• 54°

Straughn sweeps Red Level 46-0

The Straughn Tigers (8-2) dominated the field Thursday night, defeating Red Level (3-7) 46-0.

Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said the team lacked a key element early.

“We didn’t play with a lot of intensity in the first half and that was a little disappointing,” Taylor said. “We did a lot better in the second half. We had a little fire and had to have a little prayer meeting at halftime and now we’ve got to get ready for next week.”

Straughn started out with the ball in the first quarter and quickly drove the ball down to Red Level’s 25-yard line where senior quarterback Ryne Taylor carried the ball for the first touchdown with 9:16 left in the first.

Late in the first quarter Straughn drove the ball 50 yards on its possession.

Early in the second quarter, Straughn answered with another touchdown when Taylor carried the ball in 9 yards to make it 13-0 with the extra kick being no good.

On Red Level’s next possession, Straughn held them on downs and they took over on the Straughn 22-yard line.

After Straughn’s C.J. Christopher carried the ball 7 yards to the Straughn 15-yard line, Taylor connected a short pass to junior James Byrd and he carried the ball down to the Red Level 13-yard line.

On a third-and-3 play, Taylor handed off to sophomore Eric Samuel for a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:34 left in the first half. Straughn tried for a 2-point conversion, but it was no good to make it a 19-0 lead.

Taylor said there is still some work that needs to be done at practice to get ready for next Friday when Straughn will travel to Slocomb for the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

“We didn’t do a real good job of getting where we need to be,” he said. “I think our kids played with more intensity in the second half; that was the biggest thing — we just didn’t play with a lot of fire in the first half.”

At the start of the third quarter, Red Level could not move the ball on downs and Straughn started a new second half possession on the Red Level 47-yard line.

On this drive, Taylor gave the ball to sophomore Andrew Stokes who then took it up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:52 left in the third quarter.

Red Level couldn’t hold on to the ball for long after Straughn’s fourth touchdown. Red Level’s Torey Cobb threw an interception into the hands of junior Trey Mathews to give the ball back to Straughn.

Straughn took advantage of its momentum and scored a touchdown from the Red Level 12-yard line when Stokes carried the ball in with 6:15 left in the third. The extra point was no good.

Another turnover by Red Level on their next possession, which Straughn recovered, launched another touchdown for the dominating Tigers.

On first-and-goal, Straughn’s Ryne Taylor passed to C.J. Christopher for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 5:04 left in the third quarter to make the game 39-0.

Red Level fumbled the ball on their next possession and again Straughn scooped the ball up with a little over three minutes left in the third to set up their last touchdown for the night.

Anthony Elmore carried the ball for 6 yards for the score.

In the first half, Taylor was 7-for-14 for 41 yards and carried the ball four times for 43 yards with two touchdowns.

Stokes had five carries for 12 yards, Samuel had five carries for 30 yards and a touchdown and Byrd had one reception for 57 yards.

Red Level’s Desmond Jones had six carries for 39 yards.

The leading rusher for Straughn in the second half was Andrew Stokes who had five carries for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor was 3-for-6 for 49 yards.

Red Level head coach Tim Grimes said the team played hard despite the mistakes that were made.

“Straughn’s got a good team we knew that (going into the game),” Grimes said. “We played mighty hard and we didn’t just play hard in the first half, we played hard in the second half. We just couldn’t overcome some of those mistakes we’ve made. Those are the mistakes that have kind of plagued us all year.”

Grimes added that they wish the best for Straughn in their playoff pursuit.

“We hope Straughn can win 3A,” he said. “They’re our county school and we’re going to back them all the way now that it’s over with. We sure wanted to whoop them, but we couldn’t and we hope they can win the next five.”

Straughn will travel to play Slocomb next Friday night in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.