Straughn tramples Bullock County
For the eighth consecutive season, the Straughn Tigers have secured a trip to the playoffs, as they laid the hammer down in a 45-22 victory over the Bullock County Hornets on Friday night in Straughn.
With the victory over the Hornets, the Tigers wrapped up the No. 4 playoff seed for Class 4A, Region 2.
Straughn got on the scoreboard first with 4:39 left in the first quarter when Malik Parker capped off a 39-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed, but the Tigers held a 6-0 lead.
Bullock County fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Jacob Hawkins corralled the loose ball for the Tigers on the Hornets’ 14-yard line.
Four plays later, Parker found the end zone for the second time on a 3-yard burst up the middle. The two-point attempt was no good, but the Tigers led 12-0 with 3:01 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers’ defense was stout and forced the Hornets to punt for the fourth straight possession.
Straughn began the drive inside Hornets’ territory again, and again Parker found the end zone, this time from 4 yards out. During the drive, Straughn got a 14-yard pass from Barrett Bush to Riley Eiland, and a 16-yard run from Jarvaris Samuel.
Following the touchdown and a successful extra point from C.J. Philpot, the Tigers were on top 19-0 with 11:14 left in the second quarter.
Bullock County responded with their strongest drive of the night, and capped the 12-play 60-yard drive with a fortunate touchdown. On a the fourth-and-goal play from the 12-yard line, the Hornet quarterback threw a pray towards the end zone, and the ball was tipped by Straughn player right in the hands of a Hornet receiver, who was falling into the end zone.
The extra point attempt from Bullock County was no good, and the Tigers led 19-6 with 6:58 left before halftime.
The Tigers marched down their field on their next drive thanks in part to an outstanding catch from Alan George on a pass from Bush. The big-time pass and catch set up a Samuel touchdown from 15 yards out. Philpot’s extra-point gave the Tigers a 26-6 lead with 5:35 left in the second quarter.
The Tiger defense forced another punt from the Hornets, and this time Hawkins fielded the punt broke a couple of tackles before reversing field and taking the return 72 yards for the score. The extra-point was not good, but Straughn held a 32-6 lead with 4:09 left in the second quarter.
After forcing another punt from Bullock County, the Tigers’ offense went back to work, and Bush scampered 44 yards for a touchdown on the drive’s second play. The extra-point was good and the Tigers lead 39-6 shortly before halftime.
Neither team could get anything going in the third quarter, and the Tigers’ defense continued to play strong. Matt Worley got a big interception that stopped a strong Hornet drive.
Bullock County managed a score on their first drive of the fourth quarter, but the Tigers answered right back.
Samuel busted out a 37-yard touchdown run, and completely hurdled a would-be tackler on his way to end zone. The extra-point was no good, but Straughn led 45-14 with 7:05 left in the game.
Bullock County’s final score game on a 63-yard run with just over a minute left in the game, and the Tigers were able to run out the rest of the clock for a 45-22 win.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Straughn coach Chris Wilson said. “In the second half, we started substituting and we looked sloppy, but it was good to get those guys some playing time. We somehow found a way to get into the playoffs, now we just hope the confidence we built over the last three weeks can continue to carry over.”
The Tigers’ final game of the regular season will be next week against cross-county rival Andalusia.