After blowout wins in the their first four games, the DeKalb County Tigers faced their toughest test of the season Friday night and passed with flying colors against the Smith County Owls, winning 32 to 13.
It was the 500th football game in school history for DCHS and the first victory over the Owls since an 18-0 shutout in 1995 at Carthage. The last time the Tigers beat the Owls in Smithville was 1981. Smith County still leads the series 22-8. Because of district realignments, the two teams have not always played each other every year. The annual rivalry was renewed in 2009.
Smith County scored first with 9:52 left in the opening quarter on a pass reception to Jalen Manning covering 52 yards for a touchdown. The P.A.T. by Jared Kent was good and the Owls led 7-0.
The Tigers answered with 8:29 left in the first period on a six yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Will Molander. Ben Driver's P.A.T. was good and the game was tied at 7-7.
Late in the first period, the Tigers had a first and goal on the one yard line but lost yardage back to the 22 yard line in the drive on a high snap over the head of quarterback Lucas Phillips. Ben Driver was called upon to try a 39 yard field goal, but the kick was no good.
After recovering a DC fumble at the Tiger 39 yard line, the Owls cashed in a couple of plays later when Jalen Manning scored on a 31 yard touchdown run. The P.A.T. try failed but Smith County led 13-7 with 8:48 left in the second quarter.
After a Smith County turnover, the Tigers drove to the Owl one yard line and quarterback Lucas Phillips capped it on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown with 21 seconds left in the half. The P.A.T try by Driver was no good but the game was tied at 13-13.
The Tigers blew the game open in the second half. With 2:39 to go in the third period, Devonta Milan scored on a 70 yard punt return. Driver's P.A.T. kick was good and DeKalb County had its first lead of the night 20-13.
With 8.3 seconds left in the third period, the Tigers jumped out front 26-13 on a three yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Sonni Fullilove. The P.A.T. try by Driver was no good.
After a 38 yard Chris Chapman interception return, the Tigers scored their last touchdown with 9:55 left in the game on a two yard pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips to Will Molander. The P.A.T. try by Driver was no good but DeKalb County was up and went onto win 32 to 13.
With the win, the Tigers improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in district play. Smith County drops to 3-2 on the season and to 0-2 in the district.
Next Friday night, the Tigers will host Hixson for Homecoming. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.