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Wildcats power past Flame to 22-6 victory

After a first half beset by fumbles and penalties, the Tharptown Wildcats found their groove and powered past the Shoals Christian Flame 22-6.

Senior Blake Daily led the power ground game for the Wildcats, scoring all three of their touchdowns in the second half.

Both teams were mistakeprone in the first half. If a football wasn’t on the ground, a yellow flag was.

Shoals Christian was penalized 15 times for 135 yards, 100 of which came in the first half. Tharptown had 15 penalties for 120 yards.

“We played sloppily in the first half,” said Tharptown Coach Kevin Lacey. “That is on me. I take full responsibility.

“I am proud of our players and coaches for making the adjustments we needed and finding a way to win in the second half,” he added. “Great competitors don’t lay down and quit; they adjust and overcome.

Tharptown trailed Shoals Christian 6-0 at halftime after a late touchdown by the Flame.

After a lengthy halftime locker room session, the Wildcats returned like a new team, powered by Daily. Daily ran the ball for 220 yards, most of which were power runs up the middle, and three touchdowns to cap off a secondhalf comeback for the Wildcats.

“Blake is a tough kid,” said Lacey. “He is a bulldog out there. He will lower his shoulder and lay a hit on a defender. He is definitely not afraid of contact. I expect that out of him every game.”

Dawson Higgins got things started for the Wildcats in the third quarter with an interception of a Shoals Christian pass, giving Tharptown the ball in Flame territory. Seven plays later, Daily ran the ball in from seven yards out to tie the game 6-6.

Tharptown once again capitalized on a Shoals Christian fumble when Carron Sears recovered the ball at the 50yard line. Again, Daily punched the ball in a few plays later to give the Wildcats a 14-6 lead.

Daily added another touchdown with 6:26 to go. After a two-point conversion pass from Higgins to Josh Riley, the Wildcats led 22-6.

Adrian Banderas and Riley also had interceptions in the game.