By Matt Jones 

The weather was hot. The stands were packed. The “Judy dogs” were ready to be sold at the concession stand. Football season had begun in West Blocton. The Tigers were hosting the Shelby County Wildcats for the season opener. There was a lot of excitement in the air, but also a lot of tension because the Tigers lost to the Wildcats the year prior to start the season. Coach DreMail King and his coaching staff were prepared. The players were prepared. Now it was time to put all the preparation into action.  

The offense for the Tigers was highlighted by the running game. With close to 300 yards of rushing, 292 to be exact, the Tigers ran their way to victory. Nate Barron (RB), was a machine in the backfield all night. He had 25 carries for 197 yards. He was relieved every now and then by Carson and Cooper Deerman who were able to grab some rushing yards as well. Cooper had 11 carries for 74 yards and Carson had 5 carries for 21 yards. The offensive line made the running backs’ job a little easier by providing big gaps for them to run through. Landyn Scurlock (LT) and Carson Champion (RG) had the two highest grades from Friday night’s game on the offensive line.  

While there was a massive running attack from the offense, there was also key passes made to help the Tigers push to victory. Trey Lawley (QB) went 5-7 with 47 yards of passing and 1 passing touchdown. Cooper Deerman also made a beautiful one handed catch for a touchdown early in the game. Cooper finished the game with 2 receptions for 16 yards and 1 TD. Markell O’neil also made his presence known with 2 catches for 19 yards.  

The defense for the Tigers played a great game. They did a great job getting turnovers and causing disruption for the Wildcats. They only allowed 13 points. Some notable players on the defense were Carson Deerman (S) who had 3 solo tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Levi Carey (LB) had 4 solo tackles. Brody Cook and Jamarkus O’neil played solid on the defensive line and found their way in the backfield multiple times. Nick Kelley (S) was able to snag an interception late in the 1st half to help the Tigers gain the momentum going into the locker room.  

The special teams for the Tigers made a huge difference for the game. After giving up a touchdown early, the kickoff return team turned the momentum back to the Tigers with an 85 yard return, by Kevin Montgomery, for a touchdown. Special teams also got a turnover late in the game to help the momentum shift again.  

The Tigers ended the night on top of the Wildcats 25-13.  

Coach King’s thoughts on the game:  

“It was win and we are very happy with our win, but it is a win that we can grow from.”  

This week the Tigers will face-off against an old, long time rival the Brookwood Panthers. It will be the first Friday night at Brookwood’s new football facility.