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Andy Baker (No. 65) and the THS offensive front at work in Roanoke on Friday. Photos by Holley Taylor.

Tigers top defending champs again

By Gary Buchanan

Tallassee traveled to Roanoke Friday night to take on Handley for its first region game of the year. The Tigers earned a hard fought 21-13 victory over the defending 4A state champions, who they also beat last year. The win improved Tallassee’s record to 3-0 overall, 1-0 in region play.

Tallassee started fast, scoring on their first possession of the night as Casey Baynes connected with Jake Burton for a 39-yard touchdown pass.  Trent Cochran-Gill added a 35-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Tallassee led at halftime, 14-7.

Handley scored late in the third quarter and set up for the PAT to tie the game. Andy Baker broke through the line to block the extra point attempt. The score remained 14-13 going into the fourth quarter.

Kalvin Levett scored the game’s final touchdown with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter. The Tigers called a fake punt on 4th and three from Handley’s 43-yard line. Baynes found Levett for a 43-yard touchdown reception. Quinton Jeter’s third PAT of the night put Tallassee up 21-13.

Tavarious Griffin was a force on defense. He pressured the quarterback all night and had two huge plays to stop Handley’s final drive. His effort earned him the Spectrum Player of the Game honors.

“Our defense that last series made some huge plays,” said Coach Mike Battles. “That was a hard-hitting game. We knew we’d have a shot if we could get into the second half with them. Our kids prepared mentally and played hard. Our fans should be proud of these kids. This is what Tallassee is all about.”

Tallassee returns home this Friday to take on Childersburg in another region matchup. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. 1300 WTLS/106.5 FM will broadcast live with an airtime of 6:00. Audio will be simulcast on TuneIn Radio and Spectrum Cable TV Channel 97. Video is available on Tallassee Times TV.

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