Trotwood hangs on to beat Thurgood, 28-21

“We’re going to take it one game at a time and shoot for the stars,” said Graham following a fierce 28-21 defeat of Thurgood Marshall at Welcome Stadium in a Saturday night non-league special.

It was a matchup of two of the state’s best Division III teams and it didn’t disappoint. Dontay White capped the last of his 206 yards rushing — in just 18 carries — to score the winning touchdown from three yards out with 2:03 remaining.

But it wasn’t over until Thurgood quarterback Jamahl Manley was sacked deep in Trotwood territory after he moved the Cougars to 1st-and-goal.

The teams treated about 4,000 spectators to long kickoff returns, outstanding running, knockout defense and everything in between. And the best part? This might not be the last time they play. Both should make the playoffs and could play again.

“We’re just being physical and humble,” White said. “It’s all about working hard.”

Thurgood running back Daryl McCleskey nearly matched White with 169 yards rushing on 21 carries and scored twice. Senior Thurgood defensive back Dam’aris Taylor intercepted Trotwood QB Messiah DeWeaver three times.

DeWeaver, a University of Michigan verbal commit, completed 6 of 14 passes for 96 yards and those three picks. But he moved the Rams 80 yards wiht a clutch game-winning drive.

The teams hadn’t played since 2011 when Trotwood (2-0) won a heated season opener. Trotwood hosts Sycamore next week, then Centerville in Week 4.

“We’re playing good, solid teams so we can get some of that experience early on so we won’t have to worry about building that later on,” Graham said. “As long as we can keep fighting and learning from our mistakes, it’ll be a great thing.”

There’s no letup for Thurgood (1-1) either. The Cougars host Alter (2-0) on Friday also at Welcome.

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