For three local teams, Friday brought road trips, and it was Darlington that had the most successful night while Pepperell and Coosa suffered tough losses.
Here is some info on how each team fared:
Darlington 21, King’s Ridge Christian 14
The Tigers ran out to an early lead with three first-quarter touchdowns but had to hold on down the stretch to earn a non-region road victory.
The offense came out hot for Darlington (4-1) as they scored three times in the opening quarter all coming on touchdown passes. Jack Payne connected with Eli Thompson for a four-yard touchdown pass and followed that up a few minutes later for a 13-yard TD connection with Will Bagby.
Patrick Shelley also got in the mix at quarterback and made the most of it with a five-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Thompson in the final minute of the first quarter to put Darlington up 21-0.
King’s Ridge Christian didn’t go away quietly, however, as they mounted a comeback in the second half thanks to an interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter and a touchdown run early in the fourth, but the Tigers’ defense held on from there to seal the win.
Payne finished with 76 yards on 8-of-12 passes with two touchdowns, and Caleb Thompson ran for 82 yards on 19 carries to lead the offensive totals.
Shelley was big on the defensive side of the ball with two interceptions, and Joel Lowenberg also had a huge game with 8.5 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and one interception.
Darlington is once again on the road next week as they travel to Bremen.
Dade County 21, Pepperell 20
It wasn’t the region opener the Dragons were looking for as they lost a tough game on the road to start 7-AA play.
Pepperell (1-4, 0-1) got a long rushing touchdown from DJ Rogers in the first half and a touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Waddell to Jon Shields in the game, and Steven Villatoro connected on two field goals to account for the Dragons’ scoring for the night.
Pepperell had one last chance in the final minute as they drove the ball deep into Dade County territory, but a potential game-winning field goal just missed to give the host Wolverines the victory.
The Dragons will aim to bounce back next week as they travel to Fannin County.
Cherokee County (Ala.) 53, Coosa 0
It was a tough night for the Eagles as they couldn’t get very much of anything going as they lost in convincing fashion to a good Warriors team.
Cherokee County’s Damien Ramsey was a load for the Coosa defense to handle as he finished with 75 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles (0-4) were led by Hayden McBurnett with 73 yards passing, and Dalton Denton ran for 44 yards. DJ Hames also had 37 yards on the ground.
Coosa is on the road next Friday to open their 7-AA schedule with a short trip to county rival Model.