“ We knew it was going to be like this,” Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith said. “We are really proud of our team. We were up 24-0 at halftime and we were very pleased with coming off that big win against John Carroll. We were praying that it wasn’t going to be a let down. I am a little disappointed on how we came out in the second half. I think we came out a little flat, but you have to give Childersburg credit they fought all the way to the end. It is no doubt that there is a difference in Childersburg right now. Hats off to them. I am mighty proud of our kids getting a county win and we are sitting at 5-0.”
The Sylacauga Aggies picked up where they left off last week to open the game. The Aggies forced Childersburg to a three and out to open the game. Sylacauga took over at the Tigers 20 yard line. On the first play of the drive Hunter Johns connected with TJ Green on a slant for an 80-yard touchdown. The PAT was good to give Sylacauga a 7-0 lead with 10:45 left in the first quarter.
“TJ keeps getting better,” Griffith said. “We just have to find more ways to get him the football.It is hard, because basically he is playing so much defense and we are trying to rest him some where he does have to go both ways.”
The Tigers fumbled on their first play of the ensuing possession, which was recovered by Sylacauga at the Childersburg 10 yard.
Childersburg (2-3) forced Sylacauga to lose yardage on three straight plays. Shannon connected on 30-yard field goal to give Sylacauga a 10-0 lead with 9:16 left in the first.
“We made a lot of mistakes and gave up some big plays right off the bat,” Childersburg head coach Adam Fossett said. “We preached not giving up the big play and they kind of snuck one in on us. They went 80-yards on the first play. I thought we had a good start to the game. They kicked off to us and we had good field position. I thought we were getting ready to roll and one thing led to another. We got down 10-0 in the first three minutes. Anytime you go down double digits that early in the game it changes the game plan that you worked for all week.”
Childersburg’s defense took away the Aggies ground attack in the first quarter, which forced Johns to air it out. Johns connected with Clay Wesson for a 13- yard completion. Johns found TJ Smith, who side stepped a defender for a 9-yard gain to the Childersburg 37-yard line. A few plays later Johns called his own number for a 21-yard gain down to the 1 yard line. Floyd bulldozed his way up the middle for a touchdown on the next play to increase the Aggies lead to 17-0.
Floyd led the Aggies down the field on their next possession. The senior fullback rushed for 49 of the 75 yards on the drive. The key play of the drive was a 2 yard run by Floyd to the Tigers 29 yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Sylacauga the ball at the 14. On the next play, Floyd was stopped at the goal line to set up first and goal. He capped off the drive on the next play to make it 24-0 with 1:07 left in the half.
The Aggies offense struggled in the second half. Johns opened the third quarter by throwing a pass that was picked off by Frank Wilkerson.
After the Aggies turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, the Tigers drove 60 yards down the field. Childersburg’s workhorse Kendarius Calhoun carried the load as he rushed for 57 of the 60 yards. The Aggies defense stopped Calhoun and the Tigers as they approached the end zone. Calhoun had two chances to score from within 5-yards , but the Aggies defense were able to keep him out. On fourth and goal from the 1, Zach Lightsey was stuffed on the quarterback sneak, which gave the Aggies the football.
“ That was big for our kids to have a goal line stand right there,” Griffith said. “ It is just one of those things were we have to regroup and get healthy. We are really banged up, that is two really physical games in a row and we have a physical game against Chilton County.”
The Tigers were able to get on the board with 4:25 left in the game. A roughing the kicker penalty gave Childersburg a first down at the Sylacauga 33 yard line. Lightsey found Lagaryius Bradley for a 36 yard gain to the Sylacauga 18 yard line. Lightsey found Peyton Logan for an 18-yard touchdown. Bradley caught the 2-point conversion to make it 24-8.
“That has kind of been our MO all year,” Fossett said. “We are a second half team. We have tried to change up practices, we have tired to do different things. We have tired not to be labeled as a second half team and come out and play four quarters of football. We have had a hard time with that. We are very young with all the changes and they are overcoming that. We are in Week 5 of the season and some of the same of the every day stuff should start coming to them a lot easier.”
Johns went 6-9 passing for 118 yards and a touchdown. Green had two receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded an interception.
Floyd led the Aggies ground attack with 90 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. TJ Smith rushed for 62 yards on six carries.
Both teams return to region play next Friday. The Aggies travel to take on Chilton County, while the Tigers hit the road to take on Central Clay County.