As Halloween approaches, if heart-stopping, nail-biting thrillers is your cup of tea, then watching the DeKalb County Tigers on Friday nights is where you want to be. In what has become their mode of operation for the 2015 season, the Tigers gave the hometown crowd yet another scare this week, edging the visiting Grundy County Yellow Jackets 28-20.
Despite outplaying the Yellow Jackets’ offense for most of the night, DeKalb’s defense surrendered three long-scoring plays of 91, 76 and 77 yards, respectively, that allowed an over-matched Grundy County team to stay in the ballgame. However, as the Tigers have exhibited, when the game is on the line someone steps up to make a play, and Friday night was no exception.
With just 50 seconds remaining in the game, DeKalb’s Christian Pruitt intercepted a Yellow Jackets’ pass on the Tigers’ 12-yard line, thwarting the potential game-tying scoring drive and sealing the victory for the home team.
The Yellow Jackets drew first blood at the 4:19 mark of the first period when running back James McDaniel raced 91 yards to the end zone. The PAT was no good, but DeKalb trailed 6-0. On the Tigers’ ensuing possession, a 17-yard run by Quarterback Steven Jennings evened the score.
Matthew Poss’ missed extra point kept the score tied at 6-6. However, on their next offensive play, the Tigers took the lead with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Jennings to Poss. Jennings connected with A.J. Mooneyham on the two-point conversion, and with 9:20 remaining in the second quarter, the Tigers led 14-6.
After a fumble recovery by Eli Cross on the Yellow Jackets’ 37-yard line, the Tigers extended their lead with a four-yard touchdown run by Steven Jennings. Matthew Poss’ kick was good, giving DeKalb a 21-6 lead with 2:23 remaining in the second-quarter. With just four-seconds remaining in the first half, the Yellow Jacket’s James McDaniel stunned the Tigers with a 76-yard touchdown reception as the buzzer sounded. After the missed PAT, the score was 21-12 at the break.
DeKalb stretched their lead at the 8:29 mark of the third-period when A.J. Mooneyham scored on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Steven Jennings. Matthew Poss’ kick was good and the Tigers led 28-12.
The last score of the contest came with 8:10 left in the third-period when the Yellow Jackets’ Kevin Castro sprinted 77-yards to hit paydirt. A good two-point conversion run by James McDaniel put the score at 28-20 in favor of the Tigers.
DeKalb (6-2) will enjoy a much needed bye-week this Friday, but will back in action on Oct. 23 when they travel to Baxter to take on the Upperman Bees in a pivotal regional game.