In a battle of the big cats, the DeKalb County Tigers blasted the Cannon County Lions 69-3 to take the honor as King of the Jungle.
With 55 points scored in the first-half, a record in any half DeKalb has ever played, the Tigers added 14 more points in the second-half to break the all-time single game record for points scored with 69.
On overmatched Lion’s squad had four turnovers during the first half to help DeKalb’s scoring burst. The Tiger’s offense, hitting on all cylinders, scored a touchdown on each possession of the game in the historic win.
The scoring started early on for the Tigers. Newcomer to the starting line-up, wide-receiver Braxton Linder, scored the first six of the game at the 10:23 mark of the first quarter with a 12-yard reception from quarterback Steven Jennings. Backup kicker Andrew Fuson, who was in for injured Matthew Poss, booted the football through the uprights to make the score 7-0. After an A.J. Mooneyham interception that gave the ball back to the Tiger offense on Cannon’s 15-yard line, Mooneyham crossed the goal line with a 9-yard run. Andrew Fuson’s kick was good, and with 9:19 remaining in the first quarter, the Tigers led 14-0.
Taking advantage of a fumble recovery by Gage Duggin on the Tiger’s 22-yard line, DeKalb’s offense scored on the fourth play of their ensuing drive. Steven Jennings found a wide-open Drew Castorena for a 55-yard touchdown reception with 5:24 remaining in the first-quarter. The PAT by Andrew Fuson was good, and the Tigers stretched their lead to 21-0.
At the 11:50 mark of the second quarter, the Tigers scored once again. Passing for his third touchdown of the night, Tiger quarterback Steven Jennings hooked up with Isaiah Jones on a 21-yard strike. The PAT by Andrew Fuson was good, and the Tigers led 28-0.
On the Lion’s ensuing possession, a fumble recovery by DeKalb’s Tayvian Nokes gave the ball back to a confident Tiger offense on Cannon’s 44-yard line. On their second play, Tiger’s running-back Jesse Smith danced and weaved his way 34-yards then dove into the end-zone to expand the DeKalb lead. The PAT by Andrew Fuson was no good, and with 9:44 remaining in the second-quarter the Tigers’ lead was at 34-0.
Scoring his second touchdown of the game, Tiger running back A.J. Mooneyham walked in untouched at the 7:00 mark of the second-quarter on a two-yard touchdown run. Andrew Fuson’s kick was good putting the score 41-0. On the ensuing kick-off a fumble recovery by Braxton Linder on the Lion’s six-yard line gave the Tiger’s offense a very short field to work with. Three plays later, a one-yard plunge into the end-zone by A.J. Mooneyham ballooned the Tiger lead. The PAT was good by Andrew Fuson, and at the 6:04 mark DeKalb led 48-0.
DeKalb’s next score came with just 55 seconds remaining in the first-half. Steven Jennings connected with receiver Riley Sexton on a 13-yard touchdown pass, setting the record for most points scored in one-half for the Tigers. The kick by Andrew Fuson was good to make the score 55-0.
With the Mercy Rule in effect, the clock ran continuously during the second-half. After a fumble recovery by the Tigers’ Troy Bain on the Lion’s 29-yard line running back Jordan Whitehead raced 29-yards to hit pay-dirt. The Andrew Fuson kick was good, and at the 8:21 mark of the third quarter DeKalb led 62-0.
Cannon County’s lone score came at the end of the third-quarter when kicker Livia Walker made a 27-yard field goal putting the score at 62-3.
The Tigers’ historic score came with just 7:03 remaining in the game when running back Jordan Whitehead broke loose for a 33-yard scamper that had the Tiger’s fans and players bursting with excitement. Andrew Fuson kicked the football through the uprights putting the score at 69-3.
With the win, the Tigers finished the regular season at 7-3 overall and 5-1 in region play.
The Tigers will host the 7-3 Chattanooga Christian Chargers Friday night at VanHooser Stadium in the first round of the TSSAA State Playoffs. Come out and support the Tigers as they begin the quest to bring home a State Championship. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.