Tigers drop final game to Calera

Published 10:24 am Friday, October 31, 2014

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

A tough season came to a tough end for the Chilton County Tigers on Thursday night as they dropped their final game of the 2014 season to the Calera Eagles, 39-28.

Chilton County's Anthony Chavez weaves his way through a cluster of Calera defenders Thursday.

Chilton County’s Anthony Chavez weaves his way through a cluster of Calera defenders Thursday.

The Eagles struck first blood with their opening possession of the game when quarterback Ty Evans hit Zach Gaines for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Gaines point-after try gave Calera an early 7-0 lead.

Both defenses settled into their game the remainder of the first half as neither team mounted any more points in the half, and the Eagles took a 7-0 lead to the locker room.

The Tigers (2-8 overall, 1-5 area) received the opening kickoff and after a short return, quarterback Anthony Chavez and the Tiger offense set up their first drive of the half from their own 32-yard line.

After an incompletion on first down, Chavez went 3-of-4 for 62 yards and capped off the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run.

With Chavez adding the PAT, the game was all tied up at seven apiece early in the third quarter.

Three-and-outs by both teams set the Eagles (9-1, 6-1) up with their second possession of the second half at their own 26-yard line.

On a second and eight from their own 28, running back Shakeith Tyes took the snap from the wildcat formation and raced 72 yards for a Calera touchdown.

Jaquares Martin would break through the line to block Fords’ PAT, but the Eagles led 13-7.

Chavez guided another Tigers scoring drive on the ensuing Chilton County possession, going 3-of-3 for 68 yards and capping the drive off with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Keandre Binion.

With the PAT good, the Tigers took a 14-13 lead.

Martin came up with the recovery on the ensuing onside kick, but the Tigers drive stalled via an incomplete pass on fourth and nine from the Calera 29.

From their own 29, the Eagles pounded their way down the field to cap off a 79-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Tyes.

With a missed 2-point conversion, the Eagles took a 19-14 lead.

The first turnover of the game came on the Tigers’ next possession when a completed pass across the middle wound up on the turf after a hard hit by the Eagles’ secondary to give Calera the ball at the Tiger 45.

Two plays later and Tyes added another Eagles touchdown with an 18-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 25-14.

Not to be outdone, Chavez would find Keishun White streaking down the Calera sideline for a 54-yard touchdown pass on the Tigers’ next possession, and with 9:20 left in the fourth, Calera led 25-21.

The Eagles’ punishing running game went back to work as Tyes and Kyle Harrell alternated taking snaps from the wildcat formation, and five plays later, Harrell capped off a 69-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown.

With Fords’ PAT up and good, Calera had a 32-21 lead with 6:58 to go in the game.

Another Tiger turnover on the resulting Chilton County possession would set the Eagles up with a first and 10 from their own 41-yard line.

Once again, Tyes was the power behind the Eagles’ offense, this time by use of his arm and a 54-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Reddin.

With 3:35 to play, Calera had a 39-21 lead.

Tyler Henderson punched one in for Chilton County with 25 seconds of play to bring the game to its final score of 39-28.

“I have never been around a bunch of kids that played as hard as this,” Tigers coach Brian Bradford said. “They have done everything we have asked all year long. My heart is broken for them. I wish we could have sent them out with a win and done better this year, but this is an awesome group of kids.”

Chavez went 11-of-24 through the air with 219 yards and two touchdowns while also adding 54 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

Tyler Henderson led the Tigers’ defense with 10 tackles.

Tyes led the Eagles’ running game with 260 yards on 32 carries with three touchdowns.