Tigers fall to Bulldogs

Rick Patrick
ECB Publishing, Inc.

In a game that was plagued by penalties, turn-overs and missed opportunities, the Jefferson County Somerset Tigers were defeated by the Taylor County High School Bulldogs by a final score of 33-6 on Friday, Oct. 6. The game capped off a grueling week in which the Tigers played three games in a span of seven days. The Tigers came into Taylor County after having defeated Hamilton County by a score of 48-2 on Friday, Sept. 29, and defeating St. John Paul II Catholic by a score of 32-6 on Monday, Oct. 2, in a hurricane make-up game. Fatigue could easily have been a factor in the game.
The game began with Taylor receiving the opening kick-off and beginning their first drive at their own 39 yard-line. The Bulldogs drove down to the Tigers' 14 where they faced a fourth and long. The Bulldogs chose to go for the first down, rather than attempt a long field goal and scored on the first touchdown pass of the evening. The PAT was no good and the Bulldogs had drawn first blood with the score 6-0 with 7:31 left in the opening period. Jefferson County speedster Jacquez Hughes returned the Taylor County kick-off to the Jefferson County 34. Jefferson County went three-and-out and had to punt the ball away. On the Bulldog's next drive they moved the ball from near mid-field and soon had a first and goal inside the Tigers' 10. The Bulldogs punched the ball across the goal line; and after a successful two-point conversion, the Bulldogs had extended their lead to 14-0, with 1:40 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs intercepted a Tigers' pass ending the Tigers' drive. Then Jefferson County's Ricky Murray returned the favor and intercepted a pass of his own, giving the Tigers the ball at their own 40. The quarter ended with the score 14-0, in favor of the Bulldogs. The Tigers' were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. On the Bulldogs next possession, the Bulldogs quarterback made an errant lateral and Detravian Nealy picked the ball up and sprinted into the end-zone for the Jefferson County “scoop-six” touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good and the score was 14-6 with 10:35 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs answered back on their next possession, driving down the field for another Bulldog touchdown drive. The score was 21-6 with 7:19 remaining in the first half. The Tigers failed to move the ball on their next drive, going three-and-out. Then, on the next Bulldog drive, Hughes picked off a Taylor County pass and set the Tigers up in Taylor County territory, late in the second quarter. However, the Tigers were unable to move the ball into the end-zone and turned the ball over on downs at the Taylor County 16. The half ended with the score 21-6.
It looked as if the Tigers had found some life when they took the opening possession of the second half from their own 27 to a first-and-goal at the Taylor County seven-yard line. A penalty backed the Tigers up and then a turn-over at the Taylor County 26 ended the Tigers' scoring hopes. After a Taylor County three-and-out, the Tigers began another drive at their own 27. This drive ended in another interception at the Taylor County 34. A couple of plays later it appeared as if the Taylor County Quarterback was heading to the Jefferson end-zone when a Tiger defender stripped the ball, and the Tigers recovered the fumble at their own 12-yard line. The Tigers' drive stalled at the 35-yard line. The third quarter ended with the score 21-6. The final period began with the Bulldogs moving the ball toward the Tigers' end-zone. The Tigers put an end to the drive with an interception in the end-zone. The Tigers' drive went backwards, and they were forced to punt from their own end-zone. The Bulldogs took over at mid-field and drove the ball down for another touchdown. The PAT was no good and the Bulldogs now had a 27-6 lead with 7:36 remaining in the contest. The Tigers' next drive ended with the Bulldogs intercepting another pass and running it in for a Bulldog “pick-six.” The score was now 33-6 with 6:18 left in the contest. Hughes returned the ensuing kick-off to the Taylor County 39. Yet another interception ended the Tigers' drive. Both teams then traded turnovers at the Taylor County end of the field. The Tigers' final offensive drive ended with a turn-over on downs at the Taylor County 13-yard line.
The loss brings the Tigers' overall record to 3-2 so far this season. The Tigers will next face the Yellowjackets of Vernon High School. The Yellowjackets have a 2-3 record so far and are coming off a 40-22 victory over Graceville High School. The game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. at Jefferson Somerset High School, in Monticello.