E.A. Sports Today

Tribe rolls into quarters

Ohatchee rallies, reaches third round of 3A playoffs and first third-round home game ever

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

ROGERSVILLE (Oct. 11) — For all the points and yards his team put up Friday night, the thing Ohatchee coach Scott Martin was most impressed about his team was the way it overcame early adversity.

The Indians bounced back from an early deficit on the road and some early turnovers to beat Lauderdale County 49-21 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The win sets up a rematch with Region 5 rival Randolph County next week at Roy C. Owens Field. It will be the Indians’ first third-round game since 2002 and their first third-round home game ever.

It’s interesting because Randolph County provided the same kind of test as the Indians (11-1) faced against the Tigers (7-5). They were down 6-0 in that one; on this night they trailed 7-0 and turned it over the next two times they touched the ball before righting the ship.

“We hadn’t had to fight back through adversity away like that since we played at Randolph County in Week 3 and for our kids to come out and play like they did and play hard-nosed football for 48 minutes I was extremely proud,” Martin said. “Any time you get behind on the road you’re always concerned early-on and then you get a couple turnovers and you get a little gun-shy throwing the football.

“But our guys were able to figure it out a little bit and get on them a little bit. Our guys come to play every week. They’re fun to coach because there’s not a game they walk into where it’s too big for them it seems. When they got down 7-0 you’d have never known they were down.”

The Indians used three real big plays, a big run and some opportunistic defense — all after the Tigers scored the game’s first touchdown — to open a 28-7 halftime lead.

They held their hosts to 145 net yards in the first half, 52 of which came on one run by Jalyn Jones. It set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Spencer Sartain and the score must have made the Indians mad.

“We got down a little bit when they scored, we felt a little heat at first, but we got back together and responded with a touchdown,” quarterback Taylor Eubanks said.

They scored three touchdowns within a span of four minutes and 15 seconds. Jesse Sellers broke a game-tying 70-yard run similar to the one he got the Indians going with last week, Austin Tucker sprinted 51 yards with a Sartain fumble Trystan Garcia stripped to put the Indians ahead and Eubanks went 84 yards to extend the lead — all before the end of the first quarter.

“It was a wild first quarter for sure,” Martin said.

“I remember being down to Randolph County at the beginning of the season 6-0 at we had to fight to get back into it,” Sellers said. “When you’re down 7-0 and you get a big run like that it really shifts everybody’s momentum. Coach talks to us all the time about focus and we believe when you’re down is the biggest time to focus.”

Eubanks scored his second touchdown on a 23-yard run with 1:16 left in the second quarter to give the Indians their 28-7 halftime lead.

The quarterback finished with 171 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Sellers had 131 yards and scored three TDs. Tucker ran for another score and and threw a leaping TD pass (to Sellers) for a third.

“We’re a little bit more dynamic that just Tucker,” Martin said. “That’s just devastating when you have a three-headed monster like that.”

In addition to Tucker’s fumble return for a score, the Indians’ defense also had two interceptions and made a fourth-down stop inside their 15 in the half.

Actually, it’s an all Region 5 quarterfinal as Piedmont and Weaver square off on the other side of the bracket.

“Our region’s tough, we knew that going in,” Martin said. “In doesn’t happen very often. In all of football in the state of Alabama, there were only two regions that swept the first round. Now, to sweep the second round, pretty impressive because you had to knock off some region champions to do it.”

Ohatchee 49, Lauderdale County 21

Ohatchee 21 7 7 14 — 49
Lauderdale Co. 7 0 0 14 — 21

L – Spencer Sartain 7 run (Patrikk Dison kick), 8:52 1Q
O – Jesse Sellers 70 run (Gage Harrell kick), 6:07 1Q
O – Austin Tucker 51 fumble return (Gage Harrell kick), 4:43 1Q
O – Taylor Eubanks 84 run (Gage Harrell kick), 1:52 1Q
O – Taylor Eubanks 23 run (Gage Harrell kick), 1:16 2Q
O – Jesse Sellers 13 pass from Austin Tucker (Gage Harrell kick), 5:37 3Q
O – Taylor Eubanks 11 run (Gage Harrell kick), 10:20 4Q
L – Spencer Sartain 16 run (Patrikk Dison kick), 8:24 4Q
O – Jesse Sellers 14 run (Gage Harrell kick), 4:07 4Q
L – Jonathan Rone 83 run (Patrikk Dison kick), 3:35 4Q

Team stats Ohat Laud
First downs 14 12
Rushes-yds 36-363 38-281
Passes 1-5-2 4-12-3
Passing yds 14 52
Fumble-lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-avg 2-31.5 4.30.3
Penalties-yds 7-62 9-83

Here is the scoring summary from the Randolph County-Sylvania game. Ohatchee hosts Randolph County in the state quarterfinals next week.

Randolph County 38, Sylvania 24

Sylvania 0 0 16 8 — 24
Randolph County 14 3 14 7 — 38

R — Trent Lane 7 run (Andrew Prestridge kick), 8:00 1Q
R — Trent Lane 28 run (Andrew Prestridge kick), 3:46 1Q
R — Andrew Prestridge 24 FG, 7:22 2Q
R — Seth Hannah 3 run (Andrew Prestridge kick), 7:50 3Q
S – 70-yard run (conversion good), 7:31 3Q
R — Seth Hannah 3 run (Andrew Prestridge kick), 3:53 3Q
S – 30-yard run (conversion good), 0:26 3Q
S – 1-yard run (conversion good), 9:04 4Q
R — Trent Lane 60 run (Andrew Prestridge kick), 8:49 4Q

Randolph County's Trent Lane streaks down the sideline for one of his three touchdowns against Sylvania. (Photo by Jeremy Wortham/TigerDen Photography)

Randolph County’s Trent Lane streaks down the sideline for one of his three touchdowns against Sylvania. (Photo by Jeremy Wortham/TigerDen Photography)

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