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Tigers keep streak alive against Eagles

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Sunbright wins three in a row after shutting out Oakdale 37-0

By Taylor Crombie

The Sunbright Tigers cemented their status as a serious contender in Region 2 with their 37-0 victory over the Oakdale Eagles, improving to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the region.

Despite a sluggish start, Sunbright recorded two touchdowns in the first half by way of a 9-yard pass from Thomas Hall to Wesley Bohanon in the first quarter and a 5-yard run from Hall in the second to take a 16-0 lead.

While Oakdale was unable to capitalize in the first half, the Eagles moved the ball well and continued to do so on their first drive of the third quarter. They were still very much in the game and looked like they were going to put themselves in position to score after a 14-yard rush from Taylor Braddock gave Oakdale a first down in Sunbright territory, but things quickly went south for the Eagles.

After a false start and a rush attempt for no gain, the Eagles were faced with second-and-15 at the Tiger 40 and needed to make a play. Braddock got the hand-off from Arrowood, but Sunbright’s Josh Langley ripped the ball away from him to force a fumble in Hunter Bunch’s direction. Bunch scooped the ball up and returned it for a touchdown to put the Tigers up 24-0 after the 2-point conversion and ignite the offense for the rest of the night.

“Anytime you get a defensive score, it’s going to pick your team up and that helped offensively,” Sunbright’s acting head coach Joe Kent said.

Dillon Woodard and Levi Daniel added a touchdown a piece along with a PAT from Herman Arranz to bring the score to 37-0.

Hall led the Tiger offense against Oakdale with 97 of its total 215 yards rushing. Daniel and Woodward accounted for the rest with 66 and 52 respectively.

The Eagle defense paid special attention to Woodard, who was unstoppable last week against Wartburg with 91 yards rushing and Sunbright’s only touchdown, and limited him to just 52 yards. Hall was a force to be reckoned with, though, and racked up 97 of the Tigers’ 215 total yards rushing.

“That’s the beauty of our triple option,” Kent said. “If you try to take one away, there’s two more waiting on you to get up field.”

Statistically, the Eagles did not have a terrible night on offense. Quarterback Nathen Arrowood led the team with 77 yards rushing on 12 carries while Garrett Miller had 26 yards rushing at tailback. Oakdale receivers only had 31 total yards on 6 receptions though.

“I felt like passing wise we never did get on track,” Voyles said. “Tanner Poole, I feel like we really missed an opportunity tonight with him. I feel like he would have helped us more if we had got it to him and for whatever reason we just couldn’t get the plays to him.

“It’s frustrating. We’re struggling a little bit right now on offense.”

The Tigers are currently riding a three-game win streak with two huge regional wins over Harriman and Oakdale. Regional play continues this week for Sunbright with a home game against the Oliver Springs Bobcats. The Bobcats are 1-5, but has played tough through arguably one of the hardest schedules of any team in Region 2. Oliver Springs is 1-1 with a 48-15 loss to Greenback and a 42-14 win against Harriman.

It’s an important game for Sunbright, who only has two regional matchups left on the schedule in Oliver Springs and Midway. The Tigers will need to defeat at least one of the two to guarantee a spot in the playoffs.

Oakdale, meanwhile, is on a four-game losing streak after starting the season with high-scoring wins against Pickett County and Jellico and is 0-3 against regional opponents. There’s still plenty of football left to play, though. The Eagles will make the trip to Chattanooga to take on Lookout Valley this week before their remaining regional games against Oliver Springs, Harriman and Greenback.

“I told the kids after the game ‘no need to mail it in and give up now, let’s finish it the right way,’” Voyles said. “Lookout Valley is someone that Oakdale has played in the past and they’ve had a competitive rivalry with. We need to go down and get a win.”