No. 4 Red Bay downs Sand Rock 26-7
Franklin County Times
LEESBURG – Despite missing two key starters, it was business as usual for No. 4 Red Bay Friday night as senior Josh Senkbeil rushed for two touchdowns and 110 yards in the Tigers' 26-7 win at Sand Rock.
Facing a potent passing attack, the Red Bay defense intercepted Sand Rock quarterback Justin Mackey three times and came up with four sacks and three recovered fumbles. The Wildcats were held to 36 rushing yards and only 143 yards of total offense.
The Tigers were missing injured middle linebacker DJ Elrod and quarterback Anthony Horton, but sophomore Cody Palmer ran the offense effectively and was 7-of-10 passing for 92 yards with one interception and three completions of 15 yards or more.
Red Bay struck first late in the first quarter when Senkbeil scampered around right end for a 7-yard score with 1:39 remaining.
Sand Rock answered on its ensuing drive when Mackey found Dex Vines for a 20-yard pass to go ahead 7-6 with 10:31 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers took a 14-7 lead at halftime after Senkbeil rushed for a 20-yard touchdown and also scored the 2-point conversion.
Senior Pablo Makepeace finished the regular season perfect on PATs, but was 0-for-4 against Sand Rock. But Makepeace accounted for all of Red Bay's scoring in the second half after an 8-yard run in the third quarter to put the Tigers ahead 20-7. He also corralled a misthrown flea-flicker pass in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter and returned it 35 yards for the final 26-7 score.
Makepeace finished with two interceptions, and senior Joe McKinney also picked off a pass.
After Makepeace's third-quarter score, the Red Bay defense stuffed the Wildcats on their following drive. Senior Adam Henson and junnior Terry Wilemon combined for two sacks, and sophomore Curtis Morrell made a vital stop during the drive and forced the Wildcats to punt. Junior Caleb Collins also had a sack for Red Bay.
"We did a good job, and the defense really stepped up," Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys said. "Adam Henson played great defense, and Cody did really well coming in as a sophomore quarterback in his first start."
Red Bay has advanced to the third round of the state playoffs for the third time since 2003. The Tigers will host No. 9 Piedmont next Friday at 7 p.m. Piedmont beat Woodlawn 37-13 Friday night to advance.
"We had too many penalties and turnovers tonight, although we made some great plays. The further we go in the playoffs, the better the competition gets, and the margin of error is virtually nil." Jeffreys said. "I'm glad we're 12-0, but we haven't played our best game yet."