Red Bay clinches home field for playoffs openerPublished 8:55am Saturday, October 19, 2013
For the FCT
In a battle for 2A Region 8 playoff positioning, the Red Bay Tigers (6-2, 5-1) came out on top by a score of 14-10 over the Lexington Golden Bears (6-2, 4-2) Friday night.
The exciting victory in front of a big Red Bay homecoming crowd assures the Tigers of a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Red Bay relied on a stingy big-play defense and controlled the ball on offense with its usual good running attack and some timely pass completions to win the game.
Lexington was able to score first when David Johnston made a 33-yard field goal capping a 10-play opening drive which took up almost half of the first quarter.
Red Bay answered quickly as Austin Childers took the following kickoff 63 yards to the Lexington 26-yard-line. Seven plays later, Childers scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run. His run on the following two-point try came up short, but the Tigers led 6-3.
Lexington’s next drive ended when Barry Reach recovered a Caleb Vinson fumble for one of his many big plays on the night for Red Bay.
The Tigers took advantage of the Lexington mistake turning it into what turned out to be the deciding points of the game.
Troy Borden connected with Jade Pounds on third-and-eight to keep the drive alive on one of their many pass completions of the game. On the next play, Matt Senkbeil ran 25 yards for a touchdown. The following successful two-point conversion carry by Austin Childers proved critical in the final outcome.
Red Bay held a 14-3 lead, but not for long. The Golden Bears used a 72-yard pass completion from Matthew Putman to Daniel Grisham on third-and-twenty to move the ball down to the Red Bay five-yard-line. Two plays later, Tristan Clark ran in for a TD from 3 yards out. Johnston’s extra point was good making the score 14-10 with 6:45 left to go in the first half.
The defense of the Golden Bears held strong the rest of the half keeping the Tigers out of the endzone despite Red Bay having two plays from the Lexington 6-yard-line just before halftime.
Interceptions hampered the Bears offense in the third quarter. Austin Childers and Jade Pounds each picked off Putman passes ending Lexington drives.
The Red Bay defense and solid punting by Troy Borden in pressure situations were instrumental in preserving the victory in the fourth quarter.
Lexington’s four drives in the final quarter all made it into Red Bay territory but came up empty.
The first ended at the Red Bay 13-yard-line after Matt Senkbeil deflected a pass on third down and Barry Reach did the same on fourth. This drive shows the importance of Red Bay’s successful two-point conversion earlier in the game as Lexington went for the touchdown on fourth down deep in Red Bay territory instead of attempting a field goal due to the 4-point margin.
Lexington’s next drive also ended after a unsuccessful fourth down play, this time from the Red Bay 32-yard-line.
Red Bay then successfully ran clock and forced Lexington to use timeouts by keeping the ball in the hands of the running backs.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in our defense and Coach Purser did an outstanding job tonight with the defensive gameplan. We put ourselves in some bad situations, but offensively, the second half, we didn’t want to beat ourselves,” Red Bay head coach John Ritter said.
The final big plays of the game came on another interception by Austin Childers of Red Bay and a sack by Barry Reach as time expired giving the Tigers the hard-earned victory.
“We had a couple of turnovers that we created, then the last play was a great job by Barry. We ran a little delayed blitz there and he was able to slide through untouched,” Ritter said.
Next, Red Bay will travel to Colbert Heights to take on the Wildcats.