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PHOTO BY BART MOSS Jalen Vinson looks downfield for a Red Bay receiver.

Red Bay marches on in postseason

Big plays and a stifling defense led to a dominating second-round performance, as the Red Bay Tigers routed the Sullgent Blue Devils 43-6.

The win sends the Tigers to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A football playoffs for the first time since 2007. Red Bay will travel to top-ranked Fyffe for a battle of unbeatens Friday night.

“It was one of the goals we set early in the year because we knew it had been 12 years since we had been to the quarterfinals,” said Red Bay coach Michael Jackson. “Our guys are excited about it, and we are going to go over there and give it our best effort.”

Because of the Tiger defense, the 16-0 halftime lead appeared to have Red Bay in a comfortable position. Leaving nothing to chance, the Tiger offense exploded for 27 more unanswered points in the second half to completely put the game away.

“We got a couple of turnovers and made some big plays in the third quarter, and it just snowballed,” Jackson explained. “Most of our third quarters have been really good this year.”

Red Bay piled up 385 total yards while limiting Sulligent to 143 total yards.

Red Bay got the first score with 3:02 to go in the first quarter on a six-yard run by Colyn Humphres. Hunter King added the two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 8-0 lead.

Red Bay scored again with 0:37 to go in the half to take a 16-0 lead on an eight-yard run by Humphres. King again added the two-point conversion.

King would lead the Tigers in rushing with 107 yards on 16 carries. Humphres had 33 yards on 10 carries – two of those being touchdowns.

Quarterback Jalen Vinson scored three straight rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. The first came on a two-yard run with 7:49 to go; the second was a one-yard run with 3:55 to go; and the third was a 10-yard run with 1:59 to go.

Vinson ended the game with 13 carries, 80 yards and the three scores.

Red Bay’s final score came on a two-yard run by Blake Nix with 8:22 to go in the game.

Cam McKinney led the Red Bay defense with 10 tackles. He was followed by Hunter Burks with nine tackles and Jake Pounds with eight tackles.

Now Red Bay gears up for the challenge of playing the top-ranked Fyffe Red Devils on the road.

“We understand they are the defending state champions, and they’ve lost one game in the past three years,” said Jackson. “They have a really good football team. It will be a challenge going

to their place. We played them in 2015.

“We know what kind of team they have. We will have to play a complete game, and we can’t make mistakes.”