LANETT — Lanett blasted Elba 44-6 on Friday night in the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs at Morgan-Washington Stadium.

Lanett will face Isabella in the quarterfinals next week in Lanett.

Friday, on a night where traction was hard to come by due to sloppy conditions, the visiting Tigers struggled to move the ball throughout the game — especially against a Lanett’s stout defense. The Panthers’ defense managed to hold the Tigers scoreless. Elba’s lone score came on the heels of a 100-yard pick-six late in the second quarter.

“I kept checking the weather forecast this week, and I kept telling them that we were going to have to weather the storm,” Lanett head coach Clifford Story said.

The Lanett defense forced seven turnovers, which led to 35 Panther points off turnovers. That defense added two turnovers on downs to add to that effort.

The Panthers’ defense spent most of the night taking advantage of Elba’s difficulty handling the ball and providing the offense with a short field. Before the end of the first half, Elba had five fumbles, each of which Lanett’s defense recovered in Tiger territory.

Panthers’ quarterback Kristian Story scored with relative ease on the night thanks to the short field provided to him by the defense. Lanett finished with just 280 total yards of offense though scoring 44-points.

The Panthers moved the ball on their longest drives of the first half behind long runs from Story and Quae Houston. Houston’s run of 51 yards set Story up for his first score of the night from two yards out.

Story followed that up with a 62-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive. He later added two more touchdowns on the ground and one through the air when he connected with Travaunta Abner from nine yards out.

A common theme throughout the Panthers’ undefeated season thus far has been Story’s offensive dominance. Less than a year ago, now-Auburn quarterback Bo Nix broke the Alabama career touchdown record with 161 total scores. Before tonight, Story sat at 155 — just six away from tying that record. He is now just one touchdown away from breaking Nix’s record, as he tallied five total touchdowns on the night. According to Coach Story, this was something his son was well aware of Friday night.

“He had one touchdown called back or else he would’ve tied it,” coach Story said. “Trust me, he kept wanting to go back in. I just told him let’s live for tomorrow.”

With a quarterback with now 160 total career touchdowns and a defense allowing less than seven points a game, Lanett is primed to continue this playoff campaign.

“I keep telling them that we were in this same position this time last year and we lost, but I think they’re focused. We’ve got a great senior class and they love each other and they’re going to keep each other grounded,” coach Story said.

Elba’s 2019 season ended with a record of 9-4. Lanett moves on to face the winner of Isabella and Millry in the Class 1A state quarterfinals next Friday.

Box Score:

EHS- 0 6 0 0 — 6

LHS- 7 22 12 3 — 44

First quarter

LHS- Kristian Story 1 run (Rutilo Olea kick), 1:29.

Second quarter

LHS- K. Story 62 run, (R. Olea kick), 11:40.

LHS- Travaunta Abner 9 pass from K. Story (conversion successful), 8:10.

LHS- BJ Smith fumble recovery, (R. Olea kick), 7:53.

EHS- 100 interception return, 2:34.

Third quarter

LHS- K. Story 2 run (R. Olea kick), 9:11.

LHS- K. Story 22 run (kick failed), 7:28.

4thQuarter-

LHS- R. Olea 26 field goal, 8:29.

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