By Bart Moss
For the News Courier
Red Bay —
The Tanner Rattlers thrived on the big play in a 35-14 win over the Red Bay Tigers Friday night.
The Rattlers piled up 374 total yards on the night, much of which came from quarterback Jonathan Fletcher and running back Hayden Stephens.
“We were a very opportunistic team tonight,” said Tanner coach Laron White.
“We hit some big plays at the right time. Red Bay’s defense played well against us. We had a score late in the third quarter that seemed to open the floodgates for us.”
Tanner got on the board first on a 16-yard touchdown run by Fletcher. The play was set up by a 62-yard pass from Fletcher to Blake Whitt. Alan Rios connected on the PAT to give the Rattlers an early 7-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter Fletcher again hit pay dirt on a 1-yard run. Rios’ PAT made it 14-0.
Red Bay cut into Tanner’s lead late in the first half when Jesus Kelly connected with a wide open Jade Pounds for a 58-yard touchdown strike. The two-point conversion failed and Tanner took a 14-6 lead into the locker room.
The Red Bay defense stifled the Rattlers for much of the third quarter. A mad scramble by Fletcher that turned into a 28-yard touchdown run gave the Rattlers a 21-6 lead late in the third quarter and sucked the momentum away from the Tigers.
The Rattlers would go on to score 14 more unanswered points. A 26-yard touchdown pass from Fletcher to Jamal Townsend made it 28-6. Hayden Stephens added a 64-yard touchdown run to give the Rattlers a 28-6 lead late in the game.
Red Bay would add one final score on a 31-yard run by Matt Senkbeil. Senkbeil also added the two-point conversion.
The Rattlers move to 1-1. Red Bay falls to 0-2.