Markevious Matthews muscles his way through the W.S. Neal defense on Friday night
Tigers win thriller in first meeting with Neal
By Gary Buchanan
The Tallassee Tigers won their home opener in dramatic fashion Friday night. Junior quarterback Casey Baynes scored on a twenty-two yard scramble with five seconds left on the clock to give the Tigers a 26-21 victory.
Baynes started the scoring with a one yard plunge in the first quarter. Trent Cochran-Gill broke a second quarter tie with a five yard fumble return for a touchdown. Following an Eagle 81 yard touchdown run, Baynes hit Jake Burton for a 54-yard touchdown pass. That score put the Tigers on top 20-13 going into the fourth quarter.
With 10:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Eagles scored and converted a two point conversion to take the lead 21-20. A couple of defensive stops set the stage for the late game comeback. “We had two or three opportunities to quit on defense,” said head coach Mike Battles. “Our defense hung in there and made plays to give our offense one more shot.”
The final drive started on the Tallassee twenty yard line with 1:11 left on the clock. After a couple of short completions, Baynes hit Cochran-Gill on a 27 yard pass that put the Tigers on the Eagle 25-yard-line. Two plays later Baynes scored the game winner from 22 yards out.
“You can’t run the two-minute drill any better than we just ran it. I’m happy for these kids,” said Battles. “We didn’t play our best but we hung in there for 48 minutes and didn’t quit. That’s a sign of a good football team and good leadership. Our guys won in spite of me tonight and I’m proud for them.”
Tallassee returns to J.E. ‘Hot’ O’Brien stadium Friday night to begin region play against Handley. Kickoff is at 7:00. 1300 WTLS/106.5 FM will broadcast live beginning at 6:00. Audio will be simulcast on Bright House Networks cable television channel 97. A video webcast will be available on Tallassee Times TV: www.tallasseetv.com. The broadcast is also available through the Tune-In App and followed by the "Scoreboard Show" until 11:00 p.m.