E.A. Sports Today

Tyree, Wildcats win opener

County roundup: Tyree wins debut as White Plains runs past Vincent; Jacksonville, Wellborn score opening-night victories

By East Alabama Sports Today
Chandler Tyree won his first game as a head football coach Friday night and it came with the traditional reward.
His White Plains players snuck up on him on the sideline and got him with a Gatorade shower. The rookie head coach was wet, but he was happy.
The Wildcats came back from an early deficit and ran over Vincent 42-12. It was the second year in a row they beat the Yellow Jackets in their season opener.
“It was pretty cool, actually,” Tyree said. “I didn’t want it, but they gave me a Gatorade bath, which kind of ruined it because I was going to wear what I wore to the game up here to TV24, but I appreciate the kids. It was a cool thing. Just thankful for the win and thankful for our kids.
“They played really hard. We’ve got some things we’ve got to fix, obviously, but there’s a lot of teams in the state right now that have a lot of stuff they’ve got to fix. I’d rather fix it with a win than a loss … I’m just ready to grade that film and see what we’ve got to get better at before Ohatchee next Friday.”
Tyree didn’t get the job until a few days before the start of fall camp The Wildcats had to replace Chris White, who left after four seasons for an assistant’s job at Handley. They appeared to have former Talladega coach Ted Darby lined up, but Darby wasn’t approved by the board. That set them back another week for another round of interviews before they finally got their man.
The Wildcats fell behind Friday 6-0, then scored 34 straight points the rest of the half.

Quarterback Jaden Chatman threw for 144 yards and three touchdowns, two to Teddy Hall, who has made an immediate impact on both sides of the ball since transferring in from Lincoln. Hall caught four passes for 87 yards. Jaden Harris rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown and had two interceptions on defense. Coleman Messer returned an interception for a touchdown and Quin Wilson and Ethan Bozarth each scored a touchdown.
Through it all, perhaps Tyree’s biggest takeaway from his first win was the play of Chatman, who completed 10 of 15 passes.
“He had a really big game,” he said. “I talked him up. I probably put a lot of pressure on him, but I believe in the kid and I believe he’s got a very high football IQ. I believe he can be a really good quarterback when a lot of people I don’t think really believed that, and he did a great job for us tonight.”

Jacksonville 56, JB Pennington 20

BLOUNTSVILLE – Ron Wiggins carried the ball only four times but rushed for 149 yards and three long touchdowns and Omarion Adams blocked two punts in the first quarter, returning one for a touchdown, as Jacksonville opened its season with a 56-20 win over J.B. Pennington. 
The win extended the Golden Eagles’ regular-season winning streak to 18 games, dating back to the 2017 season. The 56 points were the most they’d scored in a game since putting up 56 last season in Game 4 against Cherokee County. Coach Clint Smith is now 6-2 in season openers with the Golden Eagles.
Wiggins, a 2,000-yard rusher a year ago, had 149 yards rushing on his four carries. He broke off a 43-yard touchdown run on the second play of scrimmage and later added scoring runs of 48 and 54 yards. Taj Morris rushed for 119 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown burst. Quarterback Luke Jackson was 6-of-8 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns to Jaeden Barksdale.
The Golden Eagles ran only 27 plays of offense in the game. Cameron Parker led their defense with eight tackles, four for loss, including a sack. James Dingler had six tackles and Adams had five.
Jacksonville 56, JB Pennington 20
Jacksonville 26 10 20 0 – 56
JB Pennington 0  0 13  7  –  20
J – Ron Wiggins 43 run (kick blocked), 8:21 1Q
J – Ron Wiggins 48 run (Mason Terrell kick), 5:09 1Q
J – Jaeden Barksdale 41 pass from Luke Jackson (Mason Terrell kick), 1:48 1Q
J – Omarion Adams 13 blocked punt return (Mason Terrell kick), 0:00 1Q
J – Mason Terrell 28 FG, 5:46 2Q
J – Jaeden Barksdale 13 pass from Luke Jackson (Mason Terrell kick), 1:50 2Q
J – Ron Wiggins 54 run (kick blocked), 11:01 3Q
J – Jaeden Barksdale 34 fumble return (Mason Terrell kick), 10:10 3Q
JBP – Muffed punt recovery (Matthew Smith kick), 7:42 3Q
J – Taj Morris 81 run (Mason Terrell kick), 7:19 3Q
JBP – Matthew Smith 3 run (Matthew Smith kick), 2:00 3Q
JBP – Hayden Floyd 2 run (Matthew Smith kick), 2:32 4Q

Wellborn 39, Oak Grove 7

OAK GROVE – With a full complement of starters on both sides of the ball, expectations are high for the Wellborn Panthers this season.
The Panthers got their season off to a good start with a complete effort on the road.
Kentrez Hunt rushed for 114 yards and quarterback Jett Smith accounted for 120 yards to lead the offense. Smith rushed for 64 yards and completed 5-of-8 passes for 56 yards. The defense held the Tigers to eight yards in the first half.
“I thought we came out and played real hard and aggressive,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said. “We had some first-game penalties early in the game, but once we got settled down and playing in the game we played better. It was a good start.”

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