Wetumpka’s Jamarion Thrasher redeemed himself in Tallassee.
Just a week earlier Thrasher fumbled two punts but there was no stopping him Friday night.
With 7.3 seconds on the scoreboard and the Indians down 14-12, Wetumpka quarterback Nathan Rogers began to scramble on a 4th and 20 play at the 40 yard line. It was beginning to look like Tallassee would hold on but Rogers rolled to his right and launched a pass. At the other end was Thrasher holding the ball in the endzone as the buzzer sounded.
Wetumpka coach Tim Perry was proud of the effort of his team in the 18-14 win over Tallassee.
“I’m just so proud of our coaches and guys,” Perry said. “We have a lot of inexperience on offense. We said we probably played the worst first half offensively in a long time.”
Tallassee’s Jalyn Daniels got the Tigers on the scoreboard first with a 1-yard dive into the endzone. Tallassee was able to score again as the Indians fumbled a snap at the 20 yard line and the Tiger’s Luke Burdette was able to cover the ball in the endzone.
Rogers last second connection was only the beginning of a momentous comeback.
Tallassee got the ball with 3:38 to go in the third quarter after Rogers scored on an eight yard run. The Tigers were ahead 14-12 and started driving behind Jalyn Daniels. Nearly 12 minutes later, Tallassee would be inside the five yard line.
“That was a drive getting us out of our game plan and what we wanted to do offensively, but man what a great stop down there,” Perry said. “They responded here, man.”
With first and goal inside the five, the Tigers went to their favorite running back Daniels in a Wildcat formation and the Indians stopped him. The same play would be called by Tallassee coach Mike Battles three more times with the same result, no score.
“It is a game of momentum,” Perry said. “We couldn’t seem to keep it. They controlled the clock, they controlled the momentum most of the game and when that start happens you get frustrated.”
Tallassee would turn it over on downs to Wetumpka with the ball touching the goal line. With 4:16 left in the game, Wetumpka would put together a 99-yard game-winning drive.
Daniels would finish the game with 97 yards on 31 carries and the touchdown. Tiger quarterback Tyler Ellis went 9 for 12 for 97 yards. Ellis connected with JaQuavious Lackey, Daniels, Ziggy Holloway, Dontae Leonard and Clayten Gough.
Wetumpka would be held to 102 yards in the first half. Rogers would throw the ball 11 times in the first half but only connect twice. Rogers helped his cause in the first frame running for 42 yards with Quinn Wilson adding another 21 yards.
Perry said his team was down and out of rhythm going into the locker room at the break, down 14-0.
“We challenged them at halftime,” Perry said. “We just challenged them, we are too far into it to make excuses. What we have to do is just start making plays. We got to believe in ourselves and each other to start making plays.”
The challenge worked as the Indian defense held the Tigers scoreless in the second half, highlighted by the goal line stand.
“I thought they did a good job,” Perry said. “The second half, I thought our defense played great. We put them out on the field a little too much defensively especially late in the game. On the goal line stand in the fourth quarter, that was the game.”
Wilson would add 43 yards in the second half including a 21 yard touchdown run.
Perry’s Indians head to Helena next week but he knows what his team needs to do.
“It sounds cliche but it’s about opportunity,” Perry said. “We have to hold the ball. We also told them they got to stay focused all four quarters.”