DCHS Tigers Advance in State Football Play-Offs

November 6, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers will travel to Baxter next week for a rematch with the Upperman Bees after knocking off the East Hamilton Hurricanes at Ooltewah 35-21 Friday night in the first round of the Class 4A State Football Play-Offs. The Bees won their first round State Play-Off game Friday night beating Soddy Daisy 46-7.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the Class 4A State Play-Offs 2nd round between the Tigers and Bees Friday night, November 12. Kick-Off will be at 7 p.m. from Baxter.

Almost a month ago Upperman came from behind in the “Battle of Center Hill” to defeat the Tigers in Smithville. In that game DC led 7 to 3 at halftime and 14 to 10 with 9:05 left in the 4th period but two late touchdowns by the Bees gave Upperman the 24-14 victory.

The Bees, who won the Class 4A Region 4 regular season championship at 5-0, is now 10-1 overall with their only season loss having been to Fayetteville 19-14 on September 10.

The Tigers, who finished in 3rd place in Class 4A Region 4 at 3-2, is now 7-4 overall with wins over Smith County 33-14, Cumberland County 35-10, Cannon County 49-7, Livingston Academy 45-15, Warren County 28-0 , Stone Memorial 21-20, and East Hamilton 35-21. Their losses have been to Macon County 32-29, Watertown 38-20, Upperman 24-14, and Goodpasture 21-13.

This marks the 11th consecutive State Football Play-Off appearance for DeKalb County, the most in school history.

In the game at East Hamilton Friday night, the Hurricanes scored first on a 10 yard touchdown run by Juandrick Bullard with 8:58 left in the 1st period, completing a 75 yard drive. Ethan Hixson converted the PAT to give East Hamilton a 7-0 lead.

DeKalb County answered with 4:34 left in the 1st period on an 11 yard quarterback keeper by Briz Trapp completing a 65 yard drive. Axel Aranda came on for the extra point and the game was tied 7-7.

The Hurricanes jumped back out front on a 1 yard touchdown run by Jeremiah Flemmons with 11:25 left in the 2nd period. Hixson added the extra point and East Hamilton led 14-7.

The Hurricanes expanded their lead with 7:01 left in the 2nd period on a 16 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lake Clark to Jeremiah Flemmons. Hixson booted through the extra point and East Hamilton took a 21-7 lead.

DeKalb County cut the gap with 2:36 left in the 2nd period on an 8 yard touchdown run by Isaac Knowles. Axel Aranda tacked on the extra point and the Tigers trailed 21-14 at halftime.

The Tigers got on the board again with 8:01 left in the 3rd period on a 28 yard touchdown run by Colby Barnes, completing a 75 yard drive. The extra point try by Aranda was no good but DC was within a point trailing 21-20.

After forcing a Hurricanes turnover, the Tigers took over at the East Hamilton 44 yard line. Colby Barnes then got his second touchdown of the night on a 44 yard run with 7:01 left in the 3rd period. Isaac Knowles scored on a two point conversion to put the Tigers on top for the first time 28-21.

The Tiger defense continued to stand tall getting three interceptions in the 4th period including a 35 yard touchdown return by Nolan Gottlied with 4:41 left in the game. Aranda added the extra point and DeKalb County prevailed winning 35-21.