Tullahoma scored on all four of its offensive possessions in the first half, using that to springboard its way to a 34-14 victory over Lincoln County on homecoming on Friday night.
After the Wildcats scored on their first drive of the ballgame, Lincoln County answered right back to even the matchup at 7. From that point, Tullahoma dominated the remainder of the first half, scoring 21-straight points, and taking a 28-7 into the locker room.
Lincoln County was forced to a quick three-and-out to start Friday night’s contest. Tullahoma countered with a seven-play, 55-yard touchdown drive, taking its first lead of the game.
Running back Brian Nelms broke free up the middle of the field for a 20-yard run, to give the Wildcats the ball at the Falcons’ 19-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Ben Fulton hit receiver Hunter Jewell for a 19-yard touchdown with 8:03 remaining in the first period.
Justus Chadwick followed by making the kick on the extra point attempt, putting Tullahoma in front 7-0.
After starting at its 46-yard line, Lincoln County answered with a touchdown drive of its own. The big play on the drive came when quarterback Jake Sorrells hit Wesley Thornton on a 34-yard pass play, giving the Falcons possession at the Wildcats’ 3-yard line.
Two plays later, Rudy Cooper rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to get Lincoln County on the scoreboard. Reid Hardin followed by making the kick on the extra point attempt, evening the score at 7 with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
Nelms again broke off a big run on Tullahoma’s next possession, this time rushing for a 41-yard gain, giving Tullahoma the ball at the Falcons’ 18-yard line. On the same play, Lincoln County was called for a facemask, which gave the Wildcats’ possession at the 9-yard line.
Three plays later, Fulton and Jewell connected for their second score of the game. This time the duo was able to score from 12 yards out. Chadwick added the extra point, giving Tullahoma a 14-7 advantage with 19 seconds left in the first period.
Lincoln County went three-and-out on its next offensive possession, before the Wildcats padded their lead. Tullahoma put together a nine-play drive, that ended with Nelms punching the ball into the end zone from a yard out with 5:22 remaining in the second quarter. Chadwick again connected on his extra-point attempt, as Tullahoma’s lead grew to 21-7.
Just before halftime, the Wildcats put up one final first-half touchdown. Nelms broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run and Chadwick added the extra point, putting Tullahoma up 28-7 with 1:05 left before the break.
“Last week, we struggled moving the ball until the second quarter started,” said THS Head Coach John Olive. “I just thought we played a really solid first half tonight. I thought defensively we played well. I thought special teams were doing well and offensively, I thought – especially that last drive – I thought that was a really good drive before halftime.”
In the second half, Tullahoma’s offense struggled on its first two possessions, and Lincoln County was able to cut into its deficit. The Falcons scored when West Jenkins ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 11:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, making the score 28-14.
Tullahoma followed by putting up the game’s final points. The scoring drive was helped out by a kick return by Jakobe Thomas, who broke off a 35-yard return, giving the Wildcats possession at the Falcons’ 30-yard line.
Fulton first hit wide receiver Hunter Palmer for a 19-yard gain, before Nelms broke off a 10-yard run, giving the Wildcats’ possession at the Lincoln County 3-yard line. On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Fulton held on to the ball on the quarterback sneak, scoring with 8:23 left in the contest.
This time on the extra point attempt, Fulton couldn’t get the ball set for Chadwick, and was forced to scramble. Fulton got off a pass attempt, but it fell to the ground, as Tullahoma led 34-14.
“I thought in the first half we played really well, but not as well in the second half,” Olive said. “Lincoln County, to their credit, they kind of took it to us there in the third quarter. We finally responded and then took over the game again.”
Fulton completed nine of his 14 pass attempts and threw for 98 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding his rushing score. Jewell was Fulton’s main target on the night, as the wideout brought in four catches for 54 yards and a pair of scores.
Nelms led the Tullahoma rushing attack, which combined for 175 yards. The senior tailback ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
The Wildcats’ defense surrendered 164 yards on Friday night, the bulk of which came on the ground. Lincoln County rushed for 115 yards, led by Cooper, who had 43 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Jenkins added 20 yards on nine rush attempts. Josiaha Jenkins ran for 39 yards on five carries, including a 25-yard gallop in the fourth quarter.
Tullahoma (4-2, 1-1) will head to Nolensville next Friday night. The Knights are coming off of a 28-0 home win over Columbia this past week. Kickoff for this Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.