Tigers get revenge on Bobcats
The Marshall County Tigers (4-1, 2-0) have waited 213 days for a rematch since Giles County's Bobcats (0-5,
0-2) shattered their playoff dreams last season just a week after a win in the regular season finale.
The Tigers have been counting every day -- and they got that revenge with an incredible 46-6 dismantling of the Bobcats on their home turf in Pulaski in front of a packed house.
"It's been 213 days since we have last played them," tight end Darius McKenzie said. "I've been counting since we played them and they put us out. We were the last team they beat last year in the playoffs and they haven't won a game yet this year. This feels great."
The Tigers never gave the Bobcats a chance to gain any momentum. From a Steven Dangerfield pick-six to open the game to a Bryce Wallace touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats could not make that one big play to get them going against their longtime rivals.
"This was a huge win for us, they are our biggest rival." coach Thomas Osteen said. "This means a whole lot for our kids, their record didn't matter, and we threw that completely out. Our kids fought like crazy all week to be able to be able to put on a great performance tonight. I'm so happy for our kids and they took as a team tonight."
After the Dangerfield pick-six put the Tigers up 6-0, the Bobcats took to the air again on their second possession and just like the first one, J.Q. Haislip was there to get the interception.
Defense helps offense
"Our defense is really important for our offense," Haislip said. "With all the turnovers we caused it gave the offense more chances to score. We worked on our tackling a lot more this week in practice and we are really coming together as a team. We know what we have to do and we have really stepped it up."
The defense struck again on the next Giles County possession, forcing the Bobcats into their own end zone where Josh Franklin recorded a safety on a punt attempt for a 15-0 score.
"Every day in practice we preach competition, so we are competing hard every day," defensive coordinator Jerry Cobb said. "We get to practice against one of the best offenses in the state and that makes us better and we make them better. Our job is to make sure we get the ball back to the offense. We work really well as a unit."
The Tiger offense shined as well on the next series as Posey shot a bullet to Tre Crutcher for a 78-yard touchdown and a 22-0 score.
For the third week in a row the opposing team turned the ball over on downs giving Marshall County a short field with under a minute in the half and for the third week in a row the Tigers made their opponents pay for a bad decision.
After an 18-yard Jay Howard run and 8-yard catch and Crutcher 27-yard catch, Posey hit McKenzie for an 18 yard TD pass. "It felt really good since I was out last week," McKenzie said. "Ashton is a fantastic QB, we have great
chemistry. I love playing with him, I couldn't see myself playing for anyone else."
Jay Howard opened up the second half with a 58-yard TD run on just the second play in the third quarter to push the Tiger lead to 36-0.
After stalling on the ensuing drive, the Tigers called on Caleb Estes, who answered with a 38-yard field goal. Estes finished with three extra points while sharing kickoff duties with Marvin Jaimes, who kicked two extra points and had four touchbacks on kickoffs.
Holding on tight
"Right now we aren't great at snapping the ball by any means," Osteen said. "But Tanner Clark makes up for those with good holds. Caleb did a great job kicking for us tonight and I'm so pumped that Marvin Jaimes is with us this year. He's got an immensely strong let and I'm so pumped about the kicking game this year."
The Tigers would tack one more highlight film play when former Bobcat Bryce Wallace hit Montrell Harris on a 23-yard TD run on a screen pass with 5 minutes left in the game.
City boys invade
The Tigers once again face a successful team out of Metro Nashville when the resurgent Stratford Spartans travel to Lewisburg sporting a 4-1 record.
"We like the challenge of facing these athletic teams from Nashville," McKenzie said. "In the playoffs you never know who or what you're going to see. We know we have a harder schedule this year, Stratford has gotten way better than last year, they are definitely one of the harder teams left on the schedule."
Osteen concurred saying, "Anytime you play a team that's tremendous athletically like Stratford, it challenges every aspect of your football team. If you have a weakness they are going to bring it out. They were 4-0 going into tonight and coach (Maurice) Fitzgerald does a great job so it's going to be another big challenge for our football team."
The Tigers will host the Spartans Friday for homecoming at 6:30 p.m.
Marshall County 13 16 10 7--46
Giles County 0 0 0 6--6
M -- Steven Dangerfield 41 interception return
M -- Tre Crutcher 78 pass from Ashton Posey
(Caleb Estes kick).
M -- Josh Franklin safety.
M -- Crutcher 17 pass from Posey (Estes
M -- Darius McKenzie 18 pass from Posey
M -- Howard 58 run (Estes kick).
M -- Estes 38 field goal
G -- Jordan Tucker 1 run (kick blocked).
M -- Montrell Harris 23 pass from Bryce Wallace
Total yards-Marshall County 412, Giles County
Rushing-Marshall County 124, Giles County
Passing-Marshall County 298, Giles County
Marshall County-Jay Howard 2-70-TD, Josh
Franklin 9-42, Ashton Posey 3-13, Malik
Harris 1-1, Kamron Liggett 2-0, Bryce Wallace
Marshall County-Ashton Posey 14-21-245-
3TD, Bryce Wallace 3-4-43-TD-INT.
Marshall County-Tre Crutcher 5-145-2TD, Jay
Howard 5-54, Darius McKenzie 3-40-TD, Montrell
Harris 1-13-TD, Noah Jorgenson 1-2.
Marshall County-JQ Haislip 10, Zach Johnson
9, Iendi Biggers 8, Tanner Clark 7, Payton
Hood 7 (sack), Tae tae Lyttle 6, Josh
Franklin 5, Curtis Keiler 4, Kamron Liggett
4, Prentice Davis 3, Blair Conger 3 (sack),
Hunter Cummings 3, Steven Dangerfield 3,
Donathon Tears 2, Tavi Mclean 2 (sack),
Miciah Greer 1.