November 6, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
The DeKalb County Tigers travel to Baxter next week for a rematch with the Upperman Bees after knocking out the East Hamilton Hurricanes at Ooltewah 35-21 on Friday night in the first round of the Class 4A Football Play-Offs. The Bees won their first round of State Play-Off on Friday night, beating Soddy Daisy 46-7.
WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the 2nd Round of the Class 4A Play-Offs between the Tigers and the Bees on Friday, November 12. Kick-off will be at 7 p.m. from Baxter.
Almost a month ago, Upperman came back from behind in the “Battle of Center Hill” to defeat the Tigers in Smithville. In that game, DC led 7-3 at halftime and 14-10 with 9:05 left in the 4th period, but two late touchdowns from the Bees gave Upperman the 24-14 victory.
The Bees, who won the Region’s Class 4A regular season championship 4-5-0, are now 10-1 overall with their only loss of the season being to Fayetteville 19-14 on September 10. .
The Tigers, who finished 3rd in Class 4A Region 4 at 3-2, are now 7-4 overall with wins over Smith County 33-14, Cumberland County 35-10, Cannon County 49 -7, Livingston Academy 45-15, Warren County 28-0, Stone Memorial 21-20 and East Hamilton 35-21. Their losses were to Macon County 32-29, Watertown 38-20, Upperman 24-14 and Goodpasture 21-13.
This is the 11th consecutive State Football Play-Off appearance for DeKalb County, the largest in school history.
In the game at East Hamilton on Friday night, the Hurricanes scored the first goal on a 10-yard touchdown from Juandrick Bullard with 8:58 left in the first period, completing a 75-yard rush. Ethan Hixson converted the PAT to give East Hamilton a 7-0 lead.
DeKalb County responded with 4:34 left in the 1st period on an 11-yard quarterback guard by Briz Trapp completing a 65-yard drive. Axel Aranda came on for the extra point and the game was tied 7-7.
The Hurricanes took the lead on a 1 yard touchdown from Jeremiah Flemmons with 11:25 left in the second period. Hixson added the extra point and East Hamilton led 14-7.
The Hurricanes extended their lead with 7:01 left in the second period on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lake Clark to Jeremiah Flemmons. Hixson scored the extra point and East Hamilton took a 21-7 lead.
DeKalb County closed the lead with 2:36 left in the 2nd period on an 8-yard touchdown from Isaac Knowles. Axel Aranda scored the extra point and the Tigers were 21-14 down at halftime.
The Tigers re-entered the board with 8:01 left in the 3rd period on a 28-yard touchdown from Colby Barnes, completing a 75-yard run. Aranda’s extra point try was not good but DC was at a 21-20 point.
After forcing a roll from the Hurricanes, the Tigers took over at the East Hamilton 44-yard line. Colby Barnes then got his second touchdown of the night on a 44-yard run with 7:01 left in the 3rd period. Isaac Knowles scored on a two-run conversion to put the Tigers in the lead for the first time 28-21.
The Tigers’ defense continued to hold its own with three interceptions in the 4th period, including a 35-yard touchdown return by Nolan Gottlied with 4:41 left to play at the end of the game. Aranda added the extra point and DeKalb County won, winning 35-21.