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RBHS Tigers take down THS Wildcats

By Bart Moss for the FCT

The Tharptown Wildcats had no answer for Red Bay’s Tate Ozbirn. The Tigers senior running back carried the ball 14 times for 192 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 59-7 victory. Red Bay led 40-0 at the half and stretched its lead to 53-0 before Tharptown’s late score.

“I thought we did a good job moving the football tonight,” said Red Bay Coach Michael Jackson. “We still have some things we need to correct as we get into our region schedule, but I was pleased with our effort tonight.”

Ozbirn and Kaleb Burroughs teamed up to score six of the first seven touchdowns for Red Bay. A 16-yard run by Burroughs gave Red Bay an early 7-0 lead before Ozbirn found the end zone twice in the opening quarter. Runs of 69 and 13 yards gave the Tigers a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.

In the second quarter, quarterback Kolby Bragwell recorded a pair of touchdown passes to extend the lead. He hit Burroughs for a 38-yard score before finding Max Bullen from 21 yards out to make the score 34-0 with 5:30 remaining. Another one-yard touchdown by Ozbirn in the final minute of the first half increased the lead to 40-0 at the break.

A seven-yard touchdown run by Ozbirn on Red Bay’s first drive of the second half closed out the night for the senior. Aaron Lewey added a 26-yard score with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter to give the Tigers a 53-0 lead.

Tharptown was able to get on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Carson Petree hit Matt Hall for a 12-yard touchdown at the 11:20 mark. Colby King then finished the scoring for Red Bay with a 15-yard run with 9:21 remaining.

“Obviously, it is not the result we wanted,” said Tharptown’s first year coach Kevin Lacey.  “We faced two very good football teams back-to-back. Hopefully, as we enter region play, we can start moving the football and getting some key stops.”

Both teams will open region play Friday night. Red Bay will host Mars Hill. Tharptown will host Shoals Christian.