By Jerry Richmond, Sports Staff Writer

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets gave their fans some anxious moments Friday before rallying in the fourth quarter for a 36-22 victory over East Robertson.

The Jackets (5-2, 3-0 4-2A) trailed 22-21 early in the fourth and were struggling to contain the ground attack by the Indians (3-4, 1-2). But Trousdale’s defense was able to force two late fumbles that set the stage for a come-from-behind victory.

GALLERY: Trousdale Co. vs. East Robertson

“I was really proud of how our kids battled four quarters Friday night,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “It wasn’t a pretty game, but sometimes you have games like that and you have to dig down and find a way to win.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Jake Gregory (52) and Houston Stafford (23) bring down East Robertson’s Jaden Crouch in the fourth quarter Friday. The Yellow Jackets won 36-22.

The Jackets received the opening kickoff and needed just five plays to reach the end zone as senior fullback Braison Raney ran the final four yards for the score. Junior Keyvont Baines’ kick gave the hosts a 7-0 lead.

East Robertson held the ball for the next 9:14, going on a 17-play drive that was capped when sophomore quarterback Cameron Swift ran six yards to pay dirt. Junior kicker Justin Russell added the extra point for a 7-7 tie.

East then recovered an onside kick that Trousdale was unable to control, setting the Indians up at the Jackets’ 45-yard line.

Eleven plays later, Swift scored on a 4-yard run as the Indians took a 14-7 lead.

Trousdale would waste little time answering the challenge with a drive that was capped by Raney’s second TD run, a 5-yarder. The Jackets elected to go for two and Raney ran it in once again to take a 15-14 lead into the locker room.

The Indians received the second-half kickoff and put together a 17-play drive that lasted nearly 9½ minutes and ended on a 2-yard score by senior fullback Johnny Lyons. East coach Chad Broadrick opted for a 2-point try, which Swift pulled off to give the Indians a 22-15 advantage.

With 8:03 left to play, Raney’s third touchdown run of the evening, a 6-yard effort, brought Trousdale to within 22-21. The Jackets elected to go for two but a fumbled snap denied the effort and left them with a 22-21 deficit.

That drive was set up when junior safety Houston Stafford stripped the ball carrier and jumped on the loose ball.

The Trousdale defense provided another turnover when sophomore linebacker Tarvaris Claiborne forced a fumble that was recovered by junior Jake Gregory at the East 24.

The Jackets needed just two plays to take the lead, as Baines darted through the defense for a 21-yard run. Baines added a 2-point run to put Trousdale ahead 29-22 with 3:59 left on the clock.

On the ensuing possession, East Robertson gave up the ball on downs inside its 10 and Trousdale took advantage with a 3-yard touchdown scamper by Baines. His kick made it a 36-22 game.

Gregory led the Trousdale defenders with 14 tackles, four for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Claiborne had 12 tackles and a forced fumble while Stafford had 11 tackles, two for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

The victory kept Trousdale County as the only undefeated team in Region 4-2A. Watertown and Jackson County are each 2-1, Westmoreland is 1-2 and Cascade sits at 0-3.

“Bottom line, our goal was to stay undefeated in region play and move closer to the goal of winning the region,” Waggoner said. “East Robertson gave us their best shot and it was a tough game, but I’m very proud of how our kids finished the game.”