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The Fayetteville High School Tigers had a big night in their home opener, coming from behind for a 20-14 win over Tullahoma in overtime.
Another highlight of the evening came at halftime. Director of City Schools Dr. Janine Wilson and FHS Principal Eric Jones presented 2012 TSSAA A-AA State Tennis Champion Skylar McDonald and Coach Jonathan Brown a plaque, a ring and proclamation of congratulations signed by Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey and Senator of the 13th District, Bill Ketron.
Fayetteville trailed 14-0 at one point in the second quarter but scored 20 unanswered points while keeping the Wildcats off the board in the second half.
The turnover bug probably cost the Tigers points twice, coughing up the ball and stalling drives on the move. One came in the Tullahoma red zone. But, the defense did its job, giving FHS time to catch up on the scoreboard.
“I’m extremely proud of the guys,” Coach Alvin Palmer said. “We came off a tough Friday night game and played again on Monday night.
“Defensively, we did an excellent job in the second half,” Coach Palmer added. “They (Tullahoma) brought several kids that play on their varsity team, and I thought we competed well.
“Offensively, some of our bigger plays were from the Coach John Meadows play book,” continued Coach Palmer. “I’ve got to give credit where it’s due. They set the defense up for several plays, then give you the opportunity to make a big play. The boys executed them well.
“Our coaching staff did a great job,” he added. “I’m so fortunate to have them. They made adjustments as the game progressed and made the right decisions for us to compete.”
The Tigers took possession the opening series and moved down the field. But, the first of three fumbles hit, giving Tullahoma the ball at their own 37-yard line.
The Wildcats aired it out for 76 yards and a touchdown. The PAT was good, and with 6:09 in the first quarter, Tullahoma was up 7-0.
Fayetteville took the following series to the Wildcats’ 10-yard line but turned the ball over on downs with 12 seconds on the clock.
At the end of one, Tullahoma was up 7-0.
The Wildcats took their next possession 90 yards, eating over five minutes off the clock for a score and good PAT. With 6:43 remaining in the half, Tullahoma was up 14-0.
But, the Tigers answered before the break, starting a drive at their own 33-yard line. Big plays came from Michael Hardin and Trevonte Emmons connecting with Kendrell Hall and going to the Wildcat 18-yard line. Trevonte Emmons took it in from the 10. Cooper Shelton’s kick was good, and with less than a minute on the clock, FHS trailed 14-7.
The first half excitement continued. Gus Palacio picked off a Wildcat pass at midfield with 2 ticks remaining on the clock. In a one-play effort, Trevonte Emmons aired it out to Michael Hardin who made the catch but was stopped at the one-yard line as time expired.
At the intermission, the Wildcats were up 14-7.
The third quarter remained scoreless. Tullahoma attempted a 30-yard field goal, but it was blocked. The Tigers miss an opportunity, fumbling the ball after moving to the eight-yard line of the Wildcats with 16 ticks on the clock.
At the end of three, Tullahoma was up 14-7.
Fayetteville held the Wildcats their first possession of the final period. Tra Emmons returned the punt back to the Tullahoma 21-yard line.
With 9:11, the Tigers had a fourth and one situation at the 12. Emmons carried the ball again, picking up the first down. At the 8:01 mark, Emmons took it in again from the 10 for the score. Shelton’s PAT was good, and it was knotted at 14-14.
In the next series, the big playmaker for the Tigers was Darren Patterson. As the Wildcats moved down the field, Patterson picked off a pass, giving the Tigers the ball at their own 26-yard line. The Tigers marched to the Tullahoma 20-yard line but couldn’t push it in. Shelton attempted a 31-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining in regulation. The attempt missed its mark, and it finished tied at 14-14 in regulation.
Tullahoma won the overtime toss and chose to go on defense the first series. In high school ball, both teams get an opportunity to score starting at the 10-yard line. The second play Trevonte Emmons connected with Tra Emmons for the score. Shelton’s PAT was no good, and the Tigers were up 20-14.
As the Wildcats took their shot in the overtime period, Cooper Shelton made a big play on a blitz, stopping Tullahoma for a six-yard loss. On fourth down, the Wildcats attempted a screen pass, but the Tigers forced the receiver out of bounds two yards shy of the end zone to seal the win.
FHS generated 298 yards of offense with 172 coming on the ground and 126 in the air.
Quarterback Trevonte Emmons was 5 of 13 with one touchdown and one interception.
Kendrell Hall had 3 catches for 77 yards. Michael Hardin had 1 for 42 yards, and Ryan Yates had 1 for 7 yards.
Rushing, Tre Emmons had 23 carries for 64 yards, Michael Hardin, 5 for 58 yards and Trevonte Emmons, 10 carries for 50 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers gave up 292 yards with 143 on the ground and 149 in the air.
FHS finished with 16 first downs while Tullahoma had 13.
For their next action, the Tigers were to have a rematch with the Wildcats on the road Monday, Aug. 27.