After playing the first two games of the regular season at home, the Tullahoma High School football team will gear up for its first road trip of the season when it heads to Lewisburg to take on Marshall County on Friday.
Both teams are also coming off their first wins of the season after picking up a pair of victories last week. The Wildcats (1-1) soundly defeated cross-county rival Coffee County 48-8, while Marshall County (1-1) narrowly picked up a 24-21 road win at Shelbyville Central.
Against Shelbyville last Friday, the Tigers generated just 259 yards of offense on the night, with 251 of those coming on the ground. Quarterback Malik Thomison completed just two of his six pass attempts on the night for 8 yards.
However, the senior quarterback was able to use his legs, and was one of two Marshall County players to rush for over 100 yards in the win. Thomison finished with 103 yards on 16 carries for the Tigers.
Javarria Rucker also finished with 100 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts for Marshall County. Dagon Stacy carried the ball 11 times for 33 yards, scoring twice in the win.
The Tigers’ defense also looked sharp against Shelbyville, giving up 219 total yards. Marshall County also forced a pair of turnovers, intercepting quarterback Grayson Tramel once as defensive back A’ky Howard picked off a pass. Linebacker Kel Greer also forced a fumble that was quickly recovered by fellow lineman Christian Stacey.
The Tigers were able to put plenty of pressure on Shelbyville, bringing down Tramel three times on the night.
Prior to facing Shelbyville, Marshall County dropped its opening game of the season in a thriller at Cane Ridge. The Tigers fell in overtime, losing 35-28.
In that game, Thomison once again used his legs and arms efficiently, passing for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 91 yards and a score.
Thomison has now completed nine of his 17 pass attempts on the year, for 155 yards and two touchdowns. The quarterback also has 194 rushing yards on the season on 26 carries and a touchdown.
However, against Cane Ridge, the Tigers surrendered nearly 400 yards off offense during the Aug. 17 matchup. Marshall County gave up 313 rushing yards, with Ravens’ running back Devon Starling running for 236 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.
In Tullahoma’s first win of the year over Coffee County, the Wildcats’ defense was impressive, limiting the Red Raiders to just 73 yards the entire night. In fact, it took until Coffee County’s final possession to get into positive yardage, thanks to a 77-yard touchdown just before the game concluded.
The Wildcats capitalized on a pair of first-half turnovers, jumping out to a 27-0 lead after the first quarter, while taking a 34-0 advantage into halftime. Tullahoma went on to score on its first possession of the second half, adding one more touchdown with just over two minutes left in the contest.
Briasen Corn did the bulk of the scoring for the Wildcats on the night, reaching the end zone three times. The senior running back rushed for 43 yards on just seven carries, reaching the end zone from 3, 10 and 16 yards out.
Kobe Burks also added a pair of touchdowns for Tullahoma, the first coming on a 65-yard punt return for the Wildcats. Burks had nearly 100 yards of return yardage in the victory. The senior wide receiver then rushed for a 45-yard touchdown to start the second half for the Wildcats.
Hunter Palmer added a 17-yard rushing touchdown for Tullahoma early in the first quarter. Jakobe Thomas put up the Wildcats’ final score of the night, rushing for a 25-yard touchdown with 2:23 left in the contest.
While producing plenty of points, the Wildcats’ offense didn’t have to do a lot of work, generating just 223 yards on the night. In two games this season, the offense has produced 512 yards, including 289 yards in a 31-13 loss to Shelbyville to start the season on Aug. 16.
In the win over Coffee County, Tullahoma quarterback Ben Fulton connected on three of his five passing opportunities for 61 yards, while the rest of Tullahoma’s yards came on the ground. In two games this season, Fulton has completed 24 of his 37 pass attempts for 239 yards while being intercepted twice.
Corn has rushed for 157 yards and five touchdowns on 27 carries on the season. During the opener against Shelbyville, Corn ran for 114 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
Tullahoma’s defense has been solid in its two games, holding opponents to 544 yards, an average of 272 yards per contest. The Wildcats have sacked opponents’ quarterbacks five times on the season, with Matthew Ross leading the way with a pair of sacks. Samari Layne, Brian Nelms and Xavier Pardis have also gotten to opponents’ quarterbacks once this year.
At the cornerback position, Quintin Howard has reeled in two interceptions this season, one in both games so far. Ross also recovered a fumble against Coffee County on Friday.
Kickoff for Friday night’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. For those who can’t make it to the game, it will be broadcast on 101.5 FM.