He has become an opponent’s worst nightmare.
With seconds on the clock and the game on the line, the last person they want to see come onto the field is No. 19, Eli Mashburn.
Coffee got a good taste of him last week, Peach County a couple weeks prior to that and on Friday it was Thomas County Central’s turn as it watched a 34 yarder clear the uprights with :9.6 seconds remaining to secure a 30-28, Warner Robins win.
Mashburn got the spotlight true enough, but no doubt it was a team win. Especially when the Demons fell behind 21-0.
After a scoreless first, Darian Daniels ran it in from two yards out to cap a TCC drive. Huntley Rodgers point after made it 7-0 with 8:50 showing on the clock.
On the home team’s next possession, Daniels scored again. This time it was from 20 yards out. Rodgers’ point after made it 14-0 with 5:28 remaining before the half.
After Warner Robins failed to field a squib kick, the Yellow Jackets recovered it and turned it into a score by Deondre Sullivan. That was on a run of 36 yards. Rodgers made it 21-0.
TCC dominated time of possession and ran about four times as many plays as the Demons during that span.
The second half, on the other hand, Warner Robins flipped its fortunes.
On its second possession of the third, the Demons went 63 yards for their first score. It ended when quarterback Dylan Fromm found Jaeven West on a 27-yard touchdown pass. The point after was missed making it 21-6.
Fromm found Marcayll Jones from 10 yards out on Warner Robins’ next possession. That score finished off an 80-yard drive and with Mashburn’s Pat made it 21-13.
The Demons tried an onside kick following. It was unsuccessful, but on the first play following, TCC fumbled. Warner Robins recovered on the host’s 42. Fromm found Jones for the second time shortly thereafter for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Mashburn made it 21-20 with 1:30 left in the third.
Fromm found his brother Tyler for a 65-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth to give the Demons their first lead, 27-21.
Warner Robins had all the momentum at that point, but a blocked punt changed that. TCC recovered it on the 20. Daniels ran it in from six yards out and with the PAT put the Yellow Jackets back out front, 28-27, with 4:59 left to play.
Warner Robins was forced to punt following, but got the ball back with 1:58 left in the game.
It actually appeared the Demons would have the ball inside the 10 on the punt, but a hold brought it all the way back to the 38. After another hold, an incomplete pass put it back even 10 more yards. But Fromm found Tyler for 17 and then on a third-and-eight found him again for a first down at the 50. Two passes went incomplete before Fromm hit Jones for six yards. Then, on a fourth-and-four he ran it for nine. That gave Warner Robins a first down with 34 seconds left to play. A pass to West picked up 18 and put it on the 13. After three passes fell incomplete, Mashburn was called upon for the win.
With the win, the Demons improved to 1-0 in Region 1-AAAAA, 7-0 overall. Thomas County Central fell to 0-1, 2-5.