The win give Talladega head coach Robert Herring his first ever win as head coach.
“That was a hard fought game,” Herring said. “TC Central has a great team and they are going to be real good once they start playing 1A schools. We just have to get better and cut out mistakes we made tonight. The quarterback had a few missed reads that is just something that we have to work on. The offensive line really came through when we needed to have a drive to take time off the clock to give us a chance. I can’t say enough about the defense, they played their hearts out tonight. We just have to get better week by week.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Talladega was able to score twice in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead.
TC Central’s quarterback Ze’Kyle Stockdale pass was picked off by Carlos Moten for a touchdown. Jack Bailey PAT was good to give Talladega a 7-0 lead with 7:48 left in the second quarter.
“That pick six was great,” Herring said. “This was the first time we ran cover two because we knew they were going to throw it up and they did. He was just right there waiting on it and that was probably the turning point of the game for us. We couldn’t get anything going against them. They were doing a great job defensively against what we do.”
After forcing TC Central to a three and out, Jaquavion Hall returned a punt 38 yards down the left sideline to the TC Central 17 yard line. Ken Well kept the drive alive as he recovered a fumble hand off attempt and carried it down to the 2-yard line. LeDerrick Stamps bulldozed his way into the end zone on the next play. Bailey’s PAT was good to put Talladega ahead 14-0 with 30 seconds left in the first half.
The Fighting Tigers put together an eight play, 65 yard drive together for a touchdown late in the third quarter.
Running back Jeremy Allen led the Fighting Tigers down the field. The senior had runs of 13 and 11 yards on consecutive carries. His 10-yard run down the left sideline gave the Fighting Tigers a first down at the Talladega 20. A high snap on second down backed TC Central down to the 27-yard line. On the ensuing play Stockdale connected with a wide-open Corey White for a 27-yard TD in the left corner of the end zone. Stockdale converted the two-point conversion to cut Talladega lead down 14-8.
Missed opportunities and turnovers hurt the Fighting Tigers in the fourth quarter. The Fighting Tigers took the opening drive of the fourth quarter 78 yards. The key play of the drive was a 50-yard completion from Stockdale to Cededrick Stockdale to the Talladega 20 yard line. Back to back runs by Allen set up first and goal from the Talladega 9 yard line. A holding penalty, a Stockdale run down to the 2-yard line pushed TC Central back to the 15-yard line. Stockdale had three straight incompletions to turn the ball over on downs.
Talladega drained 5:32 off the clock before forced to punt.
TC Central had a final chance for the victory, but they had go 75 yards in a 1:32. With the defense playing back, Stockdale was able to rush for 20 yards down to the 44 yard line. A rough the passer penalty a few plays later gave TC Central a first down at the Talladega 45 yard line. Stockdale once again called his own number and rushed for 22 yards down to the Talladega 19 yard line. On first down Stockdale was had an open receiver, but he dropped the ball as he was hit. On the next play Stockdale was picked off by Richard Williams to seal the victory for Talladega.
“It is a heart breaking loss,” TC Central head coach Damien Dorsey said.” I am ecstatic the way my guys faced adversity and came back. We just got down and made some costly penalties on us going in and that happens in the first game. We are going to learn from it. We are going to watch the film and learn from it. Let the guys understand the mistakes they made, come back to practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday correct and play another ball game.”
Talladega takes on Ramsay at Lawson Field on Thursday, while TC Central travels to Montgomery to face St.Jude.