November 9, 2019
By: Dwayne Page
The DeKalb County Tigers will advance to the next round of the TSSAA Football play-offs after eliminating the Tullahoma Wildcats 45 to 34 in Smithville Friday on opening night of post-season play.
It is the 4th all time state playoff victory in 16 appearances in school history for the Tiger football program and only the second win in the post season at home.
DeKalb County (7-4) will travel to Marshall County (9-2) next Friday night, November 15. Marshall County eliminated Stone Memorial in the first round of the play-offs 39-8. WJLE will have LIVE coverage. Kick-off will be at 7 p.m.
After playing to a scoreless tie through the 1st period, Tullahoma drew first blood with 11:47 left in the 2nd period on a 3 yard touchdown run by Jakobe Thomas completing a 71 yard drive. Matthew Marcel added the extra point and the Wildcats led 7-0.
The Tigers answered with 7:01 left in the 2nd period as on 4th and goal from the Tullahoma 2 yard line, Quarterback Axel Aldino tossed a 2 yard touchdown pass to Desmond Nokes finishing off a 63 yard drive. Alan Munoz converted the PAT and the game was tied at 7-7.
After Tyzaun Ladet intercepted a Tullahoma pass at the Tiger 28 yard line, DC wasted little time finding the end zone again. Aldino hooked up with Nokes on a 70 yard touchdown scoring play with 2:29 left in the 2nd period. Munoz booted the extra point and the Tigers took their first lead of the game at 14-7.
Tullahoma evened the score with 2:07 left in the half on a 55 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Ben Fulton to Jakobe Thomas. Marcel added the PAT and the game was tied again at 14-14.
DeKalb County’s Desmond Nokes took the ensuing kick-off and returned to near midfield, setting up another Tiger scoring drive just before the half. Aldino found Tyzaun Ladet on a 30 yard touchdown scoring pass with 26 seconds left and with Munoz’ extra point, DC led 21-14 by intermission.
The Wildcats pulled even again with 9:32 left in the 3rd period on a 45 yard touchdown run by Brian Nelms. Marcel booted the extra point to knot the count at 21-21.
DeKalb County grabbed the lead again with 7:32 left in the 3rd period on a 30 yard touchdown pass from Aldino to Desmond Nokes. The PAT by Munoz was good and the Tigers were up 28-21.
Nokes again got the ball to extend the Tiger lead on a 1 yard touchdown run late in the 3rd period completing an 82 yard drive. Munoz tacked on the extra point for a 35-21 DeKalb County advantage.
Tullahoma cut into the Tiger lead with 10:53 left in the 4th period on an 8 yard touchdown run by Jakobe Thomas finishing off a 55 yard drive. Marcel added the PAT and the Wildcats trailed 35-28
DeKalb County stretched the lead to 10 with 4:21 left in the game. Facing a 4th down and 4, the Tigers elected to try a 22 yard field goal and Munoz delivered completing a 65 yard drive to put DC out front 38-28.
On the ensuing kick-off by Munoz, the ball bounced off a Tullahoma player and the Tigers recovered at the Wildcats 35 yard line. Nathaniel Crook finished off the drive on a 16 yard touchdown run with 2:53 left and with Munoz’s extra point, DC held a 45-28 lead.
The last score of the game came on an 8 yard pass from Tullahoma’s Ben Fulton to Jakobe Thomas with 2:12 left. The two point conversion run attempt was stopped short and the Tigers went on to claim the 45-34 victory.