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Tigers open with rout

The Red Bay Tigers opened the season with a 36-0 rout of the Colbert Heights Wildcats. Tigers Coach Michael Jackson credited his team’s veteran-like maturity.

“I was very pleased with our team’s maturity level and approach to the game,” said Jackson. “We made some typical first-game mistakes, but they are correctable mistakes. We also did a good job of making in-game adjustments.”

In the past, Jackson’s teams have mostly been grind-it-out, run-oriented teams. If game one is any indication, the pass-happy Tigers could give opposing teams fits as the season progresses.

Red Bay quarterback Jalen Vinson completed 11 of 18 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Vinson also ran the ball eight times for 65 yards. 

Vinson had plenty of targets as well. Arden Hamilton caught three passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Mason Holt had five catches for 98 yards. Colen Humphres caught three passes for 37 yards.

“I thought we did a great job of taking care of the ball,” said Jackson. “After a couple of drives we got in a groove and made some big plays in the passing game. We were able to complete 11 passes to three different guys.”

The Tigers got their first score midway through the first quarter on five-yard run by Colbie King. A two-point conversion attempt failed, giving Red Bay a 6-0 lead with 6:23 to go in the opening quarter.

Red Bay scored twice in the second quarter, with Vinson connecting with Hamilton both times. The duo connected on touchdown passes of 74 yards and 16 yards. Both two point conversions were successful, giving Red Bay a 22-0 lead going into halftime.

Humphres scored twice for the Tigers in the second half. The first was a 9-yard run with 5:18 to go in the third quarter to give Red Bay a 28-0 lead. The second was 5-yard run with 8:18 to go in the fourth quarter to give the Tigers the 36-0 win.

Red Bay amassed 407 total yards on the night – 173 on the ground; 234 in the air.

Defensively, the Tigers were strong, holding Colbert Heights to 114 total yards – all on the ground.

“We did a really good job of eliminating big plays,” said Jackson. “Our defensive staff did a great job considering we didn’t really know what Colbert Heights was going to do.”

Cam McKinney led the stingy Red Bay defense with 17 tackles on the night, 11 of which were solo tackles.

Red Bay will host county-rival Phil Campbell Friday night at 7 p.m.