THS defensive backs coach Blake Bradley celebrates with James Bender after his interception. Photos by Kyle Thornton.
Tigers rip Panthers
By Michael Butler
After two close losses in a row, Friday was a no doubter. Tallassee jumped out to a big lead and rolled to a 48-10 Class 5A/Region 4 win over rival Elmore County at J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium.
The Tigers (2-2/1-1) built a 35-3 halftime lead with three touchdown runs by Jalyn Daniels who finished with 156 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Tyler Ellis mixed the run with the pass running for 65 yards himself on seven carries and a score. He was 9-of-13 through the air for 154 yards with a 30-yard TD to Clayten Gough, who had four catches in all for 94 yards.
"We didn't come out and spot the other team 7 or 14 points," THS head coach Mike Battles said. "We came out and played hard. Our offense was really clicking. Guys did a good job blocking. We threw the ball well. The more that we can throw it, the better off we're going to be."
In the second half, JT Wilson had a three-yard scoring run and Joseph Hooks hit paydirt from 12 yards out.
On defense, Devin Stiff and James Bender each had an interception.
"We've got a good football team," said Battles. "Our record, 2-2, that doesn't show it. We could very easily be 4-0."
For Elmore County (0-5/0-3), Payton Stephenson was 7-for-22 for 85 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and led the Panthers in rushing with 78 yards on 17 carries. Jabari Murphy had four receptions for 59 yards. Christian Stapley also had a 20-yard scoring grab.
"This was a big game," Battles added. "Every one of them from here out are big because they're region games. Our number one goal is to get back in the playoffs."
Tallassee had 433 yards of total offense to Elmore County's 177.
The win was Tallassee's sixth straight in the 60th meeting in the series and continued the string of home wins vs. Elmore County to eight in a row dating back to 2004.
The Tigers are off this week after cancellation of the Pike Road game. They will be back in region play on Oct. 1 at Beauregard.
The week off should allow some guys to heal, Battles noted.
"Jalyn's got a little twisted ankle. We didn't play Zavion. He had a slight concussion last week. We held him out to be safe. We're a little banged up, so it's probably good we can give them an extra few days rest."
*View Photos by Kyle Thornton