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Red Bay takes the win over Hatton

Red Bay's Tyler Reach is forced out of bounds just a couple yards short of a TD against Hatton Friday night. Photo by Keith Ledbetter.
Red Bay’s Tyler Reach is forced out of bounds just a couple yards short of a TD against Hatton Friday night. Photo by Keith Ledbetter.

By Keith Ledbetter

For the FCT

With the Region 8 Championship on the line, the Red Bay Tigers and the Hatton Hornets gave it everything they had in a battle that came down to the final quarter.

Red Bay came back from a 14-14 first half tie to add two more TDs in the final two quarters to take a 28-21 win over the Hornets.

“I’m so proud of these guys, because we did have some adversity during the game,” Tiger head football coach Michael Jackson said, referring to an injury to a Red Bay starter in the first half.

“Hatton has got a good football team and they hit us the first half. They got some breaks and they got us on several big plays.”

Red Bay converted four times during their 70-yard opening scoring drive that was capped off with an eight-yard TD pass from Tiger quarterback Troy Borden to Jade Pounds.

Red Bay kicker Dekota Hester was four-for-four for the night in point after kicks for Red Bay.

Tyler Reach led Red Bay with over 130 yards rushing on 10 carries and one TD.

The Tigers also had 50, 87 and 67-yard scoring drives during the game.

Just four plays after Red Bay’s opening TD, Hatton’s Trey Brown scored on a 74-yard run to tie the game at 7-7.

After a couple of swapped punts, Red Bay received good field position after the Hornets quick-kicked the ball to the 50 yard line.

With just 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Red Bay’s Nick Thorn picked up a Tiger first down with a 12-yard gain. A completed pass to Reed Holt added another five to start the second quarter.

Holt again answered the call on a big third and two play to the 10 yard line of Hatton. Tyler Reach picked up another first down with a run to the three. Borden scored Red Bay’s second TD with a three-yard keeper to put Red Bay up 14-7.

Hatton mounted a solid drive on their next possession that took them to the 17 of Red Bay but was stalled when Red Bay’s defense stopped their third and one attempt to convert. The Hornets looked to catch the Red Bay defense off guard with an attempted pass, but it fell incomplete on their fourth down play.

Red Bay took over from their own 17 but was forced to punt when they failed to convert on fourth and five at the 35 yard line.

The Hornets ended a 70-yard scoring drive when Zane Streater connected with Riley Coffey to tie the score at 14-14 at halftime.

A holding call against the Hornets and a sack by Red Bay’s Andrew Richardson on Hatton’s first third quarter possession forced them to punt on a forth and 27.

After receiving the punt at their own 13 yard line, the Tigers drove 87 yards on eight plays and four conversions to score on a 37-yard run by Reach to give Red Bay a 21-14 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

With just over four minutes remaining in the game, Borden ended a 67-yard drive when he connected with Holt for a five-yard TD pass to extend the Tigers’ lead to 28-14.

“We work on that play everyday,”  Jackson said.

“We don’t know when we’re going to use it, and that’s the first time we’ve used it in three or four games to that side of the field.

“Troy made a great pass and Reed made a great catch.”

After several attempts, Hatton completed a long scoring dive with a three-yard TD run with only seven seconds remaining in the game. Their onside kick attempt failed when Red Bay recovered the ball and let time expire.

“They’re some games that we have to keep them off the field. We have to take the ball and run the clock and that’s what happened tonight,” Jackson said.

Red Bay will have an open week this week, but will host Tharptown for Senior Night on October 24.