“We are in the playoffs; it is a blessing, ”TC Central coach Damien Dorsey said. “The kids responded when we had kids go down. Corey White, Kylan Cross and Ze’Kyle Stockdale stepped up. Everybody wanted it. Everybody played like they wanted it. Everybody did what was necessary on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today to get the game. I am proud of the team and I am proud of the way they responded. All of the seniors, they deserved it. They put up with a lot from me and they deserve to feel the accolades of going to the playoffs. Now they get a chance to make some noise.”
The Fighting Tigers (4-4, 4-2) got on the board first in the first quarter. Stockdale led TC Central down the field for a 77-yard touchdown drive. Stockdale found Corey White, who pulled the ball out of the air with one hand for a 23-yard gain down to the 45 yard line. On the next play, Stockdale found Delvecchius Wright for 21-yard gain down to the Wolves 24 yard line. Jeremy Allen had a highlight film run for a touchdown. Allen was almost taken down for a loss in the back field, but he was able to break a tackle then reverse field to the left side of the field where he was led into the end zone by a wall of TC blockers to make it 6-0.
The Wolves capitalized off a TC Central turnover to put their first points on the board. Peyton McKee picked off Stockdale’s pass at the Fighting Tigers’ 35 yard line and returned down to the 5 yard line. Dustin Ingram scored on the next play to tie the game at 6-6 with 10:33 left in the second quarter.
TC Central capitalized off the first of four Fayetteville turnovers. McKee muffed a punt, which was recovered by Donquavion Wright at the Wolves’ 10 yard line. It didn’t take TC Central long to find pay dirt. Stockdale found Kylan Cross, who dodged a few Fayetteville defenders for the touchdown to make it 12-7 with 7:25 left in the first half.
The Fighting Tigers’ offense went to the air on their next drive. Stockdale found Delvecchius Wright for a 37-yard gain down to the Wolves’ 24 yard line. Allen had a 29-yard gain a few plays later down to the Fayetteville 5 yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Stockdale scored on a keeper from a yard out to make it 18-6 with 2:35 left in the first half.
Fayetteville cut the lead down to 18-12 before halftime. Powell made back-to-back explosive plays to lead the Wolves down the field for the touchdown. On fourth-and-10 from the Fighting Tigers’ 45 yard line, he found Tyler Pennington for a 20 -yard gain. On the next play he scored a 20-yard touchdown to make it 18-12.
On the first play of the second half, Allen sprinted down the left sideline for a 70-yard touchdown to give TC Central a 24-12 lead.
Fayetteville fumbled on their ensuing drive, which was picked up by Cross for a 75-yard run down the right sideline for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good to make it 32-12.
“We talked about it; we harped on it; we do the drill, and I am just ecstatic,” Dorsey said. “Kylan Cross played big. He went in there and tackled the football like we talked about. He got a big turnover after I made a bonehead call trying to keep the ball again and put the dagger in them. He made the coach look good, because he did what he was coached to do.”
Ingram scored a touchdown to make it 38-18 with 10:55 left in the game. Fayetteville recovered the onside kick. On the first play of the drive, Ingram was stripped by Cross to give TC Central the football.
The Wolves started off the season with a 5-1 record, but they have dropped their last two games, which may end their hopes of making the postseason for the first time since 2004.
“Hats off to TC,” Fayetteville head coach John Limbaugh said. “They did what they had to do. You can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win a hard-fought football game like this one. We had too many turnovers and we had a couple of key injuries there that worked against us.”
The Fighting Tigers host Loachapoka next week, while the Wolves host St. Jude.