Armstrong strong-arms Hatton for 275 yards as No. 6 Red Bay rolls to 26-12 victory
RED BAY – After being on the road for two weeks, the Red Bay football team gave its crowd a show in the team's home debut, a 26-12 victory over Hatton.
The Tigers (2-1, 2-0) used a smash-mouth style of football to roll up 388 yards of offense highlighted by 275 rushing yards by senior Cody Armstrong.
"It was a gutsy night for him. He was sick all night," said Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys. "We probably don't win without him tonight."
Armstrong carried the ball 45 times for an average of 6.1 yards per carry, scored three touchdowns and scored on a two-point conversion.
About half of those carries came in the second half, but Armstrong said he was not worried about getting tired or the number of carries he was asked to make.
"(The coaches) put us through a lot of conditioning so that when (the other team) is gasping we are standing tall," Armstrong said. "(The carries) are part of it. You have to step up and play because there is not a lot of depth at the tailback position."
Hatton (1-2, 0-2) scored the only touchdown during the first 23 minutes of the game on a 10-yard pass, but Caleb Collins blocked the point-after kick to keep the score 6-0. The final minute of the half was much more explosive.
Red Bay capped off a 15-play, 63-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run by Armstrong. He missed the point-after kick so the game was tied 6-6.
It didn't stay that way long.
Hatton returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Hornets with a 12-6 lead with 41 seconds remaining in the half.
Not phased, Red Bay scored on the first play of the following drive when quarterback Cody Palmer hit Cody Tucker for a 67-yard scoring pass.
"We were trying to get field position so we ran the bubble screen," Jeffreys said. "We hadn't been in that formation all night and we got lucky and broke it."
The Tigers took the lead in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Armstrong. Red Bay added to its lead six minutes later when Armstrong punched the ball into the end zone on a 10-yard run. He also scored on the two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 26-12 lead.
Hatton threatened late, reaching the Tiger 3-yard line, but the defense held and forced a turnover on downs.
Palmer completed 2-of-6 passes for 82 yards and an interception. Tucker caught both of Palmer's passes.
Red Bay will host Cherokee Friday.