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Photo by Kyle Thornton

Tiger whip Panthers, get No. 2 seed in region

By Gary Buchanan

Tallassee dominated Elmore County High School in Eclectic Friday night on its way to a 56-22 victory.  The win improved Tallassee’s record to 7-3 overall, 5-2 in region play.  Elmore County fell to 4-6 overall, 2-5 in region play.

The Tiger offense started fast as Casey Baynes connected on three first half scoring passes.  Logan Goodman hauled in a 33-yarder, Jamarcus Miller caught a 55-yard strike, and Markevious Matthews took a screen pass 55 yards for the score.  Matthews added a 17-yard touchdown run. 

Tallassee was looking to add to its lead when Will Venable intercepted a Baynes’ pass in the red zone.  The Panthers converted that turnover into a one yard touchdown run by Donovan Jones.  Venable intercepted another pass on the next play from scrimmage.  Jones capped off that drive with a three yard run for a touchdown.  The score at half was 29-14 Tallassee.

Any thoughts of a Panther comeback were squashed when Nick Talley intercepted Venable on the first play of the third quarter.  The senior lineman returned the interception 33 yards for a touchdown. 
Jones tallied the final score of the night for Elmore County with a five yard run in the third quarter. 
Baynes connected with Miller for a second touchdown pass.  This one covered 12 yards.  Baynes added a one yard scoring run of his own at the end of the third quarter. 

Matthews closed out the scoring with a 58-yard burst around left end.  The extra point made the score 56-22.  Matthews finished the night with 159 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.  He also caught one pass that went for 50 yards and a score.  His 209 yards of total offense earned him the Bright House Networks Player of the Game honors.

"It's a big rival game," Coach Mike Battles said. "Our kids have been thinking about this for the last 364 days because we came up here and they put it on us. I thought our seniors did a good job. We had great practices this week. I've got to give it to Elmore County. They played hard and kept us on our heels, but at the end our kids made some clutch plays. I'm happy for them."

Tallassee is off this Friday night.  They will host Hale County in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 4.

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