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No. 10 Red Bay improves to 7-0

By Staff
Stephen Moore
CHEROKEE – The Red Bay Tigers didn't let its new Top 10 ranking or an explosive opposing offense get in their way en route to a 42-21 win over Cherokee at William L. Harris Stadium.
No. 10 Red Bay (7-0, 5-0), ranked for the first time this season, jumped out to a 35-7 first-half lead and held on for the win to set up a Class 2A, Region 8 matchup with Addison (6-1, 5-0) next Friday at home.
"The first half was probably the best half we've played all year, but we got a little slack in the second half," Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys said. "We wanted to come out and dominate, and we did. We had too many turnovers, but the defense played well tonight."
Senior running back Josh Senkbeil spearheaded Red Bay's superior rushing attack with 26 carries for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
As a team, the Tigers rushed for 281 yards, while their defense held the Indians (3-4, 2-3) to 181 yards on the ground and twice intercepted Cherokee star receiver-quarterback Dominque Croom, who came into the game averaging nearly three total touchdowns per game.
Senior quarterback Anthony Horton scored on a 15-yard keeper, Senkbeil busted up the middle for a 3-yard score and Pablo Makepeace caught a 15-yard touchdown from Horton to put Red Bay ahead 21-0 with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter.
Cherokee squeezed in a score at the end of the first quarter when Croom connected with Elijah Hester for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.
The Tigers continued to run at Cherokee in the second quarter as Senkbeil reeled off 7-yard and 1-yard rushing scores to put Red Bay ahead 35-7 at halftime.
With 6:00 left in the third quarter, Indians quarterback Kelvin Martin narrowed the gap to 35-14 with a 1-yard keeper.
Red Bay responded when senior Joe McKinney gathered in a 47-yard touchdown from Horton, who finished 6-of-10 for 113 yards with two passing scores and one rushing touchdown.
Cherokee added another third-quarter score with 1:18 left when Croom scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper.
The Indians threatened to score again in the final period, but a potential touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty.
Makepeace was 6-of-6 for PATs, and Caleb Collins added two receptions for 31 yards. McKinney and Horton each had interceptions on defense.
The winner of the Red Bay-Addison game will more than likely clinch a Class 2A, Region 8 championship.
"We need everyone on the team to give it their all for a piece of the gold next week," Jeffreys said. "And we need all the fans to come out and support these student-athletes, because they've been working hard.
"We know Addison will bring a big crowd and they're a good team, so we need to show them our home field. It's Senior Night as well, and this will be our last home game this season."
The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. Friday at Fred G. Bostick Memorial, Jr. Memorial Stadium.

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