Tigers ride defense, running gameBy Stephen Dawkins Published 12:29am Saturday, October 6, 2012
The Chilton County High School football team has found a winning formula: A dominant defense plus a punishing running game equals wins.
The Tigers stuck to the plan on Friday and came away with a 28-7 region win over previously unbeaten Sylacauga.
The win was so big that CCHS coach Donnie Hand was doused with ice cold liquid afterward–on Homecoming, no less.
Hand said the big stage didn’t faze the players.
“The kids did great tonight,” he said. “It was just fun.”
It was obvious early on that the style of play was playing right into Chilton’s hands.
The teams traded punts for a quarter and a half. With less than 4 minutes remaining in the second quarter, CCHS quarterback Chance Britnell picked up a first down on fourth down and 1 yard to go from Sylacauga’s 4-yard line.
On the next play, Michael Seaton found the end zone. Stephen Horn’s point-after made it 7-0.
As much time as the hosts put into building their lead, it was gone in an instant. On the second play of Sylacauga’s first possession of the second half, quarterback Brandon Griffith lofted a pass over the Chilton County defense and into the hands of Jim Abernathay, who took the ball in stride and scored from 61 yards out.
Hunter Karr added the point after to tie the game.
The score was the first against the CCHS defense since the Homewood game on Sept. 7.
The Tigers kept Sylacauga (5-1 overall, 3-1 in Class 5A, Region 4 play) under wraps the rest of the night as they allowed only four first downs.
Chilton’s offense, meanwhile, leaned on Seaton. The senior added second-half touchdown runs of 2 yards and 25 yards.
“We had a lot to prove,” said Seaton, the star of an offense that has perhaps been overlooked as people rush to praise the CCHS defense. “They’ve kept us in games and put us ahead a bunch. We felt like this was our time to step it up for them.”
Richard Hilliard concluded the scoring when he took a screen pass from Britnell 15 yards and in for 6 points on fourth down and 8 yards to go with less than a minute left to play.
Kandice Cleckler was crowned Homecoming Queen before the start of the game. Her court included Senior Representative Lexi Tippett, Junior Representative Katie Mims, Sophomore Representative Madison Lyn and Freshman Representative Santana DeJarnett. Cameron Blackmon was named Homecoming King.