Red Bay runs wild against Cats

By Brannon King

For the FCT

The Red Bay Tigers (7-2, 6-1) extended their current winning streak to seven games on a cold Friday night with a 38-20 victory over the Colbert Heights Wildcats.

Running back, Austin Childers led the way for the Tigers rushing for 337 yards on 36 carries.

“Early in the first half, we were able to throw the football a little bit and it got them on their heels,” Red Bay head coach John Ritter said.

“When it comes down to those third and fourth quarters and we’ve got a lead, we’re going to run the football. Up front we did a good job and Childers had another outstanding game.”

Red Bay got on the board first using a nine-play, 45-yard drive.  Austin Childers ran 12 yards for the first Red Bay touchdown.  Quarterback Troy Borden converted the two-point conversion on a keeper to give the Tigers the early lead, 8-0.

Colbert Heights then used a hurry-up, spread offensive attack to move the ball efficiently on their opening drive.

The Wildcats got as far as the Red Bay 9-yard-line before a couple of sacks by the Tigers defense and a stop on fourth down ended the scoring threat.

Colbert Heights threatened again opening the second quarter when a Cody Holt pass was complete to Colby Fisher down to the 6-yard-line, but the play didn’t stand because of a holding penalty. On the following play, Red Bay sacked Holt forcing the Wildcats to then punt.

Red Bay then got a 32-yard completion from Troy Borden to Nick Thorn to set the Tigers up again. Three plays later, Childers scored again, this time from 16 yards out. The try for two failed, but Red Bay led 14-0 with 7:49 left until the half.

Just before halftime, Colby Fisher of Colbert Heights intercepted a Troy Borden pass. With less than a minute before the break, Cody Holt found Dylan Marlar for a 21-yard TD pass.  The extra point kick by Zackary Gipson was good making the score, 14-7.

The Wildcats kept the momentum opening the second half when Holt again found Fisher, this time for a 24-yard TD pass.  Gipson added the PAT evening the score at 14.

It didn’t take long for Austin Childers to give the lead back to the Tigers. Childers used good blocking to go 59 yards for the third of his five touchdowns in the game. He also added the try for two giving the Tigers a 22-14 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, Fred Nethery intercepted a Colbert Heights pass. However, it only took two plays for Childers to fumble the ball right back to the Wildcats’ Zackary Gipson.

Colbert Heights then reached deep into their bag of tricks for a play that featured multiple Wildcats handling the football.  Colby Fisher got the ball to Dylan Marlar who then found Cody Holt who ultimately got the ball back to Marlar for what turned out to be a 24-yard scoring play. The Wildcats weren’t as fortunate on the following try for two, but they had cut the Red Bay lead to 22-20 with 9:25 left to go in the game.

Red Bay then chose a traditional approach to extend their lead.  Reliable Austin Childers raced 39 yards for a touchdown run ending a 3-play drive. Troy Borden added the two-point conversion and Red Bay led 30-20.

Red Bay’s Austin Belue ended a late Colbert Heights drive by recovering a William Denton fumble. Childers found the endzone on the next play from 34-yards-out. Borden again followed with the two-point conversion making the score 38-20 in favor of the Tigers.

Tate Ozbirn of Red Bay added a late interception to finish off the Wildcats.

The Red Bay defense was able to get pressure on the Colbert Heights quarterback during the game to help slow down the offense of the Wildcats.

“We were able to get some pressure early with some blitzes,” Ritter said.

“To their credit, they did a great job adjusting and picking up our blitzes and we had to rely more on three and four-man rushes. In the second half, it was kind of a bend but don’t break defense. We made enough plays late in the game to win this one.”

The Tigers will finish up their regular season schedule with a game at home against Marion County before entering into the playoffs.

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