TALLASSEE — It was senior night at J.E. “Hot” O’Brien Stadium in Tallassee on Friday night, and the home squad Tigers sent their seniors out with a 41-7 victory over Elmore County.
The night was chilly, with temperatures in the mid-40s throughout the game; however, the Tallassee offense stayed hot all night, proving too much for the Panthers.
Tallassee controlled this game from the start.
On the first drive of the game, Tallassee fumbled the ball but recovered its own fumble and ran it in for a 27-yard touchdown. This would be the first of several scores for the Tigers on the night. The Tigers’ next touchdown came courtesy the Tallassee special teams, which blocked a punt for the scoop-and-score to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Tigers added two more touchdowns in the second quarter, giving them a 28-0 lead heading into the half. Zavion Carr delivered the first of the two on a 58-yard run on 3rd-and-19. The second came when freshman quarterback Tyler Ellis connected with sophomore Jayln Daniels on a 30-yard pass with 18 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Elmore County special teams came out in the second half with a spark of life, and so did its offense.
A 42-yard kickoff return to the Tallassee 39-yard line by the Panthers’ Keshawn Benson gave the Elmore County offense its best field position of the night, which they took advantage of. Two plays later, the Panthers were on the board courtesy a 36-yard pass from Dylan Weaver to Zion Reed.
However, that spark did not last long, as they were the only points Elmore County recorded.
Tallassee responded to the Panthers’ points with a 66-yard drive that concluded when Carr used his legs to barrel his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line for his second touchdown on the night.
Later in the third, Tavarious “Tank” Griffin broke for a 58-yard rush for the final touchdown of the night, a fitting end for the senior running back.
“It was a great way to end my senior year. I’m gonna miss these Friday night lights, best time of my life,” Griffin said following the game.
The Tigers missed the playoffs for the second straight year, something that has not happened since 2006-2007.
“For them to finish up beating their crosstown rival for the fourth straight year, that’s the stuff they’re going to remember,” Tallassee head coach Mike Battles Jr. said of the senior class. “We didn’t win as many games as we wanted too, but we won some big ones and we played the other ones real hard. I’m proud for them. I’m glad we got to send them off on a winning note.”
Tallassee 41, Elmore County 7
ELM — 0 0 7 0 — 7
TAL — 14 14 13 0 — 41
TAL — Will Blocker fumble return (XP good), 10:48
TAL — Will Blocker fumble return (XP good), 0:10
TAL — Zavion Carr 58-yard run (XP good), 5:47
TAL — Jayln Daniels 30-yard reception from Tyler Ellis (XP good), 0:18
ELM — Zion Reed 36-yard reception from Dylan Weaver (XP good), 11:06
TAL — Eng’Tavius Briskey-Chappell 1-yard run (XP no good), 7:58
TAL — Tavarious Griffin 63-yard run (XP good), 4:48