Tigers halt Wildcats

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
For the third consecutive game, the Tiger defense swarmed the field in a blowout win. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Tigers welcomed a Tullahoma team that has not won a game since Halloween night of 2014 to Lewisburg on Friday night and despite the Wildcats' dismal record the past two years, Marshall County did not take them lightly which translated to 55-7 drubbing over the team from Coffee County.

"Our game plan was to play to our standard all night and play a clean game," MCHS coach Thomas Osteen said. "Play to our level of football no matter who we are playing. I think for the most part we did that."

Region win

"Our first team defense didn't get scored on and I thought we stayed on schedule for the most part on offense," Osteen added. "Just a bunch of good things, the biggest thing was the first region game we won, so very happy."

Tiger wide receiver Tre Crutcher had 127 receiving yards and two touchdowns versus Tullahoma Friday night.

The Wildcats found out quickly what most Marshall County opponents discover which is with the Tigers, you pick your poison. If the game plan is to focus on one player another will burn you and the Tigers once again spread around the wealth as six different players scored while star receivers Jay Howard and Tre Crutcher scored two touchdowns apiece.

"I know last year we beat them pretty bad but we came in practice, didn't take them for granted, came out hard and came out on top," Howard, who led the team with 187 all-purpose yards, explained. "(The other teams) have been focused on me but it's great when my other teammates get the ball too. That's part of being mature, sharing in your teammate's success."

'D' does it again

The defense shone bright for the Tigers for the third consecutive game, allowing just one touchdown when the second string was in the process of running on the field, and giving up just 32 total points through three games.

"Overall the big picture is pretty good, we know how to line up, we know how to run plays, we know how to adjust to formations," defensive coordinator Jerry Cobb said. "But there's always the little things like maintaining leverage and adjusting to formations and seeing plays and just executing at a high rate. That's what we were focused on this week and I thought we did a good job."

"Everything is won inside the weight room first," defensive tackle Josh Johnson added. "It's hard down in the trenches but we can handle it."

Picking off passes

The secondary was huge on defense, coming up with three interceptions by J.Q. Haislip, Keevon Maxwell, and Hunter Lancaster with no bigger than Haislip's, who took the pick back 55 yards for a score in the third quarter.

"I was talking to D'Andre (Brown) earlier in the game and I told him if I got one I was not going to get tackled," Haislip said. "I had a couple of good blocks, one by Tavi (Mclean) and Tre Fields and they just opened up the field for me and I was determined to score."

Jay Howard, seen here versus John Overton, had a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown and seven catches for 93 yards and a TD versus Tullahoma Friday night at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg.

The offense was not without big plays as Jay Howard took a kickoff return 95 yards to the house, Cain McWilliams scored his fifth touchdown on the season and Tre Crutcher scored two touchdowns for 127 yards.

MCHS Quarterback Bryce Wallace passed for three touchdowns and ran another in from 33 yards out and Kamron Liggett ran for a 25-yard score.

"It never really set in my mind that (Tullahoma) was the underdog," Liggett, who leads the Tigers with 221 yards on the season, said. "I just wanted to go out there and play the football that I know I'm capable of playing."

Tough foe awaits

The Tiger put this win in the rear view mirror and look towards a Friday night collision with non-region opponent East Nashville, who features several of the state's top recruits.

"We're just going into the game knowing we're playing a great football team," Osteen said. "They've got three DI football players on defense. (Jacob) Phillips is the number 36 player in the country at linebacker, they've got a four-star corner that's a sophomore and a DI defensive tackle too. So points are gonna be at a premium and we're going to be tested at every phase of the game with as many athletes as we're playing next week."

East Nashville (1-2), which lost 24-8 to the Tigers in 2015, is coming off a 20-19 loss to Stratford, which the Tigers (3-0, 1-0) play in Nashville in Week Six.

Tullahoma 0 0 7 0-7

MCHS 13 14 28 0-55

Scoring Plays

First quarter

MCHS-Bryce Wallace 4 pass to Trey Crutcher (PAT NG)

MCHS-Cain McWilliams 5 run (Estes PAT)

Second quarter

MCHS-Wallace 68 pass to Crutcher (Estes PAT)

MCHS-Kamron Liggett 25 run (Estes PAT)

Third Quarter

MCHS-Jay Howard 40 pass from Wallace (Estes PAT)

MCHS-Wallace 33 run (Estes PAT)

Tullahoma-62 yard pass (PAT Good)

MCHS-JQ Haislip 56 INT return (Estes PAT)

MCHS-Howard kickoff 95 return (Estes PAT)

Marshall County

Total Yards-Rushing 153, passing 257

Rushing-Kamron Liggett 8-75-TD, Elijah Taylor 3-34, Cain McWilliams 3-23, Bryce Wallace 2-22, Malik Thomison 1-(-1)

Passing-Bryce Wallace 17-22-245-3TD, Malik Thomison 2-2-12

Receiving-Trey Crutcher 8-127-2TD, Jay Howard 7-93-TD, Kamron Liggett 1-16, Devon Wilson 2-12, Matt Reunions 1-10

Kicking

PAT-Caleb Estes 7-8

Punt Returns-Trey Crutcher 1-7

Kickoff Returns-Jay Howard 1-95-TD

Tackles-Tavi Mclean 9 (sack), Jayshon Wilcox 6, Donathan Tears 4, Tre Fields 4, Hunter Cummings 4, Josh Johnson 3, Hunter Lancaster 3 (INT), Cain McWilliams 2, Miciah Greer 2, Joseph Freeland 2, Trent Richardson 2, Keylin Talley 2, Tae Tae Lyttle 2, Keevon Maxwell 1, Savon Cash 1, Andrew Gold 1, JQ Haislip 1 (INT), Kamron Liggett 1, Devon Wilson 1, Tez Allen 1, Marcus McCord 1