LMS Tigers remain unbeaten after blowout win

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Demari Braden (29) scored two touchdowns versus Bridgeforth on Thursday night in Pulaski.
Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

The middle of the season has come and gone for the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers and third-year head coach Beau Hardison.

After combining to win just three games in his first two-years at the helm, Hardison has the Tigers roaring towards the finish line following a third straight lopsided win, this time a 40-6 win at Bridgeforth.

Following a season opening 24-8 win over a tough Witthorne club, the Tigers have beaten E.O. Coffman, Tullahoma, and Bridgeforth by at least 20 points.

The Tigers, however; still have a lot of room for improvement.

"I thought we came out flat and didnít start well," Hardison said. "Our intensity wasnít really there all night offensively. I guess thatís my fault. I need to get them ready for every game, no matter the opponent."

"We have to learn to start every game fast and intense," Hardison continued. "I feel like we were just going through the motions the first half. Yeah, we scored four touchdowns, but we didnít play well offensively. We scored on the first play after kickoff, but we had a lot of mistakes that will hurt us in a tight game."

Tiger quarterback Mason Warner (18) calls on audible in an earlier game this season.

And just like the previous three games, the Bridgeforth defensive scheme had no answer for star Tiger running back Demari Braden.

Following the opening kickoff, Braden took the handoff 45-yards for the opening score.

Braden continued to have his way with Bridgeforth, crossing the goal line from 10 yards out to put the Tigers up 14-0 after the first period.

The Tigers continued to dominate Bridgeforth on both sides of the ball and a Mason Warner touchdown run off a bootleg put LMS up 28-0 as the half drew to a close at Pulaski.

"At halftime we just told them to come out with some intensity and they responded well with a pick six on the first play from scrimmage," Hardison recalled. "The young guys played most of the second half and I thought they did an excellent job, scoring once and giving up one score on their starters."

On the second play of the third quarter, Kintarius Morris stepped in front of a Bridgeforth pass and took the interception to the house.

With the Tigers holding a convincing 34-0 advantage, Hardison starting giving the younger players some valuable extended playing time.

The second team offense proved they could play with the Bridgeforth defense as Jakavian Curry scored on a short touchdown run following the only Bobcatsí score of the game. After a Wyatt Joyce extra point, the Tigers went up 40-6 to end the ballgame.

Defensive back James Hery (25) has been a leader on the Tiger defense in 2018.

The Tigers defense was led by Jonathan Blair up front, Braden roaming in the middle of the defense, and James Hery holding down the secondary.

The Lewisburg defensive unit has given up just seven scores on the season and that will be a big factor in the next contest as Spring Hill makes opponents play hard for every offensive inch.

"Spring Hill is always tough," Hardison emphasized. "They always have a good game plan against us. This might be one of the toughest defenses that we will face all year."

"They will put a ton of guys in the box and stack the corners," Hardison added. "We just have to keep doing what we have been doing all year on both sides of the ball. I feel like this game will be won by the team that can control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball."

Coach Beau Hardison (white hat) fires up the Tigers before the second half of the season opener.

"We just want to keep it close early and then we feel like our depth and conditioning program will wear them down in the second half."

After the match-up with Spring Hill, the road to perfection won't get any easier with an away game at defending Big South Conference champs Dickson before playing currently undefeated E.A. Cox in a potential battle for the conference crown in the regular season finale.