Taking control is exactly what the Tigers did in last Friday’s game against the Bulldogs from Sheffield. For most of the first quarter, the Tigers kept the football in their possession. The 10 minute, 34 second drive began on the Tiger’s 19 yard line when Jalen Vinson caught the opening kickoff at the 10 yard line and ran it back for a 9 yard gain. The Tigers helped control their possession by running the play clock down to under 10 seconds for almost every play.
Colbie King, Colyn Humphres, Kolby Bragwell, and Hunter King each took turns running the ball to pick up four first downs in the quarter. Bragwell would be the one to put the ball across the goal line with a quarterback keeper for the Tigers. C. King ran the ball into the end zone for the 2 point conversion. With just 1:26 left in the quarter, the Bulldogs would get their hands on the ball for the very first time of the game. Time ran out in the first quarter with the Tigers leading 8-0 over the Bulldogs.
Sheffield was able to drive the ball as far as the 17 yard line into Tiger territory. But, with 2 yards to go on fourth down, Red Bay’s Alex Kennedy stopped the Bulldogs short of a first down and pushed them back 5 yards. The Tigers took over on the 22 yard line. Red Bay and Sheffield each had 2 more possessions, but neither team was able to get into scoring position during their turn with the ball. The Bulldogs were forced to punt the ball away on their second possession, giving the Tigers one more shot at scoring before the half ended. The ball was punted to the 34 yard line.
The next play was quite possibly the best play all season for the Tigers. Bragwell was able to complete a perfect 34 yard pass to Vinson into the end zone with just 30 seconds left in the second quarter. C. King followed up with the 2 point conversion. The Tigers left the field at the half on a high to get them fired up and motivated to come back out with the same intensity for another half. Red Bay led the first half 16-0.
Sheffield received the ball first to begin the third quarter of play. On their first play, the quarterback for the Bulldogs dropped the ball and Logan Scott was there to sack him at the 31 yard line. This would bring up 2nd and 20 for the Bulldogs. Unable to advance the ball, Sheffield was forced to punt the ball away once again. The ball was punted to the 32 yard line, where the Tigers took over. On the first play for Red Bay, Bragwell handed the ball to C. King. The offensive line blocked the Bulldog’s and opened up the path for C. King’s 70 yard sprint to the goal line to pick up 6 more points for the Tigers. Bragwell used a quarterback sneak to collect the 2 point conversion points. The third quarter ended with the Bulldogs trailing the Tigers 24-0.
Sheffield scored early in the fourth quarter with a short pass into the end zone. Their 2 point conversion attempt was no good. The next to score was once again the Bulldogs with just over 4 minutes left to play in the game. Sheffield failed again at their 2 point conversion attempt.
The final score for the night ended with Red Bay defeating Sheffield 24-12. By using the clock to their advantage and slowing down the Bulldog’s running game, Red Bay was able to defeat Sheffield and gain some confidence going into this week’s game against Colbert County. “We’re going to try to stop what Colbert County does best, and put our players where they can play their best,” said coach Jackson. Friday night’s win put the Tigers up 2-1 in Regional play.
C. King led the Tigers with 170 rushing yards on 22 carries and a touchdown, Bragwell had 24 carries for 82 yards and one touchdown. Bragwell also completed one 34 yard pass for a touchdown. H. King ran 44 yards on 6 carries and Humphres had 4 carries for 21 yards. Vinson caught a 34 yard touchdown pass. Cameron McKinney and Kennedy led in tackles with 6 each.
Red Bay will play at home Friday night as they host Colbert County for their 4th Regional game of the year.