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Underdog Tigers go down swinging

An upset for the ages came up a little short Friday night.

Chilton County High—one of only two three-win teams to make the playoffs regardless of classification—led unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Shelby County High through three quarters.

But the visiting Tigers (3-8) ultimately couldn’t slow the SCHS rushing attack, and the hosts won, 41-31.

Braten Dill, Tae Lewis and Darion Sutton combined for 449 yards for the Wildcats (11-0).

The Tigers sent a message early when they scored on the game’s first possession. Quarterback Taylor Hughes ran in the touchdown from 25 yards out. Patrick Norman added the extra point and all those thereafter.

Hughes had a career performance, passing for 272 yards and rushing for 68.

The teams traded scores for the rest of the first half. SCHS tied it a 7 before Norman nailed a 31-yard field goal.

Again, Shelby answered, this time taking the lead on a 64-yard touchdown run by Dill. But Hughes found Darnell Spear on a crossing route for 23 yards and a touchdown with less than a minute to play in the first half, and CCHS led 17-14 at the break.

There were more dramatics in the second half. Chilton recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, and Hughes connected with Kendrick Woods for a 31-yard strike on a 3rd-and-10 to give the underdog visitors a 10-point lead at 24-14.

The ‘Cats answered with two quick scoring drives (2:45 and 1:04) and one long one (4:30).

The Tigers, however, wouldn’t go away. Gheryme Reed scored on a 37-yard hook-and-lateral from Hughes and Woods.

CCHS then recovered an onside kick, but offsides was called and SCHS iced the game with another score.