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PREVIEW: Daphne vs. Foley (AL)

September 14, 2012

The Daphne Trojans will host the Foley Lions on Friday in a fierce rivalry battle. This rivalry first took place in 1992 with Daphne leading the overall series 16-6. The Trojans are currently riding a 5-game winning streak in the series including last year’s 35-14 victory.

The Daphne Trojans will face a tough challenge this season. That challenge is trying to fill the massive gap that running T.J. Yeldon left behind after his final season with the Trojans. Yeldon, now playing for Alabama, rushed for a staggering 2,193 yards and 32 touchdowns last season, helping the Trojans to a second round 6A playoff appearance. Speaking of playoff appearances, Daphne has been to the playoffs for 14 straight years going into the 2012 season. They’ve won 11 or more games 4 times since 2005 and have played for the 6A state championship 5 times, winning it in 2001 and 2010. Despite Yeldon’s departure, the Trojans return a plethora of talent. Senior quarterback T.J. Fleeton (committed to Louisiana-Lafayette) is back for his second season as a starter. He will have returning wide receivers Chris Sain and Jonathan McGaster to throw to. In the backfield, Josh Johnson and Ronnie Davis will be battling for carries. Up front, Ashton McQuitery and Robert Alexander come back for their 3rd starting season on the offensive line. The defense features UAB commitment Trey Jenkins at safety. Markell Jones and Jayln Coleman round out a solid linebacker core for the Trojans. The defensive line will have Elliott Williams and Duquan Able battling in the trenches.

The Foley Lions finished the 2011 season with a 7-4 overall record and an appearance in the first round of the 6A playoffs. Head Coach Todd Watson has been to the playoffs each of his seven years while at Foley and the Lions are looking poised to do so again behind a huge offensive line. To say the lions are “big” would be an understatement. The average offensive lineman for the Lions weighs 300 pounds, led by right tackle R.J. Hulse at 324 pounds. This doesn’t include newcomer Darius Paige who just transferred to the school this season. Paige is a 310-pound defensive lineman and an Alabama commit. The Lions return 13 starters in 2012, 7 on offense and 6 on defense. Quarterback Maison Taylor will return to lead the offense and have fellow returning starters Alontai Adams, Valontain Adams and Demarcus Bingham to throw to at wide receiver. The running backs will be sophomore Isaiah Lewis and senior Cedrix Reed. Reed did not play last year having played as a sophomore. Returning starters Chance Blackmon at defensive end and B.T. Sanderson at defensive back highlight the defense.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.