West Blocton Pitches Shutout Against Dallas County
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The West Blocton Tigers hosted the Dallas County Hornets in a 4A Region 3 matchup Friday evening. The Tigers were able to jump on a few key mistakes from the Hornets and played their way to a 32-0 victory.
Dallas County won the opening kickoff and elected to receive the ball to begin the game. After the West Blocton defense stopped them on first and second down, Hornets head coach Douglas Laister dialed up a pass for senior quarterback Michael Harris.
Harris threw the ball but West Blocton linebacker Seth Isbell jumped it and was able to return the ball down to the Dallas County 4-yard line. One play later, Hunter Brand punched the ball in to give the Tigers the first score of the game.
West Blocton forced a punt from Dallas County on the following drive and received the ball back. However, freshman Tiger quarterback Trey Lawley's pass on first down was tipped and intercepted by senior Hornet linebacker Erion Carter who carried the ball down to the Tiger 20-yard line.
The West Blocton defense allowed one yard following the turnover and Dallas County missed the field goal attempt on fourth down.
Both teams traded drives following the miss until West Blocton received the ball back on their own 42-yard line with a few minutes left in the first quarter. Tigers coaches leaned on the running game with sophomore running back Nate Barron carrying the ball four times during the drive before finishing it off with a 21-yard touchdown scamper to put the Tigers up 14-0.
The Tigers defense swarmed the Hornets on the ensuing drive and forced a punt after a third down sack giving the Tigers the ball back on the Dallas County 42-yard line.
The Tigers mounted a 10-play drive all the way down to the Hornet seven yard line headlined by a pass from Lawley to his tight end Tyseon Smith for 15 yards. However, on fourth down the Tigers were unable to convert and turned the ball over.
Dallas County escaped from the potential safety situation because of a 28-yard scamper from Harris. The following play Harris was picked off again by Tiger senior safety Briggs Glass on a deep shot.
West Blocton looked to score quick after the big momentum boost and Barron started the drive with a first down run of 12 yards. The following play Lawley found junior wide receiver Kevin Montgomery over the top who took the ball the rest of the way to the house for a 57-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 20-0 at the half.
Dallas County got their first opportunity to kick the ball off on the night and Montgomery made the most of it. He burst through the middle of the Hornets special teams unit and carried the ball into the end zone to give the Tigers a 26-0 lead with only a few seconds off the clock in the second half.
The following Dallas County drive Harris was sacked on third down and the hit he took resulted in an injury that have him miss the rest of the game.
Montgomery fielded the following punt and was able to return the ball to score his second special teams touchdown of the night. However, the play was called back after a block in the back forced West Blocton to start the drive at midfield instead.
King continued to feed running backs Barron and Cooper Deerman before opting to go for it on fourth down at the Dallas County 36-yard line. Lawley threw up a jump ball to Smith who came down with it and rushed to score and give the Tigers a 32-0 lead halfway through the third quarter.
Lawley finished the game with 179 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Baron tallied 138 yards on the ground and one touchdown.
When asked about his offenses's ability to attack defenses in multiple ways, King said, "we are going to continue running the ball successfully and execute in our passing game the best that we can do."
Dallas County put together their best drive of the game after the score. Backup freshman quarterback Kodell Sharp lead the Hornets down the field to the West Blocton 10 yard line, completing passes of 13 and 18 yards and scrambling for five yards to convert on a fourth down attempt.
With goal to go, on third down, Sharp threw a pass to running back Daveon Jones who bobbled the ball and cooked down the sideline to score. However, a holding call negated the play and the Hornets turned the ball over after two incompletions.
When asked about the positives his team showed in the loss, Laister said, "I am very pleased with the way they never gave up and kept playing even though the game did not go our way."
West Blocton (5-4) will be off next week as the team prepares for the opening round of the playoffs in two weeks.
Dallas County (1-7) will host Southside Selma to close out their season next Friday.