The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 12, 2013

No. 3 Tanner one win away from 4th straight region title

Fletcher accounts for 4 TDs in Rattlers’ 49-15 win against Sheffield

TANNER — As players emerged from the locker room known as “The Pit,” sophomore lineman Austin Lewter paused to tease senior receiver Blake Whitt, who was wrapping up a post-game interview.

Lewter, a two-year starter who jokingly refers to himself as “the true team spokesman,” was in high spirits following No. 3 Tanner’s 49-15 dismantling of Sheffield on a slightly chilly Friday night at Rip Swanner Stadium.

The Rattlers (6-1, 5-0 Region 8) notched its 33rd straight region win in Class 2A against Sheffield (2-5, 2-3), which trailed 28-7 at halftime.

Junior quarterback JonJon Fletcher connected with Whitt for touchdowns of 21 and 81 yards in the first half and found an open Chris Townsend on a 20-yard corner route in the third.

“On the 21-yard touchdown, the defense was playing up close on me and the defender bit on a jab step. The 81-yard score was pretty much a foot race,” Whitt said. “We’ve always been a team that plays a downhill running game, but this year we’ve opened things up on offense.”

Senior running back Hayden Stephens, who routinely beat Sheffield defenders to the edge, broke tackles and made decisive cuts behind strong blocking, scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and a 2-yard dash in the third.

“Our passing game is helping us because every team we’ve played this year is packing the box with seven or eight defenders at the beginning of the game,” Whitt said. “We were able to go over the top tonight and spread out the defense to open up our running game for Hayden, Ronald (Taylor) and Tiquaveious (Mayberry).”

Tanner, which pulled its starters early in the third, allowed only 178 yards of total offense, including 10 yards through the air.

Despite a first-half interception and a second-half fumble on a low snap from center, Tanner rolled up 377 yards of offense. The Rattlers covered 250 yards on the ground and opened the game with a 13-play, tone-setting drive that covered 77 yards and featured a dozen run plays.

Sheffield shot itself in the foot with three turnovers that led to three touchdowns by Tanner. The Rattlers’ Deshun Freeman intercepted Drake Beavers and Jalen Houston and Sydnae Townsend each recovered fumbles.

“We played together as a team more than we have before tonight, and we were able to get into the flow of the game early,” Whitt said. “We had subs that came in and contributed. With nine guys playing both ways, this helps us out a lot.”

Fletcher finished 3 of 6 passing for 122 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The elusive QB ran four times for 20 yards and scored on a 4-yard keeper.

Stephens totaled 115 yards, two TDs and a 2-point conversion on 17 carries. Lee Hisbon ran 10 times for 54 yards and a 2-yard touchdown for Tanner’s final score in the fourth, and Allan Rios converted 5 of 6 extra-point attempts.

Beavers tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jordan King on the Bulldogs’ final play of the first half. Tyriq Garner rushed six times for a team-high 79 yards and an 11-yard scamper late in the fourth.

In Week 8 action, Tanner can clinch its fourth straight region title at Hatton (3-4, 2-3), while Sheffield hosts Cherokee (3-4, 1-4).

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

    The quarterback who thrived on the familiarity of playing with the same receivers is now having to adjust to a revamped offensive roster to start his third year in Denver.

    July 24, 2014

  • Auburn's Nick Marshall pays citations in Georgia

    That means Marshall won't have to appear at a September court hearing.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jaguars sign former Crimson Tide DB Belue, waive RB Blankenship

    Deion Belue played two seasons at Alabama after beginning his career at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He started his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide, totaling three interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 7 1/2 tackles for loss.

    July 24, 2014

  • CEO: Sterling staying on a 'disaster' for Clippers

    Coach Doc Rivers has said he'll resign from the Los Angeles Clippers if Donald Sterling remains owner, the team's interim CEO testified, saying such a move would be a "disaster" for the franchise.

    July 23, 2014

  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    In a confidential 2013 survey of 3,705 high school students, 11 percent reported using synthetic HGH at least once — up from about 5 percent in the four preceding annual surveys.

    July 23, 2014

  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO Richard Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling's wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as the NBA looks to force Donald Sterling from the league over racist statements.

    July 23, 2014

  • dunk.jpg Tedford, Potts take on the South

    While the North team has a lengthy winning streak in the basketball series, Tedford and Potts will face a tough battle against three players already committed to SEC schools on the South team.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arkansas State player earns conference honors

    Qushaun Lee led conference in tackles with 134 —the sixth most tackles in conference history and most by an Arkansas State player since 1991.

    July 22, 2014

  • Clippers' future on line as probate trial resumes

    The future of the Los Angeles Clippers is closer to decision as testimony resumes Monday in a probate trial over whether a deal negotiated by Donald Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team for $2 billion is authorized under a Sterling family trust.

    Sterling, the volatile owner of the team, agreed to the sale but then tried to revoke consent in spite of a signed letter instructing his wife Shelly Sterling to sell for the highest price she could get.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tuesday could be time to 'play ball' for Biloxi

    July 21, 2014

Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee