Tigers keep rolling alongBy Drew Granthum Published 8:58pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Chilton County High School Tigers have been on quite a roll this year, with an overall record of 6-1 and a Class 5A, Region 4 record of 4-1 to put them in sole position of second place.
It’s been quite a year so far for the Tigers, and if the past week’s matchup against Briarwood was any indication, the best is yet to come.
CCHS had never beaten Briarwood in five previous matchups, and for awhile, it looked like the Tigers would have to wait another time.
After falling down 14-0 early, the Tigers settled in and began to methodically march down the field, scoring on a Chance Britnell pass right before halftime.
The second half opened up with both offenses struggling, punting the ball back and forth several times before Briarwood finally scored to make it 21-7.
A Richard Hilliard interception led to a Michael Seaton rushing touchdown. The Tigers followed it up with an 82-yard drive that ended with a Myric Good touchdown run, tying the game at 21 late in the 4th quarter.
CCHS scored first in overtime but missed the extra point, making it 27-21. On Briarwood’s possession, a James Hilyer interception ended any hopes the Lions had of going home with a sixth straight win in the series.
Head coach Donnie Hand admitted it was a roller coaster of a game.
“You get to wondering when you’re down 14-0, ‘How bad is this going to get?’” he said. “Are the kids going to step up? And they did; they didn’t panic, and they did what they were supposed to do.”
Once they were able to force overtime, Hand said the team was focused on the situation in front of them.
“The first thing that went through mine and [quarterback] Chance [Britnell]’s mind was the last time we were in overtime, at Shelby County last year, was we fumbled on the first play,” he said. “We made sure we didn’t call that play again. We just kept running the same thing we had all night.”
For CCHS, this was the second week in a row that the team had to focus on a big game. There was no time to celebrate the huge win over Sylacauga; instead, Hand and crew had to maintain focus on Briarwood.
“That was one thing we worried about all week,” he said. “We worked all week to make sure they didn’t have a letdown. We kept harping that we want the first round of the playoffs here.”
It’s that goal, that dream of hosting the first round of the playoff since the dream season of 1996 that keeps Hand and the Tigers fighting and the hometown crowd hoping. If CCHS keeps pulling off big wins like they have the last two weeks, the dream may become reality.
“It’s big,” said Hand. “It’s big for the community; it’s a goal set by the kids. It’d be a big deal.”