E.A. Sports Today

Tigers want more

Randolph County puts away Sylvania earns a rematch with Piedmont for a trip to the finals in Tuscaloosa

By Jeremy Wortham
For East Alabama Sports Today

WEDOWEE – The Randolph County Tigers haven’t let off the gas pedal since suffering their only loss to the season to Piedmont.

Their reward? A trip to Piedmont for a rematch that this time will lead to the Class 3A championship game in Tuscaloosa.

The Tigers scored touchdowns on their first six possessions, got another interception return for a touchdown and had six different players score as they outgunned Sylvania 55-24.

They will now travel to Piedmont to play the two-time reigning state champions for a trip to play title game Dec. 7. Both teams are 12-1; Piedmont has a 12-game winning streak and Randolph County has won nine in a row since losing of the Bulldogs Sept. 15.

“It’s not the end of the road yet; the big dog’s coming,” Tigers head coach Pat Prestridge said. “They knocked our ego off our shoulder (last time); we were up big at halftime and let them come back and score 41 straight. They burst our ego a little bit. We’re the underdog. We’ve got nothing to lose, but the biggest thing is we’re going to have to play harder than we’ve ever played.”

The Tigers were surprisingly sharp after a week that held so many dangers.  They scored on all six offensive possessions in the first half and opened a 48-0 lead early in the third quarter.

“It was a tough week,” Prestridge said. “We didn’t know how we’d respond to it, but our guys responded well. They played an awesome first half.”

The defense did its part, too. It had three interceptions in the game, including another pic-six, and held the Rams to zero first downs and 28 total yards net in the first half. During their nine-game winning streak, the Tigers have allowed a touchdown or less in five games.

“We’ve got a lot of experienced kids and they’re very comfortable in our scheme,” defensive coordinator Steve Giddens said. “Our linebackers have gotten better over the last four weeks. If you want to know the biggest difference in the last month, it’s been our linebacker play. If we can keep that up we’ve got a shot.”

Jai Wright’s second touchdown of the game, a 31-yard run on the opening possession of the second half, produced the 48-0 lead, but that’s when things started to get messy for the Tigers.

Two lost fumbles and three unanswered touchdowns got the Rams back to within 48-21, but Trent Lane kept them from getting any closer, scoring his third touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run in the final four minutes.

The offense spread the wealth around. Hester was the only rusher to gain more than 100 yards, but they had three with at least 75 yards.

Hester had 109 yards, Knight had 94 yards and Wright had 79 yards. Lane rushed for only 43 yards, but he scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Brody Wortham was 5-of-5 passing for 126 yards and a TD pass to Andrew Prestridge.

“It was an outstanding performance by all them at one time,” Pat Prestridge said. “If we can keep clicking maybe good things will happen for us.”

[table id=102 /]

Sylvania 0 0 16 8 — 24
Randolph Co. 13 28 7 7 — 55

RC – Anterio Hester 84 run (kick good), 8:56 1Q
RC – Trent Lane 7 run (conversion failed), 3:52 1Q
RC – Aaron Knight 31 run (Lane run), 10:59 2Q
RC – Jai Wright 33 interception return (kick good), 9:36 2Q
RC – Trent Lane 11 run (PAT failed), 5:05 2Q
RC – Andrew Prestridge 30 pass from Brody Wortham (PAT failed), 1:20 2Q
RC – Jai Wright 31 run (kick good), 10:50 3Q
S – Eli Battles 46 pass from Blake Spears (conversion good), 8:13 3Q
S – Paul Griffin 17 run (conversion good), 3:08 3Q
S – Blake Spears 14 run (conversion good), 8:25 4Q
RC – Trent Lane 6 run (PAT good), 3:53 4Q

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