For the Tucker Tigers, Friday nights have become a case of same script, different cast.
Each week, the state-ranked Tigers (No. 9 AAAAAA) transform the football field into a theatrical stage to showcase their winning ways. Tucker played to superb reviews in its lead role over visiting Mundy’s Mill with a 34-14 victory at Adams Stadium.
The opening act began with wide receiver Josh Vann hauling in a strike from Xavier Shephard and dashing off 52 yards to the end zone and a 7-0 lead. Vann leads the Tigers in touchdown receptions with six on the season.
“I believe in next corner back, next challenge. It was a good game and we got the job done. We just have to keep working hard in practice in games,” said Vann.
In the second quarter, Shephard tossed a laser to Taurean Taylor who outran the entire Mundy’s Mill secondary and cruised in for an 88-yard touchdown.
Just when it appeared as if it would be an early runaway, Mundy’s Mill answered with a big play of its own.
On the ensuing kickoff, Casey Grigley found a seam up the middle, cutback to the right and then raced down the sideline for a 90-yard touchdown return. Grigley’s score shrunk the deficit to 14-7.
Tucker closed out the first half with a short-range scoring drive following a Mundy’s Mill turnover. Quarterback Kaziah Hall’s bad pitch on an option resulted in a fumble and recovery by Jalen Jefferson deep inside Tucker territory at the 9-yard line. Two plays later, Chris Broadwater ran in for a 1-yard score and Tucker led 20-7 at intermission.
When the curtain rose for the second act, Tucker’s defense once again provided a key turnover which led to points on the board.
Garen McKinny jumped a route and intercepted Hall at the 41-yard line. Shortly after the pick, Taylor notched for his second touchdown of the evening and lifted his squad to a 27-7 advantage.
Tucker’s score for the closing credits of the fourth quarter was an 8-yard reception by Cameron Richardson.
Early in the fourth quarter, Mundy’s Mill running back broke free up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown. This was the first touchdown allowed by Tucker’s defense since a second-quarter score on Sept. 2 versus Colquitt County. This scoreless streak, which spanned 13 quarters, also included back-to-back shutouts against Jonesboro and M.L. King.
“We try to keep people out of the end zone. There was a bust on that scoring play. There’s still some things for us to improve upon,” said Tucker head coach Bryan Lamar. “We’ll watch the film and see some good stuff and bad stuff. The kids still played hard. We made plays with a key fumble recovery and an interception.”
With the win, Tucker improves to 5-1 and 3-0 in Region 4-AAAAAA. The team has a bye this coming week and then will face Lovejoy on Oct. 14 at Adams Stadium.
Mundy’s Mill loss drops its record to 1-5 and 1-3 in the region. The Tigers hit the road again next week, playing at Osborne.
“Those two turnovers put them [Tucker] in the driver’s seat and gave them momentum and control of the game,” said Mundy’s Mill head coach Dewayne Davis. “It’s discouraging because you work so hard to put yourself in a position for success and things don’t go your way. We’re 1-5 and our biggest adversary is us.”