The luck of the Tigers continued as DeKalb County squeaked by the visiting Smith County Owls 36-29 Friday night at VanHooser Stadium.
With just 2:34 remaining in the game, the Owls scored to pull within one touchdown. On their ensuing possession with the score at 36-29 and with possession of the football, the Tigers seemed to be in command, but a fumble on the DeKalb 24-yard line by Tiger running back Jesse Smith gave the Owls a great opportunity to tie the game. However, three plays later with just 37 seconds remaining, an interception by back-up safety Steven Jennings on the Tigers’ 14-yard line ensured the victory for DeKalb.
The Tigers, who struggled offensively early on, saw the Owls take a quick lead at the 9:02 mark of the first quarter when quarterback Carson Hackett found Keith Morris on a five-yard touchdown pass. The Ethan Elliott PAT was good for Smith County, putting the score at 7-0. A one-yard touchdown run by Tiger quarterback Steven Jennings with 2:35 remaining in the second quarter put his team on the board. Matthew Poss’ good PAT tied the game at 7-7.
On their ensuing possession, the Owls chewed up big chunks of yardage and on their fourth play of the drive a 20-yard touchdown run by Carson Hackett put Smith County back on top. The PAT was blocked by DeKalb’s Christian Pruitt. However, Smith County lead 13-7 with 1:54 remaining in the quarter.
Feeling a sense of urgency, the Tigers hit pay dirt when Steven Jennings connected with Matthew Poss with a 52-yard touchdown strike to tie the game. The PAT was good by Poss giving the Tigers a 14-13 lead with just 49 seconds remaining in the first half.
After a big kick-off return by the Owls and a late hit on DeKalb, Smith County found themselves at the Tigers’ 45-yard line to start the drive. Six plays later, a 37-yard field goal by Ethan Elliott as the first-half buzzer sounded put the Owls ahead 16-14.
The third quarter started with a bang as Smith County’s John Michael Donnell sprinted 92-yards on the opening kick-off, stretching the Owls’ lead to 22-14. The PAT was once again blocked by the Tigers, this time by Troy Bain. The Tigers’ offense wasted little time scoring, as Steven Jennings crossed the goal line just five plays later. Running back Jesse Smith plowed into the end-zone on the two-point conversion attempt, tying the score at 22-22 at the 9:11 mark of the third quarter. After trading possessions, the Tigers found themselves back in the lead with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter behind a hard four-yard touchdown run by Jesse Smith. Matthew Poss’ PAT kick was good, putting the Tigers up 29-22.
After a fumble recovery by DeKalb’s Nick May on the Owl’s 48-yard line, the Tigers extended their lead when quarterback Steven Jennings raced to the end-zone. Matthew Poss split the up-rights to make the score 36-22 with 8:47 remaining in the contest setting the stage for an exciting finish.
The 4-1 Tigers will host Macon County Friday night in what will be the 2015 Homecoming for DeKalb. Festivities will begin at 6:30 with kick-off slated for 7 p.m.