Kaplan's Drake Abshire outruns the Abbeville defense.
Russo Trophy staying in Kaplan for another year
The Abbeville Wildcats gave the Kaplan Pirates a scare, but in the end, the Pirates won 42-30, bringing back the Peter Russo Trophy to Kaplan for the 13th straight year.
Kaplan head coach Stephen Lotief was not too happy after the game, but it was a win.
“Anytime you win, it is a good thing,” said Lotief. “We made some mistakes that we need to go back and correct.”
The Wildcats made the Pirates play all four quarters.
With nine minutes left in the game, Abbeville was behind only 28-24.
Abbeville quarterback Jaidyn O’Brien completed a 23-yard TD pass to Braeden Williams in the corner of the end zone that made it a four-point game.
With the AHS crowd standing and yelling, the excitement was building. Could this be the year the Kaplan winning streak would end?
The Pirates, after Abbeville scored, got the ball at their 35-yard-line with nine minutes to play. On the first play, tailback Drake Abshire broke the back of Abbeville when he darted up the middle for a 65-yard touchdown run that put the Pirates ahead by 10 points.
Abbeville’s upset dreams were crushed again when Kaplan free safety Nathan Sistrunk intercepted O’Brien’s pass up the middle not long after Abshire ran 65 yards for a touchdown.
With 4:42 to play in the game, Abshire scored his third touchdown of the game with a 22-yard run.
Abshire had a career-night rushing for 272 yards and scoring three touchdowns.
“ As a senior, I wanted to win the Russo Trophy for the fourth straight year,” said Abshire as he held the trophy in his hands.
The Pirates had 408 yards rushing and 52 yards passing. Abbeville had 164 yards rushing and 57 yards passing.
The Pirates jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but AHS did not quit and was right back in it on a Braeden Williams’ 4-yard touchdown run.
Abbeville’s first score was a 90-yard kickoff return by Tavion Menard. Menard was not finished scoring on kickoffs. He also had a 96-yard kick off return late in the third period to make it a 28-18 game.
Abbeville head coach Kevin Kern was happy with his team’s performance.
“We played hard and worked as a team,” said Kern. “We believed we were in the game until the end. I am very proud how hard we played.”
Kaplan fullback Braylon Romero rushed for 24 times for 107 yards. Kaplan quarterback Mason Frick completed two big passes for 52 yards total.
O’Brien had a career-game rushing the football. He ran 11 times for 103 yards. Abbeville is on the road to battle Patterson, while Kaplan is away to play Berwick.