“Overall, it was a good night, but there’s still stuff that we have to improve on and get better on,” Childersburg coach Adam Fossett said. “The win locks us into the playoffs and that’s huge — our second year in the playoffs. We’ve matched our record wins from last year at six and we still have two ball games to play. I’m looking forward to the possibility of going 8-2 and where this program has come in the two years. It’s all the work that the coaches have put in, the kids have put in, and the community has been great to us.”
Childersburg (6-2) received the opening kickoff. The Tigers relied heavily on the arm of quarterback Zack Lightsey, who completed five passes on the opening drive, including a two-yard pass to Tim Tilley for a touchdown. The PAT was blocked, making it 6-0.
The Childersburg defense forced a three-and-out and partially blocked the Dallas County punt, giving Childersburg a short field. With the team taking over at the Dallas County 18-yard line, Lightsey connected with Justin Baker for a touchdown. The PAT was good to give Childersburg a 13-0 lead.
Both teams traded possessions until Childersburg scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Lightsey to Baker, who leaped at the back left corner of the end zone to make the catch. A successful PAT made it 20-0.
After a three-and-out, Childersburg’s Kendarius Calhoun faked out a few defenders to create enough space to break free for a 44-yard touchdown run. After the PAT, Childersburg pushed their lead to 27-0.
Dallas County (2-6) was able to get a little traction on offense on their next two drives, but as the Hornets got just past midfield, their drive faltered.
In between the aforementioned drives, Childersburg score again on a Lightsey keeper from the 1 yard line. The ensuing PAT made it 34-0 just before halftime.
“We didn’t execute very well on offense and defense,” Dallas County head coach Barry Colburn said. “They put up 34 points in the first half. We’ve just got a lot of work to do and we’ve got a lot of young kids. It’s a process. It’s going to take some time. The kids play hard. We just haven’t bought in to what we’re trying to do yet. When they decide to do that, we’ll win some ball games.”
In the second half, Childersburg scored on a 15-yard run by Kendarius Calhoun. The PAT gave Childersburg a 41-0 lead.
Dallas County used a special teams return by Xavier Knight to get the team to the Childersburg 36-yard line. However, the offense failed to get a first down.
In the fourth quarter, Dallas County managed to get the offense going. Quarterback Prince Tolbert had a 22-yard run to give the team momentum. Tolbert later had a 17-yard run on a key third down for a first down. On the ensuing play, Knight made a leaping grab for a 33-yard touchdown reception. A successful PAT cut the lead to 41-7.
After a Childersburg three-and-out, Knight returned a punt for a 48-yard touchdown. Knight received the ball on the Dallas County side of the field and proceeded to run in that direction. When he saw no room, he ran backward, before cutting back toward the Childersburg sideline and found a crease, eventually running down the sideline for the touchdown. An unsuccessful PAT left the score at 41-13.
“Xavier Knight, he’s a junior for us,” Colburn said. “He’s just a really good athlete and a really good kid. He had a nice run on the return; he deserves it. He works hard at it.”
According to Fossett, the play was a first for Childersburg this season.
“We wanted to keep the shutout; obviously, and that didn’t happen for us,” he said. “The first special teams touchdown we’ve given up all year was tonight. That’s something we’ve got to work on and fix.”
One of the keys for Childersburg’s first half dominance was the strong play of their offensive line.
“The offensive line played well,” Fossett said. “We’ve been on them all week, really, really pushing the issue: you guys have got to get better, you’ve got to get better, you’ve got to know what’s going on, you’ve got to communicate, and do everything you’re supposed to do. They came out and played well in the first half for us and did what they were supposed to do. I thought they did a good job run blocking and pass blocking for us tonight.”