Coach Alvin Palmer knew when the Tigers signed the contract last year to play out-of-district Friendship Christian, they were in for a tough game. The Commanders are a 2A private school that offers scholarships with a quarterback, A.J. Long, who has already committed to Syracuse University.
Friendship finished with the win, 57-18.
The loss puts the Tigers’ overall record at 4-5, and they are third at 3-2 in District 9-A.
Eagleville leads at 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the district; Forrest (6-3) and 4-1; Moore County, (5-5) and 3-3; Middle Tennessee Christian, (5-4) and 1-4; Huntland, (3-6) and 1-4; Community (2-7) and 1-4.
In week 10 action, Fayetteville hosts Forrest in a battle for the second place spot. Eagleville travels to Community. Moore County travels to Richland; Middle Tennessee Christian hosts Huntland.
“I know we’ve got to play some great teams to get us ready should we have the opportunity for a playoff game,” said Coach Alvin Palmer. “We knew Friendship was going to be good, and our guys saw some college material Friday night.
“It’s a big step going from a JV to a competitive varsity program,” he added. “We’ve got some guys who think they have some speed – they saw speed against Friendship.
“We had 3 fumbles and an interception that really hurt us,” Coach Palmer continued, “but I have to say our young men never quit. We’ve just got to use it to get better. Friday night, we’ll have our first ever Senior Night, and it’ll be those guys’ last regular season game on Tiger Hill. We have a great opportunity against Forrest; it’s moments like this we build the legacy of Tiger football.”
Friday night the Commanders jumped on the Tigers early, up 28-6 at the end of the first quarter. The score for FHS came as Trevonte Emmons hit Darren Patterson from the 19-yard line with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The extra point attempt was no good.
The Commanders won the second frame, 21-12. Scores for the Tigers came with 5:38 in the period on a 3-yard run by Marquice Emmons, and Trevonte Emmons connected with Jacob Pigg from 24 yards out with 1:21 remaining in the first half. FHS trailed 49-18 at the break.
In the second half, Friendship added one score in the third quarter and picked up a safety in the fourth to finish with the win.
Offensively, the Tigers finished with 13 first downs with 135 yards on the ground and 106 in the air for a combined 241 yards.
Passing Trevonte Emmons was 9 of 14 with 2 TDs and 1 interception. Darren Patters had 3 catches for 35 yards; John Strong, 3 for 35 yards; and Jacob Pigg had 2 for 31 yards.
Michael Hardin had 3 carries for 74 yards; Trevonte Emmons, 8 for 51 yards; Dorian Thompson, 5 for 14 yards; Tre Emmons, 3 for 13 yards; John Strong, 1 for 2 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers gave up 14 first downs with 252 yards on the ground and 204 in the air.
Jacob Pigg had 5 tackles; Isaiah Thompson, 4; Dorian Thompson and Mikeal Buchanan, 3; Darren Patterson, Cole Roland, Kendrell Hall and Austin Holdmeyer, 2; Gus Palacio and Andrew Lawson, 1.
For their next action, the Tigers celebrate Senior Night Friday hosting Forrest with game time at 6 p.m.