Three Purple Tigers’ rushers combined to gain six yards on three plays to bring up fourth down at the 4 and brought on Miller to nail the winning kick.
Trousdale County recovered a fumble with less than four minutes left in the game, and it looked as if the Yellow Jackets would run out the clock.
Following a first down, quarterback Jayden Hicks attempted his first pass of the game, which was picked off by Watertown’s Elijah Williams at the Purple Tigers’ 20 and returned to the 42. Eight plays later, Jordan Carter took a hand-off up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown to tie the game at 13-13 with 1:41 left in the game. A bad hold caused Miller to miss the point-extra try, which forced overtime.
Trailing 13-0, Watertown scored its first touchdown of the game late in the third quarter on a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brayden Cousino to Quanterrius Hughes-Malone. The touchdown narrowed Trousdale’s lead to 13-7 with 23 seconds left in the third.
“We had a few sparks by a few guys,” Webster said. “We had a big touchdown there in the third quarter by [Quanterrius]. J.C. gave us a lift. D-Ray did his share; Jordan Casey did his share, and the defense played lights out.”
The Yellow Jackets scored first midway through the first on a 44-yard touchdown run by Hicks to put Trousdale County up 7-0. The Jackets added to their lead on a 25-yard touchdown run by Cameron Rankins with 3:07 left in the first half to extend their lead to 13-0.
“We were awful offensively in the first half,” Webster said. “We couldn’t make throws, wouldn’t make throws. We would get procedure calls, penalties, this, that and the other. We just talked to them at halftime. Hey, we are still in the thick of this thing. All we were down was 13. All we have to do is clean up some stuff, and we can get this win. Our kids believe in us, and they just keep believing.
Cousino was limited to 26 yards passing in the first half, but ended the game throwing 9-of-18 completions for 112 yards and a touchdown.
“Brayden Cousino, our quarterback, he didn’t have a great first half,” Webster said. “We got on him pretty good. He made some mistakes. But I’ve got to say hat’s off. He came out in the second half and made some great throws and made some key throws and kept it alive. Hat’s off to that young man and also Brandon Watts, who came in when we needed him.”
Watertown’s defense also improved in the second half, limiting Yellow Jackets’ rushers to 108 total yards compared to 178 in the first half. Watertown also capitalized on Trousdale County’s four fumbles and one interception.
Watertown will celebrate homecoming Friday, Sept. 13 with a matchup against DeKalb County. Trousdale County will travel to face Gordonsville.