Comeback win: CCHS blanks Jemison in second half

Published 10:18 am Friday, September 1, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

After trailing 21-7 late in the second quarter, the Chilton County High School Tigers posted 34 unanswered points to down Jemison High School 41-21 at Panther Stadium on Aug. 31.

CCHS trailed by 14 points with three seconds left in the first half when sophomore quarterback Logan Coppedge found a receiver on a short pass and he powered into the end zone to make it a one possession game at halftime, 21-14. Coppedge earned his first win as a starter for CCHS and was 15-for-21 passing for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

CCHS head coach Marvin Morton was very blunt and candid with his halftime speech to his team, and it resonated.

“We started the game out flat without a lot of energy, and that was the main focus going into halftime was to bring that enthusiasm and energy, and execute our game plan,” Morton said. “I was very proud of the guys in the second half for how they answered the call being physical at the line of scrimmage, which was something we did not do in the first half. I was really proud of how the offensive line and the running game came open for us.”

The Tigers came out firing on all cylinders in the second half controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and taking on that physical identity Morton has been preaching throughout the summer. CCHS took the first drive of the second half to pay dirt as D.J. Jackson hauled in a touchdown grab from Coppedge from 25 yards out to tie the game on fourth down.

After a three and out on offense by Jemison, the Tigers took their first lead of the game at 28-21 as Jackson punched in his second rushing touchdown of the game from 11 yards out. CCHS got its second fumble recovery on a kickoff return the ensuing kick, and Jackson added his third touchdown run later to put his total at four and the Tigers up 35-21 after three quarters.

“We did not make the plays we needed to in the first half (on defense), but we cleaned it up at halftime,” Morton said. “The guys rallied together, got a few big turnovers in the second half and that really sprung forward momentum for our offense. It was just a great second half for us, and we hope to continue that going forward this season.”

Jackson stole the show in his second game at CCHS posting 147 rushing yards on 14 carries and the three touchdowns on the ground. He added four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown through the air as well.

Hunter Ousley put the finishing touches on the comeback win for the Tigers, punching in a short touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Morton challenged his team after their week one loss because he felt they were not as physical as they should be. Against Jemison, he was really pleased with the physicality CCHS came out with in the second half.

“Those guys showed a lot of grit and fire,” Morton said. “We have a lot of first-time starters out here, and I was proud of how some guys stepped up that needed to in this game.”

After a fumble on the opening kickoff by Jemison and a missed field goal by CCHS, the Panthers settled into the game in the first half as Kintre Jackson punched in a touchdown run to open the scoring. After the Tigers’ Jackson tied it up with his first rushing touchdown of the night, Kintre Jackson hauled in two touchdown catches from quarterback Luke Gann including a nice one-handed grab on a fade route in the back of the end zone.

Chilton County (1-1) opens its AHSAA Class 6A Region 3 schedule in its next game hosting Briarwood Christian School on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Jemison (1-1) will get its region slate going on the same day and time as it hosts Marbury High School in an AHSAA Class 5A Region 3 clash.